Commenced in January 2007
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Edition: International
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Immigrant Status and System Justification and Condemnation

Authors: Nancy Bartekian, Kaelan Vazquez, Christine Reyna


Immigrants coming into the United States of America may justify the American system (political, economic, healthcare, criminal justice) and see it as functional. This may be explained because they may come from countries that are even more unstable than the U.S. and/or come here to benefit from the promise of the “American dream” -a narrative that they might be more likely to believe in if they were willing to undergo the costly and sometimes dangerous process to immigrate. Conversely, native-born Americans, as well as immigrants who may have lived in America for a longer period of time, would have more experiences with the various broken systems in America that are dysfunctional, fail to provide adequate services equitably, and/or are steeped in systemic racism and other biases that disadvantage lower-status groups. Thus, our research expects that system justification would decrease, and condemnation would increase with more time spent in the U.S. for immigrant groups. We predict that a) those not born in the U.S. will be more likely to justify the system, b) they will also be less likely to condemn the system, and c) the longer an immigrant has been in the U.S. the less likely they will to justify, and more they will to condemn the system. We will use a mixed-model multivariate analysis of covariance (MANCOVA) and control for race, income, and education. We will also run linear regression models to test if there is a relationship between the length of time in the United States and a decrease in system justification, and length of time and an increase in system condemnation for those not born in the U.S. We will also conduct exploratory analyses to see if the predicted patterns are more likely within certain systems over other systems (political, economic, healthcare, criminal justice).

Keywords: immigration, system justification, system condemnation, system qualification

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