FRAMING MATTERS: Immigration, The Media, And Public Opinion
This dissertation, entitled Framing Matters: Immigration, the Media, and Public Opinion, explores how the nature of immigration as a group-centric issue conditions the effects of media frames on the public’s immigration policy preferences. I use a multi-methods approach drawing on original survey experiment data, survey data, and content analysis to examine the strength of three styles of media coverage on immigration: group-centric stories, individual narratives, and political protest or electoral stories. In Chapter one, I present my theoretical framework, which argues that people incorporate new information on immigration in relation to their perceptions of (Latina/o) immigrants as a group. Because new information is filtered through group perceptions, I pose that group-centric frames are more persuasive than personal narrative frames and that political frames heighten group threat among non-Latinas/os, while simultaneously tapping into Latinas/os’ feelings of solidarity with immigrants. Chapter two uses content analysis data of every immigration related article published in the New York Times and Washington Times during three years: 2006, 2010, and 2015. Chapter three presents original survey experiment data comparing the effect of group-centric frames with personal narrative frames on immigration policy attitudes. Chapter four uses original survey experiment data and survey data to compare the effect of political frames on Latinas/os and non-Latinas/os’ policy opinions on immigration. Finally, Chapter five considers the political implications of my research findings for scholarship on immigration, the media and public opinion, as well as media framing strategists and political activists.
framing; immigration; latinos; media; political communication; public opinion; Political science
Mettler, Suzanne; Levine, Adam S
PHD of Government
Doctor of Philosophy
dissertation or thesis