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Interregional Migration and Racial Attitudes

Thomas C. Wilson
Social Forces
Vol. 65, No. 1 (Sep., 1986), pp. 177-186
Published by: Oxford University Press
DOI: 10.2307/2578941
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2578941
Page Count: 10
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Interregional Migration and Racial Attitudes
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Abstract

Inferences from the race relations literature suggest two competing sets of hypotheses concerning the effect of interregional migration on racial attitudes. From normative theory we hypothesize that the effect of migration is symmetrical-such that migration to and from the South influence attitudes equally-and that acculturation to local attitudes is equally incomplete among South-non-South and non-South-South migrants. From the assumption that southern race norms are stronger and more important than those elsewhere, we hypothesize that the effect of migration and the completeness of acculturation will be greater among non-South-South than South-non-South migrants. Using data from a national sample of 2,232 white respondents, we find support for the first set of hypotheses. Our evidence suggests that there is now no difference between the strength and importance of southern and nonsouthern race norms, and that interregional migration may partially explain the convergence of regions in racial attitudes as well as the recent nationwide slowing of liberalization of racial attitudes.

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