Document Type

Article

Department/Program

Sociology

Journal Title

SOCIAL PROBLEMS

Pub Date

11-1-2017

Volume

64

Issue

4

Abstract

This article examines the attempts by restrictionist groups to use the Internet to construct demographic arguments and legitimize immigration as a social problem. I argue that demographic arguments serve two key and related functions for groups seeking more restrictive immigration policies: one, to legitimize their claims as scientific and objective; and two, to counter claims that their positions are nativist or racially based. My analyses suggest that while the numbers presented by these groups to construct immigration as a "demographic threat" appear objective, that these numbers are frequently biased and reliant on conceptions of "American" identity as white and Anglo-Saxon. I also argue that the ability of these groups to link to and cite one another on the Internet represents an important strategy in reinforcing and bolstering the legitimacy of their claims.

DOI

10.1093/socpro/spx027

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