Student Scholar Symposium Abstracts and Posters

Document Type


Publication Date

Spring 5-5-2022

Faculty Advisor(s)

Dr. Ann Gordon


Understanding which characteristics impact Americans' position and fears towards immigrants will generate an understanding of what drives and unleashes fear-driven behavior on immigrant populations. One particular area of public perception towards immigrants that gets a high degree of political debate is immigrants' impact on the economy. This paper will evaluate the relationship between a person's social-economic status, age, and education level towards the perception that immigrants are negatively impacting and draining the American economy. The link between a fear of immigrants and the stated characteristics will be evaluated through the Chapman Survey of American Fears, a representative national survey of American adults. Based on my perception and analysis of the statistical correlation between those making over $100,000 a year, belonging to a high socioeconomic status means you are less fearful of immigrants' impact on the economy. This I predict is derived from the high percentage of immigrants belonging to a lower socioeconomic class, which means they do not compete for jobs with those in a higher economic bracket and have less impact on high-income earners' wealth through social welfare taxes. However, the data seems to present a farless significant relationship between income and perception of immigrants, suggesting the public feelings on immigrants' impact is less connected to socimic status . I also hypothesize the data will prove that younger people are far less critical and fearful of immigrants' direct impact on the American economy. The American Survey of Fears has presented this relationship to be statistically strong. This I predict is derived from younger generations' acceptance and general tolerance towards minority populations. Being able to link characteristics to a person's general fear of immigrants and their impact will help to decode the complex and significant feelings people have towards immigrants. The United States is largely characterized by historical waves of immigration that have occurred, thus understanding and decoding what drives people's sentiments towards immigrants matters in the United States.


Presented at the Spring 2022 Student Scholar Symposium at Chapman University.

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Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.