Social identity theory and public opinion towards immigration

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Several scholars have called upon social identity theory to investigate the relationship between an American national identity and American public opinion on immigration. Lacking a uniform measure of American identity, by and large, scholars find that a two-dimensional conception of American identity influences these opinions. Our review suggests that the extant measures of American identity do not fully account for the various aspects of social identity theory. We capture more fully the different components of social identity theory. By doing so, we find that American identity has five dimensions. Therefore, in this analysis, we advance a more comprehensive measure of American identity. Analyzing data from the 2004-2005 National Politics Survey, we confirm that all five dimensions of American identity lead to opposition to legal immigration and a preference for spending increases to combat illegal immigration.




Mangum, M., & Block, R. (2018). Social identity theory and public opinion towards immigration. Social Sciences, 7(3).

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