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Title:Immigrants' Political Suitcases: A Theory of Imported Socialization
Author(s):Wals Aparicio, Sergio C.
Director of Research:Mondak, Jeffery J.
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Mondak, Jeffery J.
Doctoral Committee Member(s):Kuklinski, James H.; Althaus, Scott L.; Rudolph, Thomas J.; Gaines, Brian J.; Cho, Wendy T.
Department / Program:Political Science
Discipline:Political Science
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Political Behavior
Political Socialization
Imported Socialization
Political Trust
Political Engagement
Abstract:People’s experiences throughout their lives influence their later thoughts and actions, including thoughts and actions about politics. This straightforward logic motivates attention to childhood political socialization, habitual voting, and a host of other phenomena. Yet, when it comes to studies concerning the political behaviors of immigrants to the United States, the scholarly norm has been to assume that these individuals entered the nation as political blank slates; that is, we ignore the possible influence of experiences in immigrants’ nations of origin. By contrast, this study develops and tests a theory of imported socialization in an effort to understand how immigrants’ political socialization experiences before they left their countries of origin shape the way they view the new polity after migration; the extent to which this imported socialization affects their degree of post-migration political engagement; and finally for how long the content of immigrants’ political suitcases remains consequential during their civic lives in their new home. Specific questions examined include the extent to which immigrants’ political baggage affects the intensity and the directionality of that post-migration political engagement. My findings suggest that political suitcases indeed play a key role on the political acculturation of the newcomers.
Issue Date:2010-01-06
Rights Information:Copyright 2009 Sergio C. Wals Aparicio
Date Available in IDEALS:2010-01-06
Date Deposited:December 2

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