This Is AuburnElectronic Theses and Dissertations

What prevents a person from becoming an immigration activist?: Understanding the impact fear of isolation and the level of privacy has on individuals




Son, Rachel

Type of Degree

Master's Thesis


Communication and Journalism


The current study aims at gaining a deeper understanding of the impact of spiral of silence on social media regarding a specific immigration issue; refugees or asylum-seekers in the United States. There is a focus on how partisanship, issue importance, privacy, and fear of isolation can predict people’s willingness to express an opinion (WTEO) or their willingness to self-censor (WTSC). A hierarchical multiple regression (controlling for demographics) finds that partisanship does not have a significant influence on people’s WTEO or WTSC, however, there are relationships between WTEO or WTSC and the other predictor variables. The study supports the findings of previous research, which suggests the framework spiral of silence theory is applicable to social media.