AuthorWang, Ianne Susan
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction, presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractThroughout this decade, America has experienced ongoing and inevitable waves of conversation surrounding issues related to racial justice and immigration. The goal of this dissertation is to discuss the potential political effects, particularly on issues that challenge the current social and racial system and hierarchy, of a sense of national belonging—a relatively understudied form of national attachment in the field of political science. It is argued that due to the boundary-maintaining nature of national belonging, it should be associated with negative views on issues that potentially challenge the current system. This dissertation comprises one observational study, one experimental study, and one qualitative study.In Chapter 1, a preliminary view of the potential effect of a sense of national belonging on shifting system-challenging issues is provided by analyzing data from the Collaborative Multiracial, Post-Election Survey (CMPS) 2016. It is found that, in general, a higher sense of belonging is associated with pro-current racial system attitudes, such as a decrease in support for Black Lives Matter and a decreased perception of the severity of racial discrimination. Additionally, this relationship holds true across racial groups. Chapter 2 attempts to identify the causal relationship between a sense of national belonging and the shaping of racial reform issue attitudes. A survey experiment was conducted on Connect via CloudResearch with 279 participants. Due to weak treatment effects, the experiment failed to demonstrate a causal effect of a sense of national belonging on issue attitudes. However, additional observational examinations yielded results similar to Chapter 1—indicating that a sense of national belonging is related to negative views on racial reform. Therefore, it can be concluded that national belonging is one of the factors that shape attitudes but may not be the most essential one. Finally, Chapter 3 delves into the meaning of national belonging among students from the University of Arizona, School of Government and Public Policy. Thirty-nine students shared their definitions of a sense of national belonging and identified obstacles to feeling a sense of belonging. The results reveal that the construction of national belonging is reciprocal, requiring mutual commitment from both the government and citizens. Additionally, identity conflict emerges as a primary obstacle to experiencing belonging, a challenge not limited to students from minority groups.
Degree ProgramGraduate College