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Journal of Latino/Latin American Studies





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This paper presents the results from a focus group and an experiment conducted with Mexican immigrant farm workers as participants. The idea is to investigate free trade attitudes among a group little studied in the debate over immigration and its role in globalization. We can readily illustrate, as we do via our focus group participants, that many of these migrants understand their political situation. Our focus then turns to the political psychology of these workers: how does this understanding manifest itself in their political attitudes? The experiment exposes them to a standard set of arguments for and against economic globalization drawn from actual newspaper accounts. We find that this experimental design did prime the issue of economic globalization among those with a sense of self interest in the issue, implying that they held attitudes that the treatment brought to the "tops of their heads," as it were. This implication is further supported by the finding that a political value (in this case, valuing an active government) mediates the relationship between globalization messages and support for free trade, indicating that there is at least some structuring to their political opinions in this area.