The Journal of Politics

Articles

American Identity and the Politics of Ethnic Change

Jack Citrina1, Beth Reingolda1 and Donald P. Greena2

a1 University of California, Berkeley

a2 Yale University

This article explores the way subjective conceptions of national identity influence the mass public's reactions to the changing ethnic composition of American society. Using the symbolic politics model of opinion formation to analyze survey data collected in early 1988, the article demonstrates that normative beliefs about Americanism strongly influence general attitudes toward cultural minorities and, when the appropriate symbolic cues are present, policy preferences on ethnic issues.

(Accepted August 24 1989)

(Received January 10 1990)

Jack Citrin is professor of political science, University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720.

Beth Reingold is a graduate student in political science, University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720.

Donald P. Green is assistant professor of political science, Yale University, New Haven CT 06520-3532.

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