Smith, Harold E. (Harold Eugene), 1916-2010||Burchard, Waldo W.
M.A. (Master of Arts)
Department of Sociology and Anthropology
This study is an attempt to determine whether or not community members have consistent attitudes toward migrant workers. An attitude is defined as a combination of three components; the cognition, the affect, and the action tendency. A questionnaire measuring each of these components was constructed. The questionnaire was administered to a sample of community markers in Rochelle, Illinois. Rochelle is a community that is visited each Spring by migrant workers from the southwest. The Guttman technique was used to scale the responses. Three subscales measuring the three attitude components were derived from the questionnaire. The subscales were correlated to see if community members were consistent in their attitudes toward the migrant workers. It was felt that community members would be less consistent in their action tendency than in their cognition or affect. It was also felt that individuals with more negative attitudes would be mare inconsistent in the relation between the components. The results of the study reveal that the community members ware consistent in their attitudes. There was no significant difference between the action tendency and affect, the action tendency and cognition, car the cognition and the affect. However, the respondents who had the most negative scores did differ significantly among these attitude components. Respondents with the most negative attitudes were thus more inconsistent in their attitude components. Several possible reasons for these conclusions are suggested. Social psychologists have dene a great deal of work pointing out that people tend to strain toward consistency among their attitude components. Respondents with more negative attitudes were younger and had lived in the community for a shorter period of time. This might suggest that these people had less time to bring their attitudes into a state of balance. The fact that the migrants only stayed in the community for short periods of time also suggests a reason for this lack of balance among newer arrivals. Finally the definition of attitudes is considered. When a definition involves three different things there is room for conceptual confusion. A lack of conceptual clarity may sometimes be a greater hinderance to a proper understanding of human behavior than a failure to have a concept for that particular phenomena.
Creighton, Michael O., "A study of community attitudes toward migrant workers" (1967). Graduate Research Theses & Dissertations. 603.
vi, 68 pages
Northern Illinois University
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