Major: Political Science
Minor: Philosophy, Politics, Economics (PPE)
Faculty Advisor: Professor Katie McCabe
Policy Presentation Theme: Economic and Educational Cooperation and Conflict
Public opinion research has long attempted to explain changes in attitudes toward immigrants based on external economic events and respondent characteristics, such as race, ethnicity, income, age, education, and others. Broadly speaking, the results of such studies have shown increased hostility toward immigrants after economic crises, with low-income and white respondents in the United States exhibiting the strongest increases and overall hostilities toward immigrants. Building off of research that examines the attitudes toward immigrants after the Great Recession, I sought to understand the extent to which white Americans displayed increased hostility toward immigrants on interpersonal and community levels in 2006 and 2011 using panel survey data from the World Values Survey. The results of my study show that while there was little change in interpersonal attitudes between 2006 and 2011, hostility toward immigrants in a labor market context actually decreases categorically among respondents, including white and low-income Americans. I conclude by discussing possible explanations for this trend and considering implications for current events.