Document Type

Thesis - University Access Only

Award Date


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department / School

Sociology and Rural Studies


The passing of Proposition 184 in California, mounting political rhetoric against some immigrant groups, and the emergence of hate groups point to a re-emergence of nativist views in the United States. This study is an analysis of contemporary nativism in the United States using a phenomenological model or a microsociology of knowledge approach. Data from the 1994 General Social Survey are utilized to assess the relationship between measures of egalitarianism, negative beliefs and stereotypes, sense of threat, and opposition and perceived discrimination toward immigrants. Results of statistical tests indicate that negative beliefs and stereotypes are associated with sense of threat expressed as the perception that immigrants lead to negative consequences and are too demanding for equal rights and special favors. In addition, negative beliefs and stereotypes are associated with opposition to bilingual education, opposition to programs that benefit immigrants and wanting the number of immigrants reduced There were three major contributions of this study. Sense of threat was treated as the dependent variable and indicated by opposition to immigrants based on perceptions of their negative consequences and demand for equal rights. This study also developed a model that separated "fear" from "opposition" and found that people perceive immigrants in the same stereotypical way they perceive minorities.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Xenophobia -- United States
Immigrants -- United States
United States -- Ethnic relations



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University