A Midwestern Mosaic: Immigration and Political Socialization in Rural America

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Temple University Press, May 25, 2012 - Social Science - 238 pages
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Drawn by low-skilled work and the safety and security of rural life, increasing numbers of families from Latin America and Southeast Asia have migrated to the American heartland. In the path-breaking book A Midwestern Mosaic, J. Celeste Lay examines the effects of political socialization on native white youth growing up in small towns.

Lay studies five Iowa towns to investigate how the political attitudes and inclinations of native adolescents change as a result of rapid ethnic diversification. Using surveys and interviews, she discovers that native adolescents adapt very well to foreign-born citizens, and that over time, gaps diminish between diverse populations and youth in all-white/Anglo towns in regard to tolerance, political knowledge, efficacy, and school participation.

A Midwestern Mosaic looks at the next generation to show how exposure to ethnic and cultural diversity during formative years can shape political behavior and will influence politics in the future.

 

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Contents

Places and Political Learning
1
1 Transformation of SmallTown America
11
2 A Natural Experiment in Iowa Towns
27
Attitudes toward Immigrants and Symbolic Racism
43
Civic Withdrawal and Immigration
68
5 Gradual Progress
91
6 What Happened to My Town?
115
The Implications of a New Normal
140
Samples Survey Items and Variables
153
Notes
157
Bibliography
193
Index
217
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About the author (2012)

J. Celeste Lay is an Assistant Professor of Political Science at Tulane University in New Orleans.

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