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THE BACKLASH THEORY: A REASON FOR POLITICAL CONCERN OR FAKE NEWS?
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Government.
2020 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

The contested backlash phenomenon assumes that changes to the status quo in favor of minorities will be met with resistance and resentment from majority groups. However, previous research has yielded ambiguous results. This has resulted in a continuous confusion regarding if, when and how backlashes occur. This thesis will attempt to enhance the understanding of this phenomenon through the use of a survey experiment. The experiment tests whether it is possible to detect a backlash in public opinion through the use of a treatment text. The text presents a fictive Supreme Court decision that approves outdoor broadcasting of the Islamic call to prayer in the US. The experiment tests whether this will create an increase in resentment directed towards Muslim Americans. The experiment tests a number of hypotheses regarding when and where backlash might occur and could not find any support of the backlash hypothesis. The results instead indicated that the treatment induced a decrease in the level of resentment reported by the respondents. These unexpected results have a number of possible explanations, ranging from social desirability bias to the possibility of a legitimizing effect stemming from the treatment. The findings are in line with a growing number of researches that have failed to statistically find any proof of the backlash theory.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2020. , p. 58
Keywords [en]
backlash, public opinion, American Muslims, survey experiment
National Category
Political Science
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-403380OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-403380DiVA, id: diva2:1388817
Subject / course
Political Science
Educational program
Master Programme in Political Science
Supervisors
Available from: 2020-01-28 Created: 2020-01-27 Last updated: 2020-01-28Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
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  • de-DE
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