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Immigration and the American Ethos

Immigration and the American Ethos

Part of Cambridge Studies in Public Opinion and Political Psychology

Morris Levy, Matthew Wright,
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  • Publication planned for: April 2020
  • availability: Not yet published - available from April 2020
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781108738873


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About the Authors
  • What do Americans want from immigration policy and why? In the rise of a polarized and acrimonious immigration debate, leading accounts see racial anxieties and disputes over the meaning of American nationhood coming to a head. The resurgence of parochial identities has breathed new life into old worries about the vulnerability of the American Creed. This book tells a different story, one in which creedal values remain hard at work in shaping ordinary Americans' judgements about immigration. Levy and Wright show that perceptions of civic fairness—based on multiple, often competing values deeply rooted in the country's political culture—are the dominant guideposts by which most Americans navigate immigration controversies most of the time and explain why so many Americans simultaneously hold a mix of pro-immigrant and anti-immigrant positions. The authors test the relevance and force of the theory over time and across issue domains.

    • Develops and rigorously tests a new theory American public opinion on immigration, explaining why so many Americans hold a mixture of pro and anti-immigrant positions
    • Demonstrates the relevance and force of the theory across issue domains, over time, and using a combination of observational and experimental evidence
    • Challenges conventional views about the relationship between prejudice and core values; the role and meaning of “identity” in structuring political choice; and the influence of political culture on public opinion
    • Yields insights for political strategy and framing
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    Product details

    • Publication planned for: April 2020
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781108738873
    • dimensions: 228 x 152 mm
    • availability: Not yet published - available from April 2020
  • Table of Contents

    1: What Do Americans Want from Immigration Policy, and Why?
    2: Civic Fairness and Group-Centrism
    3: Functional Assimilation, Humanitarianism and Support for Legal Admissions
    4: Civic Fairness and the Legal-Ill

  • Authors

    Morris Levy, University of Southern California
    Morris Levy is Assistant Professor of Political Science at the University of Southern California.

    Matthew Wright, American University, Washington DC
    Matthew Wright is Assistant Professor of Political Science at University of British Columbia.


    Morris Levy, Matthew Wright,

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