Abdi Kusow, professor of sociology, and Matt DeLisi, Distinguished Professor in Liberal Arts and Sciences and College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Dean’s Professor, published a study titled, “Attitudes toward Immigration as a Sense of Group Position,” in The Sociological Quarterly.
Research on prejudice has historically employed Blumer’s group position as a theoretical alternative to Allport’s group conflict in understanding prejudice against members of minority groups. Our purpose in this study is to extend the theoretical parameters of group position into the domain of immigration by defining prejudice in terms of non-immigrant Americans versus immigrants. We find cultural identity threat and subjective economic threat are more significant in informing attitudes toward immigration than objective economic threat. This finding is consistent with and confirms Blumer’s argument that prejudice as a sense of group position is primarily derived from feelings, and is therefore subjective in nature.