Being ‘Here First’ Determines ‘What’s Fair’ For Immigrants: The Autochthony Orientations Model

Low, Benjamin (2014). Being ‘Here First’ Determines ‘What’s Fair’ For Immigrants: The Autochthony Orientations Model Honours Thesis, School of Psychology, The University of Queensland.

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Author Low, Benjamin
Thesis Title Being ‘Here First’ Determines ‘What’s Fair’ For Immigrants: The Autochthony Orientations Model
School, Centre or Institute School of Psychology
Institution The University of Queensland
Publication date 2014-10-08
Thesis type Honours Thesis
Supervisor Matthew Hornsey
Total pages 90
Language eng
Subjects 1701 Psychology
Abstract/Summary Autochthony is the belief that the first occupants of a territory are its rightful owners with the most right to decide on national matters. Previous work focused on the use of autochthony to reserve political and economic privileges for the country’s dominant majority while justifying discrimination against immigrants. The present study argues that autochthony is not about outright exclusion. Instead, autochthony is about defining the boundaries wherein immigrants can be tolerated. The present study tested a novel framework – The Autochthony Orientations Model (AUTOM) – to see if the ‘boundary setting’ perspective is substantiated. The AUTOM consists of two orthogonal dimensions – support for autochthony and a preference for equality – that define four attitudinal orientations towards immigrants. This model was tested with an American community sample (n = 297). A factor analysis indicated that both dimensions were, indeed, orthogonal and weakly correlated. The model contained two key predictions. Firstly, supporters of autochthony and its exclusive privileges would feel threatened by immigrants insofar as they view immigrants as competitors for those privileges. In turn, this sense of threat would lead to greater anti-immigrant prejudice. Secondly, the indirect relationship between autochthony and prejudice would be weakened when locals have greater preferences for equality, reserve fewer privileges for themselves, and hence feel less threatened by immigrants. Results supported these predictions in relation to attitudes towards immigrants and the ‘Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act of 2013’. To wit, the AUTOM provides a new conceptualisation of autochthony that can inform future academic and political pursuits.
Keyword immigrants

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Created: Mon, 27 Apr 2015, 13:06:52 EST by Anita Whybrow on behalf of School of Psychology