Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department / School

Sociology and Rural Studies

First Advisor

Meredith Redlin


The foreign-born immigrant population in Iowa is increasing. Across Iowa’s 4th Congressional District, communities that have never had statistically significant populations of non-Anglos have in recent decades experienced dramatic influxes of predominantly Latino immigrants. Today, Latinos comprise upwards of 25 percent of the population of some counties and well over 35 percent of the population of many towns. At the same time, many other communities in Iowa’s 4th Congressional District remain almost exclusively white. How are communities responding? This research centers on the statements and activities of individual and group actors representing various market, state, and civil society sectors, examining which community resources are mobilized by what groups and the extent to which their actions are motivated by social capital or ideology. The Community Capitals Framework provides the analytic context with which one-on-one interviews and secondary data sources are analyzed to explore pro-and-anti immigration networks and activities and the extent to which these groups mobilize community capitals to create welcoming or unwelcoming communities. Understanding these networks, actions and motivations is critical in informing sustainable and appropriate community development efforts in this district as well as other regions in the United States with similar historically dominant Anglo populations recently experiencing increases in immigrant populations.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Immigrants -- Iowa -- Social conditions
Intergroup relations
Social capital (Sociology)


Includes bibliographical references (pages 151-157)



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University


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