Download Americanism in the Twenty-First Century: Public Opinion in by Deborah J. Schildkraut PDF

By Deborah J. Schildkraut

What does it suggest to be - or turn into - American amidst modern immigration debates? Deborah Schildkraut explores public opinion in regards to the implications of yank identification. Importantly, the booklet evaluates the declare that every one american citizens may still prioritize their American id rather than an ethnic or nationwide foundation id. nationwide identification can increase participation, belief, and legal responsibility. however it may also result in danger and resentment, and, between participants of minority teams, it could possibly bring about alienation from political associations and co-nationals.

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Extra info for Americanism in the Twenty-First Century: Public Opinion in the Age of Immigration

Sample text

Many of us are torn between our recognition of the social construction of racial categories and the reality of mixed heritage, on the one hand, and the methodological need in large-N studies to place respondents in one and only one category on the other hand. We feel the paradox of employing, and even perpetuating, the rigid distinctions that we know to be problematic. It is not unlike the debates that surrounded the 2000 Census and the opportunity to select more than one racial category. 4 As these leaders know well, socially constructed racial categories can still have powerful consequences.

Surveys rely in large part on the “top of the head” responses people offer when asked about how they view themselves vis-a-vis their ethnic and nationality groups rather than on extended reflection. ` Yet those first responses reveal much about the relative salience of different identity choices; the fact that they regularly emerge as significant predictors of policy opinions and as the product of stable social and demographic factors suggests they are more than superficial. Surveys also remain the best method for interviewing large numbers of people from a variety of backgrounds, testing whether the patterns of their responses are statistically significant, and generalizing from those patterns to the broader population.

Scholars devoted to studying the power of political identities often focus on particular aspects of identities, resulting in frustration in the lack of overarching terminologies and models (Brubaker and Cooper 2000; Smith 2003; Smith 2004). The range of important questions to ask about national identity and immigration is in many ways overwhelming. I tackle several here that at times seem too disparate to include in a single study and at other times too intertwined to untangle at all. What unites the questions explored here is a concern with how people from a variety of backgrounds and experiences view themselves in relation to American society and with how they form opinions on important ethnicity-related public policies.

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