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Social Identity Theory and Public Opinion towards Immigration

Department of Social Sciences, Alabama A&M University, Huntsville, AL 35762, USA
Political Science Department and African American and Africana Studies Program, University of Kentucky, Lexington 40506, KY, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Soc. Sci. 2018, 7(3), 41;
Received: 17 December 2017 / Revised: 22 February 2018 / Accepted: 5 March 2018 / Published: 8 March 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Politics of Race, Ethnicity and Immigration)
PDF [1341 KB, uploaded 9 March 2018]


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. View Full-Text
Keywords: American identity; social identity theory; legal immigration; illegal immigration American identity; social identity theory; legal immigration; illegal immigration

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Mangum, M.; Block, R., Jr. Social Identity Theory and Public Opinion towards Immigration. Soc. Sci. 2018, 7, 41.

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