Identification with the American South and Anti-Muslim Attitudes

Justin D. Hackett, David Rast, Zachary Hohman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The number of anti-Muslim hate groups in the U.S. nearly tripled between 2015 and 2016. In addition, the number of hate crimes committed against members of the religion jumped 67% in 2015 alone. Addressing the rise in anti-Muslim prejudice is critical. We examined (N = 406) the role of regional identification in predicting anti-Muslim attitudes. That is, identification with the American South, a more conservative and religious part of the country with a history of slavery and violent secession movements, predicted anti-Muslim attitudes. This relationship was mediated by conservation values. For Southerners who strongly identified with “the South”, the endorsement of values related to a general resistance to change led to greater anti-Muslim attitudes. Anti-Muslim bias may lie in perceptions of threat: for strongly identified Southerners, the Muslim faith is viewed as a societal threat.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)150-163
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Social Psychology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 3 2020


  • American South
  • Regional identity
  • Social identity
  • prejudice


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