The Economic Impact of Undocumented Workers in a Culture of Competition:Separating Truth from Myth
Northwest-Shoals Community College Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society members (
Alpha Zeta Iota Chapter, Phil Campbell campus
) developed a research-based service learning project
based on Phi Theta Kappa’s Honors Study Topic,
"The Culture of Competition."
The theme of
the project was “Competition and Economics,” with a primary emphasis on the economic impact
of undocumented workers. The pres
entation provides examples of the elements of an “Honorsin Action” service learning project, including research, leadership roles, leadership development
actions, collaboration, service/advocacy, and impact/outcomes for the student participants andfor the community.The group collaborated with Phi Theta Kappa Regional Officers and members across the state,Northwest-Shoals Community College Library staff, and Phi Theta Kappa Headquarters staff toresearch the topic and develop their project. They also worked with the NWSCC speech andaudiovisual departments to prepare for and film interviews with students and communityleaders. In addition, the group distributed a survey to assess beliefs about myths surroundingthe issue of undocumented workers. The survey was followed up with a handout or link toprovide more accurate information on undocumented workers.Some of the research conclusions include:
Myths about undocumented workers may have led to prejudicial treatment andexclusionary attitudes toward this group of people, and labeling of those belonging toethnic groups associated with undocumented workers.
The economic impact may be understood to be a complex issue that is often over-simplified, with expressions of resentment and anger on both sides.
Economic impact can go beyond merely financial loss, and can include loss of humancapital as well
Xenophobia and scape-goating is often a feature of cultures experiencing a financialdownturn
In a culture of competition, especially competition for jobs, those perceived as lesspowerful (the "out-group") may become victims of prejudice, blame, and socialexclusion, and are somehow at fault for the "in-group's" economic woes
The group’s hope is to re
-focus and clarify the issues through exposing the myths aboutundocumented workers, with the goal of building a culture of inclusiveness in our community, reducing feelings of hostility on both sides of the issue, and advocating for tolerance.
, a graduate of Phil Campbell High School, is a sophomore majoring in Business atNorthwest-Shoals Community College. Magen serves as Vice President of Communications for the AlphaZeta Iota Chapter of Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society, and
is a mentor for APP’s Blueprints College
, a graduate of Russellville High School, is a sophomore majoring in Secondary Education(history) at Northwest-Shoals Community College. Paige serves as Vice President of Service for the Alpha Zeta Iota chapter of Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society, and is a mentor for APPS Blueprints College Access Initiative at Phil Campbell High School.email@example.com