Title

Immigrant or Expatriate? How skin color and country of origin affect social categorization

Document Type

Oral Presentation

Campus where you would like to present

Ellensburg

Event Website

https://digitalcommons.cwu.edu/source

Start Date

15-5-2019

End Date

15-5-2019

Abstract

Research in the fields of sociology and psychology provides definitions of the terms expatriates and immigrants and addresses the distinctions between the two in normative terms. Little research has been conducted on how migrants are categorized by participants in the public discourse in their host country. This pilot study examined how people categorize as expatriates or immigrants individuals in the USA based on their country of origin and skin color. 165 participants, recruited through the Sona system, were randomly assigned to see photos of either light-skinned or dark-skinned individuals in the conditions Mexico, Germany, or no country and asked to rate the likelihood of that individual being either an expatriate or an immigrant. Preliminary data of two factorial ANOVAs suggest that while country of origin did not influence the likelihood of an individual being categorized as either immigrant or expatriate, skin color did. The present findings may suggest that people with darker skin tones are more often categorized as immigrants than are people with light skin tones. When people with darker skin tones are wrongly categorized as immigrants, the consequences on the individual may be more or less serious. Tougher immigration enforcement and racial profiling are disrupting the daily routines of U.S. citizens and legal residents. American citizens of darker skin tone are regularly mistaken for potentially unauthorized immigrants; as a consequence, they are developing higher degrees of anxiety, stress, and depression due to fear of being arrested for illegal immigration.

Winner, Outstanding Oral Presentation, College of the Sciences.

Faculty Mentor(s)

Mary Radeke

Department/Program

Psychology

CHIRCO_Source.pptx (3963 kB)
Slides for SOURCE 2019 presentation Chirco

Additional Files

CHIRCO_Source.pptx (3963 kB)
Slides for SOURCE 2019 presentation Chirco

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May 15th, 12:00 AM May 15th, 12:00 AM

Immigrant or Expatriate? How skin color and country of origin affect social categorization

Ellensburg

Research in the fields of sociology and psychology provides definitions of the terms expatriates and immigrants and addresses the distinctions between the two in normative terms. Little research has been conducted on how migrants are categorized by participants in the public discourse in their host country. This pilot study examined how people categorize as expatriates or immigrants individuals in the USA based on their country of origin and skin color. 165 participants, recruited through the Sona system, were randomly assigned to see photos of either light-skinned or dark-skinned individuals in the conditions Mexico, Germany, or no country and asked to rate the likelihood of that individual being either an expatriate or an immigrant. Preliminary data of two factorial ANOVAs suggest that while country of origin did not influence the likelihood of an individual being categorized as either immigrant or expatriate, skin color did. The present findings may suggest that people with darker skin tones are more often categorized as immigrants than are people with light skin tones. When people with darker skin tones are wrongly categorized as immigrants, the consequences on the individual may be more or less serious. Tougher immigration enforcement and racial profiling are disrupting the daily routines of U.S. citizens and legal residents. American citizens of darker skin tone are regularly mistaken for potentially unauthorized immigrants; as a consequence, they are developing higher degrees of anxiety, stress, and depression due to fear of being arrested for illegal immigration.

Winner, Outstanding Oral Presentation, College of the Sciences.

https://digitalcommons.cwu.edu/source/2019/Oralpres/12