National identity can be used as a tool to divide or unite a nation. In this study I examine the implications that national identity has in today’s society, and the implications it has on citizens who do not fit the typical image of an American, namely Muslims. This study goes through the theoretical implications of national identity and social identities, and applies the level of national American identity to the exclusion of Muslim Americans from the definition of American. Using statistical analysis and through a series of regressions I look at the relationship between identity strength, exclusive boundaries on who counts as American, and the impact that these have on supporting of islamaphobic rhetoric. Using a survey that mimics the research conducted by Elizabeth Theiss-Morse (2009) on national identity I find that there is a positive relationship between American national identity strength and islamaphobia, as well as a positive relationship between the setting of exclusive boundaries on who counts as American, and the support of islamaphobic rhetoric (islamaphobia). Though I found a statistically significant relationship between both of these and the support of islamaphobic rhetoric, I did not find a significant relationship between identity strength and setting exclusive boundaries. The most significant variable in the setting of exclusive boundaries was the level of education.


Bos, Angela


Political Science

Publication Date


Degree Granted

Bachelor of Arts

Document Type

Senior Independent Study Thesis



© Copyright 2016 Sharon H. Minifie