Life Issues

Pew study: People see stronger conflict between rich and poor rather than between immigrants and native born

Pew study: People see stronger conflict between rich and poor rather than between immigrants and native born

LatinaLista — Maybe it's because of the Occupy Wall Street protests or because it's become one of the platforms in the 2012 election that more people are conscious of a national class conflict between the have's and the have-nots. Whatever the reason, according to a new Pew Social & Demographic Trends study, more than 60 percent of people see a conflict between the rich and the poor.

Among the three major groups — white, black and Latino — whites are the largest group to feel this way. But they didn't always. In 2009, only 43 percent of whites felt such a conflict existed; in 2011, it stood at 65 percent. Blacks too increasingly are sensing conflict going from 66 percent in 2009 to 74 percent in 2011, a difference of 8 points. Latinos seemed to be the least surprised at any such news with only a six percentage point spread between 2009 and 2011 (55-61).

Over 2,000 interviews were conducted in December 2011 where people shared their feelings about social divisions in the country. The perception that there is a strong conflict between rich and poor now overshadows the traditional conflict people perceived happening between immigrants and the native born.

About six-in-ten (62%) say there are strong conflicts between immigrants and the native born, including 24% who characterize these disagreements as “very strong.”

That represents a major change from the Pew Research Center survey conducted in 2009. At that time, a larger share of Americans believed that there were more strong conflicts between immigrants and the native born than between rich and poor people (55% vs. 47%). Today, even though perceptions of disagreements between immigrants and the native born have increased by 7 percentage points in the past two years, this social divide now ranks behind rich-poor conflicts in the public’s hierarchy of social flashpoints.

The study also showed that the perception of conflict between the rich and the poor also depends on income, age and political affiliation.

  • Moreover, the perceptions of class conflicts have grown in virtual lock step across all income groups since 2009, rising by 17 percentage points among those earning less than $20,000 and by 18 points among those making $75,000 or more.
  • More than seven-in-ten (71%) of young adults, ages 18-34, say there are major disagreements between the most and least affluent, a 17 percentage point increase since 2009.
  • Among those ages 35 to 49, more than six-in-ten (64%) see serious class conflicts.
  • Nearly three-quarters of self-described Democrats (73%) say there are serious class conflicts, an 18 percentage point increase over those who said that in 2009. The increase among Republicans was about as large (17 percentage points); currently a majority of GOP partisans see serious conflicts between rich and poor.
  • Views of class conflicts increased the most among political independents, swelling by 23 percentage points to 68% in the current survey.
  • Similarly, perceptions of class conflict among ideological liberals increased by 23 percentage points to 79% in the past two years while rising less quickly among conservatives (15 points) or moderates (18 points).
Click to add a comment

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply

Life Issues

More in Life Issues

160042-164442

Organizations band together to set the record straight on eating disorders

Latina ListaMay 19, 2015
mexico-violence1

Coming of age in Mexico Narco

Latina ListaApril 7, 2015
optimized-220px-hilda_solis_crop

Webinar series strives to show Latinas how to “step into their political power”

Latina ListaApril 1, 2015
baby_vaccination

Pediatrician helps Latino parents understand importance of vaccines

Latina ListaMarch 19, 2015
unidos.img1_

Latino immigrants most appreciative of their local public libraries

Latina ListaMarch 17, 2015
nyc-schools-receive-merits

New data shows Latino students’ work paying off on closing the achievement gap

Latina ListaMarch 16, 2015
pettus-bridge

Transcript: President Obama’s remarks at 50th anniversary of the Selma to Montgomery marches

Latina ListaMarch 9, 2015
FernandoSigns

North Texas activists protest killing of unarmed Mexican immigrant

Latina ListaMarch 4, 2015
Screen Shot 2015-03-02 at 2.13.44 PM

College advisor pens song advocating educational rights for DREAMers

Latina ListaMarch 2, 2015