This paper extends prototype theory to explain why non-members who are socially connected to group members hold political attitudes that differ from non-members lacking that connection. We argue that the intensity of non-member attitudes varies by connection to a prototype or periphery group member. Using data from the 2006 Cooperative Congressional Election Study (CCES), we model group-salient political attitudes for veterans, union members, and their family members. We find social distance from group members is theoretically linked to within group variation that distinguishes prototype from periphery group members. Analysis of political attitudes is enhanced beyond the traditional member/non-member dichotomy by accounting for non-members’ social distance from group members.
There is consensus among scholars, policy experts, and ordinary Latinos that a Latino education crisis exists, and that education is the primary vehicle for achieving the American Dream. Yet we know surprisingly little about what predicts Latinos’ views of the bureaucrats and organizations charged with translating their educational hopes into reality. This study links disparate literatures to provide theory and evidence about how group features and elements of citizen-bureaucracy relations explain Latinos’ judgments of schools and their assessments of contact with school officials. Using the 2006 Latino National Survey, we find that nativity, acculturation, and discrimination undermine positive evaluations. Our results also indicate that some of these negative associations might be countered with Latino-salient outreach, including providing school-relevant information in Spanish language.
The article focuses on group-based features of issue publics and advances the concept of residual group saliency as a way to organize members of issue publics. We accord veterans exemplar or prototype status, and civilians as periphery members of this issue public. As issue public exemplars, veterans anchor the “right” attitudes and behaviors for the veteran issue public, and civilians, especially those with family ties to veterans, gravitate toward those exemplar attitudes. We argue that pressure to conform to these “right” attitudes among civilians who are connected to a veteran is greater when there are more veterans in their environment. However, veterans and civilians who are not connected to a veteran are not responsive to such contextual effects, the former because they are already exemplars, and the latter because there is no motivation to evaluate the self in relation to veterans. We test and find support for these claims using data from the 2010 Cooperative Congressional Election Study. We conclude with an evaluative discussion and suggestions for future research.
We evaluate the relationship between race of interviewer (ROI) and racial attitudes, using original telephone survey data that includes a response to the question: “What is my race?” A large percentage of our respondents answer, “don’t know.” Traditional racial attitude models tend to exclude ROI altogether, whereas alternative racial attitude models include perceived ROI but drop “don’t know” respondents. We propose a new modeling strategy that includes “don’t know” respondents and find that in general this modeling strategy is preferred because it leads to better model fit and fewer type II errors. We suggest that researchers control for “don’t know” ROI responses in any analysis of racial attitudes.
Existing research concludes that acculturation converges Latino immigration policy views with those of Anglo-Americans. Yet, polls show few Latinos support restricting immigration. This article reconciles these statements with theory and evidence. I argue acculturation is part of a broader give-and-take process, the two-way street in which the contrast between expected and perceived treatment by the receiving community shapes whether or not Latino acculturation leads to restrictionism and “convergence” with Anglos. Regression analysis of survey data shows that perceived group discrimination, but not perceived individual discrimination or Latino within-group discrimination, moderates the link between acculturation and support for restrictive policy.
Public opinion studies on war attitudes say little about civilians who are related to military service members. The authors argue that military ‘‘service-connected’’ individuals are missing voices in the research that examines public support for war. Using over 50,000 observations from the 2010 Cooperative Congressional Election Study, the authors estimate attitudes toward the war in Iraq, the war in Afghanistan, and the use of US military troops in general. The authors find that service-connected civilians express greater support for war and the use of troops than civilians without such a connection. This study discusses the implications of these findings for theoretical advancements in the literature addressing war attitudes and the conceptualization of the ‘‘civil–military gap.’’
4. The Efficacy and Alienation of Juan Q. Public: The immigration marches and orientations toward American political institutions.
With Gary M. Segura and Shaun Bowler. 2010. In Irene Bloemraad and Kim Voss (Eds.) Rallying for Immigrant Rights. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, pp 233-249.
In this study we explore the possibility that the 2006 immigration rallies marked not an expression of opposition and alienation from the U.S. political system but an act of faith in that system and expectation that the system will ultimately be responsive. To explore this interpretation we examine the general orientations of Latinos toward the U.S. political system, using the 2006 Pew Hispanic Center’s National Survey of Latinos. Specifically, we measure Latino or Hispanic residents’ beliefs regarding their influence on policy and whether governmental policy works on their behalf. We then use these measures to examine attitudes towards the 2006 protests and immigration debate in general. We find that it is the absence of alienation that is associated with a positive assessment of the marches and the likelihood that they will result in a general social movement.
3. Exit Polls and Ethnic Diversity. How to Improve Estimates and Reduce Bias Among Minority Voters.
With Matt Barreto. 2009. In Wendy Alvey and Fritz Scheuren (Eds.) Elections and Exit Polling. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley and Sons, Inc. pp 194-202.
This article builds on analyses addressing social group identification found in The American Voter Revisited (chapter 11), by exploring the dynamics of social group identity and Latino partisanship using data from the 2006 Latino National Survey. We argue that group identification matters to Latinos, and that the ANES significantly underestimates the degree of ethnic identification among Latino registered voters. The evidence we bring to bear on the matter of Latino partisan unity shows important distinctions by national origin, generation, language and level of perceived discrimination — measures that are unreliable due to sampling error or wholly unavailable in the ANES. These distinctions are shown in our replications of descriptive tables in the American Voter Revisited, and further supported through multinomial logit models of Latino partisanship. As a result of a large immigration population, continued and widespread discrimination against Latinos, and new mobilization efforts that encourage ethnic appeals, the Latino electorate embodies the renewal and persistence of group identification in American politics.
This paper analyzes why some Mexican immigrants, especially undocumented residents, plan to remain permanently in the United States, whereas others plan to return to Mexico. If Mexican migrants, especially those who are living in the United States without proper legal documentation to do so, plan to remain in the United States permanently, there will be far greater consequences on US society and public policies than if the migrants are only planning to reside and work in the United States for a short period. We use logistic regression analysis to analyze a data set of 492 Mexican and seasonal farmworkers (MSFWs). Two-thirds of the survey respondents lacked documents to live in the United States, and the remaining one-third indicated that they were US ‘‘legal permanent residents.’’ Specifically, those who planned to remain permanently in the United States appeared to be strongly influenced by ‘‘cutting ties’’ to their sending communities, as well as by ‘‘planting roots’’ in their host, and potentially adopted, community. Importantly, we also find that their documented status had very little effect on their intent to remain permanently in the United States.
9. Representative Bureaucracy and Performance Quantity and Quality: An Application to Immigration Enforcement.
With Graduate Student M. Apolonia Calderon, Under Review
Does representative bureaucracy link similarly to different types of performance? Can purposeful action that benefits a bureaucrat’s counterparts in the public cost the organization quantity output, yet help with quality results, or visa-versa? In this study we distinguish quantity from quality organizational performance, and apply the distinction to representative bureaucracy by operationalizing models of quantity and quality organization performance using nationally representative, immigration enforcement metrics archived by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). Across multiple strategies of comparison we find evidence consistent with the expectations of representative bureaucracy. Specifically, Hispanic representation predicts less quantity, but more quality immigration enforcement. Although both of these patterns generally benefit Hispanics in the public, from an organizational perspective they suggest a trade-off between quantity and quality performance that hinges on Hispanic representation. We discuss implications for immigration policy debates and future research directions.
8. Rethinking Political Socialization: A new concept, measure and tests of “Trickle-Up” Socialization.
With Brittany Perry, Under Review
New theory driving research on political socialization posits that children can influence adults’ learning about politics. One limitation of this new effort is a lack of conceptual and empirical strategies for describing how old top-down and new trickle-up patterns of political socialization are related. Another limitation is that evidence cited in support of the hypothesis that children transmit political knowledge to parents is based on what children report is the influence they think they have on adults. To address these gaps we introduce a new, generalizable concept and measure of relative importance of political socialization agents, analyzed on a sample of Latinos and Whites. We also address the second gap by evaluating whether political knowledge is greater among adults with school-aged children. Our findings suggest that one solution to close gaps in political knowledge is to leverage processes of political socialization in order to boost political sophistication.
7. Group Filters: The Political Significance of Priming Group Identity
With Mara C. Ostfeld, Under Review
Quality research on population subgroups is impeded by the cost of recruiting and retaining representative samples. To minimize costs, many surveys eschew the practice of ending the survey with demographic questions last, and instead begin by asking participants about their identification with a particular group. However, these “group filters,” also cue an identity laden with social, economic and political associations. We craft and test hypotheses about how identity cues at the beginning of surveys affect the political attitudes that are reported. Using a population-based survey experiment, and looking at the case of Latinos in the United States, we demonstrate that group filter questions affect attitudes across a range of political issues. The patterns we uncover tell us which direction and whom among the group cued is most responsive to the filter. We discuss implications for the production and analysis of data on racial, ethnic and other population sub-groups, more generally.
6. Acculturation Bargain: DACA and Latino presidential candidate preferences in 2012
In 2012 President Obama garnered a record high 75% of Latino votes. Scholars and pundits credit Latino support for the incumbent to Obama’s executive order to defer immigration enforcement for childhood arrivals (DACA). This study unpacks this claim by evaluating which Latinos were most moved by the policy shift. The study shows that immigrants, those presumed most likely to benefit or be connected to a direct beneficiary of DACA, were not the most responsive to the mid-campaign shift in immigrant policy. The study synthesizes the reward-punishment hypothesis with the concept of the acculturation bargain to anticipate and explain “moderately acculturated” Latinos as most volatile in their expressed preference for incumbent Obama. The argument is that Latinos who invest in acculturation interpret hostile policy as a rejection of their efforts to integrate into the “core” part of society, and hence are most poised to reward or punish the incumbent. Latino candidate preference are contrasted before and after the policy shift. The results supporting the acculturation bargain model of political attitudes are corroborated with a survey experiment manipulating welcoming and hostile immigration candidate messages.
5. Latinos Knowledge and Support of the US Supreme Court.
With Joseph D. Ura, Under Review
Research shows that Americans exhibit high, stable levels of knowledge about the Supreme Court’s institutional design and political functions. This finding comports with evidence that knowledge of static features of the American political system stems principally from formal education rather than a dynamic product of events and media. However, we find evidence that these aggregate results mask variance in political knowledge by ethnicity. Using data from surveys of Latinos and non-Latinos, fielded shortly before and after the Supreme Court’s 2012 landmark rulings in Arizona v. United States and National Federation of Independent Business v. Sebelius, we find that Latinos know less about the Court’s structure and function than other Americans and that Latino’s knowledge of the Court is less stable in the face of salient political events, increasing significantly from the first survey to the second. These findings indicate important differences in the sources and dynamics of political knowledge between Latinos and non-Latinos.
4. Unexpected Ripple Effects: Government Skepticism Surrounding Immigration and Health
With Vanessa Cruz-Nichols and Alana LeBron, Under Review
To what extent do people become less trusting or more skeptical of the government under threatening policy environments? Using regression and logit analyses we find evidence that Secure Communities, the centerpiece of contemporary immigration enforcement, spurs mistrust among Latinos, but not other counterparts. We focus on the politics of immigration and health, two issue areas marked by large-scale bureaucratic developments in the last fifty years. We argue that a major consequence of expanding immigration enforcement is spillover to how individuals view the institutions charged with the provision of public goods, including health and healthcare information. We find that Latinos who reside in locales where enforcement is most intense express lower levels of trust in government as a source of health information. Through a policy feedback lens, we contend that the state’s deployment of immigrant enforcement conveys more widespread lessons about the trustworthiness of government.
3. The Effects of Anti-Immigrant Policies on Perceived Discrimination among Latinos in the US: A Multilevel Analysis
With Joanna Almeda, Katie Biello and Edna Viruell-Fuentes, Under Review
We estimated the prevalence of perceived discrimination among Latino adults in the US, and investigated the effects of state-level anti-immigrant policies on discrimination. Survey data from a nationally representative sample of Latinos in the US was merged with a state-level anti-immigrant policy index to test the crude and adjusted effects of anti-immigrant policies on perceived discrimination. We specified cross-level interactions to test whether this association differed by individual characteristics. Almost 70% of respondents reported discrimination. More anti-immigrant policies were associated with higher discrimination. Among Puerto Ricans, more anti-immigrant policies were associated with lower probability of discrimination, and the effects of anti-immigrant policies on discrimination were strongest among third generation Latinos. Anti-immigrant policies can stigmatize all Latinos by creating a hostile social environment, which affects their perceptions of discrimination. Social policies may adversely affect Latinos’ health in part through exposure to discrimination and help explain health patterns among Latinos in the US.
2. Immigration Surveillance and Mental Health for a National Multi-Ethnic Sample
With Vanessa Cruz-Nichols and Alana LeBron, Under Review
The surge in interior immigration enforcement since 9/11 may exacerbate health inequities for populations adversely affected by immigration policies. We investigate the consequences of one component of these new immigration enforcement policies, the Secure Communities program, on mental health. We merged immigration enforcement and survey data (n=6,265) from a national multi-ethnic sample and conducted multiple linear regression to examine the association of immigration surveillance with anxiety and depressive symptoms, and variations by race/ethnicity, nativity, and gender. Relative to their White counterparts, immigration surveillance is associated with significantly higher anxiety and depressive symptoms for US-born Latinos and Latino men. These associations do not vary by race/ethnicity in models restricted to women or immigrants. These findings suggest that immigration surveillance is a salient source of anxiety and threat for Latinos, contributing to mental health inequities, with implications varying by social status.
1. Breaking ICE: Immigration Enforcement, and the “Chilling Effect” on the Use of TANF
With Ling Zhu, Under Review.
Why do eligible individuals not enroll in social safety net programs? We anchor an explanation of (non)participation among immigrants the “chilling effect” hypothesis which posits reduced take-up among children of non-citizens is generated by welfare reform measures and federal immigration enforcement in the 1990s to the policy feedback framework. We argue that immigration enforcement reinforces signals from the welfare state that convey ethnic stereotypes of dependency. However, empowering lessons from interaction with government in other domains counter negative feedback, as we hypothesize and found for naturalized citizens. We find evidence of a chilling effect among US-born Latinos, but not Whites and Blacks, who presumably do not feel targeted by immigration enforcement. The cross-domain policy feedback we observe indicates that chilling effects are more complex than previously described, and breaks new ground in research linking welfare and immigration politics.
2. The “Chilling Effect” of America’s New Immigration Enforcement Regime.
With Ling Zhu, Pathways. A magazine on poverty, inequality, and social policy.
1. A Decisive Voting Bloc in 2012.
With Matt Barreto, Loren Collingwood, Justin Gross, and Gary Segura. In Matt Barreto and Gary Segura (Eds.) Latino America: How America’s Most Dynamic Population is Poised to Transform the Politics of the Nation. New York: Public Affairs, pp. 145—170.