Year of Award
Master of Arts (MA)
Sociology (Criminology Option)
Other Degree Name/Area of Focus
Department or School/College
Department of Sociology
Dusten Hollist, Daisy Rooks, Wade Davies
Xenophobia, Immigrants, Refugees, Perceptions, Montana, American Security Rally
University of Montana
Social and Behavioral Sciences | Sociology
The goal of this research was to investigate immigration perceptions among participants in the American Security Rally of Montana using in-depth interviews and participant observation qualitative techniques. The thesis was guided by the following questions. What are the perceptions of participants among the American Security Rally of Montana with respect to immigration, where do they come from and why are they are created? The main theme highlighted by participants was one of xenophobia. This xenophobic rhetoric was predominantly directed towards potential Syrian refugee migrants to Montana but also encompassed a perspective pertaining to Hispanic/Latino undocumented migrants. Theodore Adorno’s notion of the “authoritarian personality” and his ideas on the “culture industry” are applied along with social identity theory to explain where the anti-immigrant rhetoric highlighted throughout the findings of the current study come from. This study is important because it addresses one of the most controversial contemporary topics in American culture. It represents a social issue that is timely and applicable on the local, national, and international levels. The study is unique because it addresses anti-immigrant beliefs in a rural northwestern state with one of the least diverse, mostly white, populations in the United States (Schmalzbauer 2014). Findings are important because they highlight a xenophobic narrative from the past that has persisted from the time Theodore Adorno started his work in the early 1900’s (Hafez 2015: 24; Ekman 2015; Bulliet 2003).
Boyce, Christian. 2017. "Early 20th Century Xenophobic Perceptions Among American Security Rally of Montana Participants in 2016." MA thesis, Department of Sociology, University of Montana.
© Copyright 2017 Christian S. Boyce