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Why does nativism occur in the United States? Fry's research examines the conditions under which heightened nativist activity occurs and reveals some of the reasons why immigration activists want to restrict or expand current immigration and immigrant policies. Using historical-comparative methods, he identifies the basic elements of nativist reactions and develops a set of criteria for comparing varied cases of immigrant reception. Interviews with people involved in immigration reform, along with a provisional content analysis of immigration reform agency documents and archives, further our understanding of what immigration means to immigration activists and the roles they play in shaping public policy and opinion. The collected data are analyzed to develop a conceptual scheme for examining the different discourses, beliefs, and behaviors of immigration activists, and are compared to dominant perspectives on nativism and intergroup hostility.
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Brian N. Fry is Assistant Professor of Sociology at Southern Nazarene University, Oklahoma City. He earned his Ph.D. in 1998 from Michigan State University.
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