Social Citizenship, Integration and Collective Action: Immigrant Civic Engagement in the United States

Source: Kim Ebert, Dina G. Okamoto, Social Forces, First published online: February 27, 2013
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From the abstract:
Collective action has been examined in studies of worker insurgency, homeless protest, the Civil Rights movement and white backlash against racial minorities. Relatively few studies, however, focus on noncontentious forms of immigrant collective action. Utilizing a new data set comprising over 1,000 immigrant civic events, we examine whether the civic and political environment within metropolitan areas affect civic engagement. Our results indicate that political opportunities and resources did not have uniform effects, but that institutional threats to immigrants deterred civic activity. Furthermore, we find that local restrictive efforts instigated solidarity events, while outreach efforts directed at immigrants facilitated community improvement projects. These findings suggest that conditions intensifying group boundaries between immigrants and natives and encouraging collective efficacy are important predictors of immigrant civic engagement.