(redirected from nativistic)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical.


in anthropology, social movement that proclaims the return to power of the natives of a colonized area and the resurgence of native culture, along with the decline of the colonizers. The term has also been used to refer to a widespread attitude in a society of a rejection of alien persons or culture. Nativism occurs within almost all areas of nonindustrial culture known to anthropologists. One of the earliest careful studies of nativism was that of James Mooney (1896), who studied the Ghost Dance among Native Americans of the W United States. In 1943, Ralph Linton published a brief paper on nativistic movements that served to establish the phenomenon as a special topic in anthropological studies of culture change.


See A. Wallace, The Death and Rebirth of the Seneca (1972) and J. Higham, Strangers in the Land (1988).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia™ Copyright © 2013, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.


  1. (PSYCHOLOGY) the theoretical stance which emphasizes the importance of heredity, the biological underpinnings of human behaviour, rather than the effect of the environment.
  2. the negative orientation of any indigenous population to immigrants. See also NATURE–NURTURE DEBATE.
Collins Dictionary of Sociology, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2000
The following article is from Conspiracies and Secret Societies. It is a summary of a conspiracy theory, not a statement of fact.


Nativism is dedicated to the proposition that the United States was founded to serve only white Anglo-Saxon Protestants.

Nativism is a defensive, often violent, reaction to unrestricted immigration. In the United States, nativism is an intense form of nationalism that expresses itself in xenophobia (fear of foreigners), anti-Catholicism, and belief in white Anglo-Saxon Protestant supremacy.

In 1848, after a series of European revolutions had rocked the Old World, approximately three million immigrants arrived in the United States. Negative reaction to the influx was intensified among the postcolonial Protestant majority on the East Coast because many of the new arrivals happened to be from Roman Catholic countries.

Secret societies, such as the Order of the Star-Spangled Banner, organized by Charles B. Allen in 1849, had memberships of “Godfearing Protestants,” who were dedicated to ensuring that native-born, non-Catholic Americans would receive preferential treatment in all avenues of social and political society. Members of such secret groups became known as the “Know-Nothings” because none of them would admit knowing anything about the clandestine societies. The Nativists gained strength and some degree of respectability when they went public in 1854 and established the American Party. The new political group was strongly anti-Irish-Catholic and worked for legislation that would require twenty-one years of waiting time before anyone could become a U.S. citizen. The American Party lost its influence when former president Millard Fillmore, the party’s presidential candidate in the election of 1856, was soundly defeated.

Conspiracies and Secret Societies, Second Edition © 2013 Visible Ink Press®. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
We will also consider how alterations to the definitions might have necessitated the creation of synthetic cultures that provided fertile ideological soil for cultivating nativistic prejudices and for refining the rhetoric of national unity.
The behavioral view of language and language development is a natural science account, as opposed to a cognitive, mentalistic, and nativistic approach.
If the shift to "Canadian" ethnic identity does not appear to reflect a nativistic reaction, could it reflect a reaction by some groups to different dimensions of marginalization?
This nativistic suspicion of other cultures and separation, as manifested principally in language and religion, continued to be a political issue in the reconstruction and post-reconstruction era of the United States, but national unity was the dominant issue that captured the mind of the country after being wrecked by the Civil War.
The internment of mostly Ukrainian men in Brandon from 1914 to 1916 was not a reaction to physical threats, real or imagined, to the physical security of Canada during the Great War, nor was it the result of a nativistic hysteria drummed up among the general population as a result of wartime propaganda and a climate of fear.
Less known, however, in scholarly examinations of antebellum Philadelphia is the struggle of several black citizens to provide their own fire protection during one of the more violent and nativistic eras in the city's history.
Psychologists, philosophers, and others are often shocked to find that Chomsky's linguistic theories have virtually disappeared from linguistics (Harris, 1993; see also Schoneberger, 2000; although a general nativistic orientation remains popular; e.g., Pinker, 1994), while Skinner's functional analysis of verbal behavior and newer formulations with origins in that work (e.g., Hayes, Barnes-Holmes, & Roche, 2001), as well as related behavior-analytic research (e.g., Sidman, 1994) have continued to grow.
Such reversals have been the case in many nativistic revival movements (Pocius 1988, Blaustein 2005).
interest in corrupt politics and civic reform sprang from moralistic, evangelical, and even nativistic sources.
To Stedman, the purpose of literary criticism was to provide a system of analysis that could describe the historical products of this generic power, and also prescribe its uses for the future--a normative, which is to say a nationalistic or even nativistic intent, one far different from that most often aligned with the genteel tradition.
128) Watson's behaviorist views stood in stark contrast to those of Sir Francis Galton (1869), who, some 55 years earlier, had advocated for the genetic underpinnings of human abilities in his nativistic Hereditary Genius.
the dispute: I consider nativistic understandings of the Chinese self,