Illegal aliens out! : making sociological sense of the new restrictionist frame

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dc.contributor.author Cohn, Ury Saul Hersch
dc.date.accessioned 2013-10-18T19:32:34Z
dc.date.available 2013-10-18T19:32:34Z
dc.date.issued 2013-10-18
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/2097/16696
dc.description.abstract In a 2005 op-ed piece, Wall St. Journal columnist Peggy Noonan queried, "What does it mean that your first act on entering a country is breaking its laws?" Unauthorized noncitizen populations have increased rapidly, from 3 million in 1990 to over 11 million in 2009. In the first decade of the twenty-first century, the Minuteman Project and the Tea Party generated renewed interest in restrictionist social movements (RSMs). Sociological social movement theories focused primarily on oppressed populations rather than privileged groups, leaving significant gaps in our understanding of right-wing movements. This dissertation‘s main question is: how did contemporary restrictionists frame their anti-immigrant principles, practices, and policies in the post-9/11 period? In turn, what comprise the social and political consequences of such strategies? This study argues that the "new" restrictionists successfully framed issues relating to unauthorized noncitizens concerning the cultural, economic, and security risks they posed to the United States. Fifty members from a diverse set of voluntary organizations were interviewed, including the Minuteman Project, the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR), and the American GI Forum (AGIF). Grounded theory methodology was used to create initial codes, which were then connected with themes derived from the literature. This study finds that grassroots, right-wing RSMs brought attention to contentious noncitizen issues that spurred debate and action within both Democratic and Republicans parties, public discourse, and social policy from after 9/11 to 2012. The success of the 2005 Minuteman Project border patrol demonstrated that the federal government lacked the political will to control the U.S.–Mexico border. This dissertation adds to the social movement literature demonstrating that both classical and solidarity theories of social movements help explain how restrictionists framed unauthorized noncitizen issues. Ultimately, this study finds RSMs represent a right-wing mobilization (rather than conservative) because of their singling out of Mexican unauthorized noncitizens, extra-institutional action on the border, the use of inflammatory rhetoric, and anti-Catholic sentiment, which contributed in pushing the Republican Party further to the right. en_US
dc.language.iso en_US en_US
dc.publisher Kansas State University en
dc.subject Illegal immigration en_US
dc.subject Minuteman Project en_US
dc.subject Right-wing movements en_US
dc.title Illegal aliens out! : making sociological sense of the new restrictionist frame en_US
dc.type Dissertation en_US
dc.description.degree Doctor of Philosophy en_US
dc.description.level Doctoral en_US
dc.description.department Department of Sociology, Anthropology, and Social Work en_US
dc.description.advisor Robert K. Schaeffer en_US
dc.subject.umi History (0578) en_US
dc.subject.umi Latin American Studies (0550) en_US
dc.subject.umi Sociology (0626) en_US
dc.date.published 2013 en_US
dc.date.graduationmonth December en_US


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