Faith and the Foreigner: Exploring the Impact of Religion on Immigration Attitudes

Master's Thesis


Immigrants in the United States have often faced intolerance and negative stereotypes. We know that historical and political realities affect attitudes toward immigrants but are there underlying factors that shape attitudes toward immigrants at the individual level? Several hypotheses have been put forth in order to answer this question including the labor market, the ideological, and the cultural affinity hypotheses. This study uses data from the General Social Survey to determine whether religious affiliation or attendance affect attitudes about immigrants and immigration policy. Ordered logistic regression of data at the national level shows that Jews and the non-religious are the most likely to hold tolerant attitudes toward immigrants followed by Catholics even after controlling for a variety of socio-demographic controls. Attendance has a positive impact on openness to immigration. No significant differences exist among different Protestant groups.


Attribute NameValues
  • etd-04142005-165951

Author Robert Eugene Brenneman
Advisor David Sikkink, Ph.D.
Contributor David Sikkink, Ph.D., Committee Chair
Degree Level Master's Thesis
Degree Discipline Sociology
Degree Name MA
Defense Date
  • 2005-04-08

Submission Date 2005-04-14
  • United States of America

  • religion

  • religion and immigration

  • immigration

  • religion and prejudice

  • attitudes toward immigrants

  • University of Notre Dame

  • English

Record Visibility Public
Content License
  • All rights reserved

Departments and Units


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