Sociology, Department of


Date of this Version

Winter 12-2011


A THESIS Presented to the Faculty of The Graduate College at the University of Nebraska In Partial Fulfillment of Requirements For the Degree of Master of Arts, Major: Sociology, Under the supervision of Professor Miguel Ceballos. Lincoln, Nebraska: December, 2011

Copyright (c) 2011 Courtney Lyons Breitkreutz


This study examines the relationship between religious affiliation, church attendance, and attitudes towards immigration. Following the ethnoreligious perspective, I predict that those who identify as Mainline Protestant, Evangelical Protestant, or Catholic will hold more positive attitudes than those who do not affiliate, which would reflect the teachings of their churches. I also predict that Catholics may have particularly positive attitudes because of social identity theory. Attending church services should be associated with more positive attitudes, according to religious restructuralism. Using 2006 telephone survey data of 1,135 Nebraskans from the Nebraska Annual Social Indicators Survey (NASIS), I use binary logistic regression to test these theories and their effect on seven separate measures of immigration attitudes. I found that while affiliating with one of the religious groups did not lead to more positive attitudes, attending church services at least once a week was associated with more positive attitudes on the topics of government spending on immigrants and immigrants and crime. Results partially support religious restructuralism and the theory that church attendance, not merely identifying with a religious group, is what can improve attitudes towards immigration.

Advisor: Miguel Ceballos

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