Political rhetoric, immigration attitudes, and contemporary prejudice: A mexican american dilemma

Robert Short, Lisa Magaña

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

47 Scopus citations


The authors examined political candidates' social stereotypes of Mexican immigrants in mainstream media accounts. From those popular themes, they formed semantic differential scales, which they administered to participants (N = 201) with 1 of 4 scenarios describing an illegal immigrant: of Mexican vs. English Canadian descent and with vs. without several parking tickets. Consistent with contemporary theories of prejudice (J. F. Dovidio & S. L. Gaertner, 1996), the participants indicated the greatest agreement with the pejorative themes when the immigrant described was of Mexican descent and had accumulated parking tickets. Psychologically, the parking tickets served as a nonethnic rationale for discriminating against that ethnic group. The authors discuss the social and public policy implications of Mexican immigration as a political phenomenon.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)701-712
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Social Psychology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 1 2002


  • English Canadian immigrants
  • Immigration
  • Mexican immigrants
  • Politics
  • Social stereotypes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology


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