Graduation Year


Document Type

Campus Only Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Politics and International Relations

Reader 1

Vanessa Tyson

Reader 2

Adrian Pantoja

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The goal of this project is to examine the impact of ethnic enclaves on perceived social distance in the Iranian American population. Perceived social distance, or the degree to which one group disaligns themselves from another group based on their perceptions of that group, must be low for successful coalition building to occur. Because Iranian Americans are legally white, they are rarely identified as potential partners in political activism despite experiencing racial discrimination. Additionally, their population size and economic power make them an ideal ally in the American political sphere. This study uses an IRB-approved online survey to estimate coalition building potential in the Iranian American community by analyzing the relationship between ethnic enclaves and perceived social distance. The data collected in this survey reflects no relationship between estimated Persian population density and perceived social distance from other ethnic/racial groups in younger respondents, but age and community engagement levels correlate strongly with perceived social distance.

This thesis is restricted to the Claremont Colleges current faculty, students, and staff.