Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository


Master of Science




Victoria Esses


Although perceptions of intersectional group identities (e.g., race and gender) have gained focus in recent years, an oft-ignored group in this line of work are immigrants. Across three studies, attitudes and stereotypes of different groups as a function of race and immigrant status, and how experiences of racism affect people’s attitudes towards immigrants, were examined. Study 1 found attitudes and stereotypes clustered around target race, not immigration status (n = 498) though people’s attitudes were most favourable for Canadians with no attached race label. Study 2 found that experiences of racism affected attitudes towards immigrants expressed by a representative sample of Asian Americans (n = 3,511). These effects were not replicated in a study of Canadian undergraduates in which the salience of experiencing personal race-based discrimination was manipulated (n = 108). Together, these findings highlight the importance of examining immigrant attitudes from the majority and minority perspective.