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Party Identification, Contact, Contexts, and Public Attitudes toward Illegal Immigration.
Public Opin Q 2016; 80(1):1-25PO

Abstract

Illegal immigration is a contentious issue on the American policy agenda. To understand the sources of public attitudes toward immigration, social scientists have focused attention on political factors such as party identification; they have also drawn on theories of intergroup contact to argue that contact with immigrants shapes immigration attitudes. Absent direct measures, contextual measures such as respondents' ethnic milieu or proximity to salient geographic features (such as borders) have been used as proxies of contact. Such a research strategy still leaves the question unanswered - is it contact or context that really matters? Further, which context, and for whom? This article evaluates the effects of party identification, personal contact with undocumented immigrants, and contextual measures (county Hispanic population and proximity to the US-Mexico border) on American attitudes toward illegal immigration. It finds that contextual factors moderate the effects of political party identification on attitudes toward illegal immigration; personal contact has no effect. These findings challenge the assumption that contextual measures act as proxies for interpersonal contact.

Authors+Show Affiliations

T imothy B. G ravelle is a doctoral student in the Department of Government at the University of Essex, Colchester, UK, and Manager, Modeling and Analytics, Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts, in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Previous versions of this article were presented at the 2015 Annual Conference of the American Association for Public Opinion Research in Hollywood, Florida, USA, and the 2015 Annual Conference of the Canadian Political Science Association in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. The author thanks Scott Keeter and Kyley McGeeney of the Pew Research Center for facilitating access to the data set and for answering questions about the survey methodology, as well as Thomas Scotto and the three anonymous reviewers for their many helpful comments and suggestions.

Pub Type(s)

Journal Article

Language

eng

PubMed ID

27257305

Citation

Gravelle, Timothy B.. "Party Identification, Contact, Contexts, and Public Attitudes Toward Illegal Immigration." Public Opinion Quarterly, vol. 80, no. 1, 2016, pp. 1-25.
Gravelle TB. Party Identification, Contact, Contexts, and Public Attitudes toward Illegal Immigration. Public Opin Q. 2016;80(1):1-25.
Gravelle, T. B. (2016). Party Identification, Contact, Contexts, and Public Attitudes toward Illegal Immigration. Public Opinion Quarterly, 80(1), pp. 1-25.
Gravelle TB. Party Identification, Contact, Contexts, and Public Attitudes Toward Illegal Immigration. Public Opin Q. 2016;80(1):1-25. PubMed PMID: 27257305.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - Party Identification, Contact, Contexts, and Public Attitudes toward Illegal Immigration. A1 - Gravelle,Timothy B, Y1 - 2016/01/13/ PY - 2017/03/01/pmc-release PY - 2016/6/4/entrez PY - 2016/6/4/pubmed PY - 2016/6/4/medline SP - 1 EP - 25 JF - Public opinion quarterly JO - Public Opin Q VL - 80 IS - 1 N2 - Illegal immigration is a contentious issue on the American policy agenda. To understand the sources of public attitudes toward immigration, social scientists have focused attention on political factors such as party identification; they have also drawn on theories of intergroup contact to argue that contact with immigrants shapes immigration attitudes. Absent direct measures, contextual measures such as respondents' ethnic milieu or proximity to salient geographic features (such as borders) have been used as proxies of contact. Such a research strategy still leaves the question unanswered - is it contact or context that really matters? Further, which context, and for whom? This article evaluates the effects of party identification, personal contact with undocumented immigrants, and contextual measures (county Hispanic population and proximity to the US-Mexico border) on American attitudes toward illegal immigration. It finds that contextual factors moderate the effects of political party identification on attitudes toward illegal immigration; personal contact has no effect. These findings challenge the assumption that contextual measures act as proxies for interpersonal contact. SN - 0033-362X UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/27257305/Party_Identification_Contact_Contexts_and_Public_Attitudes_toward_Illegal_Immigration_ L2 - https://academic.oup.com/poq/article-lookup/doi/10.1093/poq/nfv054 DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -