Posted by: vanhoff | February 28, 2008

A Moral Panic: Immigration and The New Threat

     Since 9/11, the question of what immigrants contribute to American society is at the forefront of the immigration debate. Stoking anti-immigrant hostility, nativists and restrictionists commonly resort to marginalizing immigrants by relegating them to an economic underclass. The sociological theory of Constructivism looks at how moral panic mounts. It is the sense of urgency to do something now or else society will suffer even graver consequences later, compelling social policy to undergo significant transformation in a rash attempt to diffuse the putative threat.

     Looking at immigration and policies implemented by politicians, a  look how immigration is now a moral panic constitutes a theoretical breakdown sociologically. For Obama and Clinton to gain success in their campaigns, they need to break away from the moral panic and the hysteria that has mounted due to immigration, and focus on how the issue is not so much a panic, but a problem that can be handle through reasonable means.



  1. Everything is better solved by reasonable means.
    The whole question of immigration should start with economics – what will different policies cost and can they be afforded even if they’re wanted by the majority.

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