August 1, 2006
Written by C.N.
A press release by New American Dimensions and InterTrend Communications, in preparation for the “Imprint: Urban Youth Unabridged” conference that was held on July 26, 2006 at the Japanese American National Museum, reports that according to their survey, young Asian Americans are likely to see themselves as trendsetters in several areas of American culture:
Asian American young people are likely to see themselves as trendsetters in three distinct cultural categories — technology and gadgetry, anime and manga, and video-gaming.
Based on a fifteen-minute survey conducted with 538 Asian American teens and “echo-boomers” — between the ages of 14 to 28 years — the study demonstrates that today’s Asian American youth demographic inhabits a wide variety of cultural worlds and is engaged in a broad spectrum of media, entertainment, and cultural activities.
The research was conducted online across the country and through in-person survey intercepts administered in Los Angeles, San Francisco, and New York.
I’ve written before about various aspects of Asian and Asian American popular culture that have become integrated into mainstream American culture. Therefore, I would not dispute such findings if they were indeed valid and reliable. However, the problem here seems to be that the survey only asked the Asian American youth themselves what they think their impact is, rather than objectively trying to measure it through some third-person methodology.
In other words, you can ask me if I think I’m affecting the lives of millions of Americans through this site and my academic research and I might say of course I am, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s actually true — you would need to ask others in the target population whether my work has affected them. The same is true here — asking young Asian Americans about what they think their impact is on American society only goes so far.
As a sociologist, and for others to be comfortable in accepting this notion of the impact of Asian American youth as valid and reliable, surveys like this need to be a little more scientifically rigorous for me (and most likely others) to accept its findings and conclusions as valid.
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Suggested reference: Le, C.N. . "Asian American Youth’s Effect on Culture" Asian-Nation: The Landscape of Asian America. <http://www.asian-nation.org/headlines/2006/08/asian-american-youths-effect-on-culture/> ().
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