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Behind the Headlines: APA News Blog

Academic Version: Applying my personal experiences and academic research as a professor of Sociology and Asian American Studies to provide a more complete understanding of political, economic, and cultural issues and current events related to American race relations, and Asia/Asian America in particular.

Plain English: Trying to put my Ph.D. to good use.

December 31, 2010

Written by C.N.

End-of-Year Stories and Lists About Asian Americans

The end of the year naturally brings stories, articles, and lists from media organizations and bloggers that summarize noteworthy news events, topics, and issues from the past year. On this blog, you may have read my posts about “Racial/Ethnic Relations in 2010: The Best & Worst” and “The Most Significant Racial/Ethnic Issue of the Decade.

Along the same lines, other writers and bloggers around the internet have also posted their own end-of-year stories, articles, and lists related to Asian Americans, so I list and summarize the ones that I have recently come across (thanks to 8Asians for taking the lead on mentioning these lists):

Asian Pop’s 2010 Year in Review

  • My colleague and pop culture expert Jeff Yang reviews the most newsworthy stories about Asian and Asian American popular culture from this past year.

Top 10 Asian Americans in Pop Culture

  • Columnist Keith Chow at Pop Culture Shock counts down the top 10 Asian Americans who made newsworthy achievements this past year in mainstream American pop culture.

The Most Underreported Stories of the Decade

  • The good folks at New America Media compile their list of stories about people and communities of color that were largely ignored by the mainstream American media.

20 Essential Works of Asian-American Literature

  • A blog that promotes graduate education opportunities compiles a list of the 20 most important literary works related to Asian Americans.

Asia Pacific Arts’ Best of 2010

  • The writers of the online magazine Asia Pacific Arts (published by the University of Southern California U.S.-China Institute) select their favorite Asian and Asian American performers, film, music, TV dramas, choreography, video games, behind-the-scenes artists, etc. of 2010 (thanks to for mentioning this).

Top 10 Asian American Bachelors of 2010

  • The folks at Asiance make their case for the 10 hottest Asian American bachelors of 2010.

Best Asian American Songs of 2010

  • Over at Hyphen magazine, Los Angeles-based soul/R&B musician Dawen recounts his favorite songs from each month of 2010.

Top 10 Amazing Asian American Achievers of 2010

  • Columnist Nina Huang at Northwest Asian Weekly recounts the stories of 10 Asian Americans who made remarkable achievements this past year.

10 Best Asian Films of the Year

  • Again at Northwest Asian Weekly, Andrew Hamlin summarizes his list of the 10 best Asian films/movies of 2010.

Top 10 Asian American Sports Figures of 2010

  • The crew at Northwest Asian Weekly have been quite busy apparently, turning out another top 10 list, this time of the most newsworthy Asian American athletes and sports personalities of 2010.

Top 10 Asian American Cities

  • The best cities for Asian Americans to live in, as compiled by the blog Amped Asia.

December 29, 2010

Written by C.N.

Chinese, Football, and ‘Wusses’ Comment: Offensive or Not?

Have you heard the hub-bub about the National Football League’s (NFL) decision to postpone the recent game between the Philadelphia Eagles and Minnesota Vikings due to the snowstorm that hit the east coast over the weekend? There’s a lot of debate about whether whether that was the right call — the NFL argues that they postponed the game due to concerns about fans safely getting to and leaving the stadium in the middle of a snowstorm.

On the other hand, others argue that football has a long history of being played in rough weather, with fans braving the elements in order to enjoy the experience involved in attending such games. For example, the Governor of Pennsylvania, Edward Rendell (a Democrat if it matters) said that the NFL’s decision shows that we’re becoming a nation of “wusses.” But as shown in the video clip from NBC News below, what got the attention of many Asian Americans was his comment comparing the U.S. to China:

We’re becoming a nation of wusses. The Chinese are kicking our butt in everything. If this was in China, do you think the Chinese would have called off the game? People would have been marching down to the stadium, they would have walked and they would have been doing calculus on the way down.”

I’m still trying to decide what to make of Rendell’s comments. In the meantime, let me ask you (you can answer in the online poll below): Are Rendell’s comments about the Chinese offensive to Asian Americans?

December 27, 2010

Written by C.N.

New Books: Examples of Racial-Ethnic Integration

As part of this blog’s mission of making academic research and data more easily accessible, understandable, and applicable to a wider audience and to practical, everyday social issues, I highlight new sociological books about Asian Americans and other racial/ethnic groups as I hear about them. A book’s inclusion is for informational purposes only and does not necessarily mean a full endorsement of its contents.

The start of a new year represents a renewal of hope for many people. In this case, one of my hopes is that, as a nation and society, we as Americans can continue to strive toward racial/ethnic justice and equality and to overcome the individual-, group-, and institutional challenges that get in the way of recognizing and internalizing the many benefits that a diverse and multicultural society provides us. To help in this process, these new books give us some examples of how we as Americans can become more united across racial, ethnic, and cultural divides.

A Mosaic of Believers: Diversity and Innovation in a Multiethnic Church, by Gerardo Marti (Indiana University Press)

'A Mosiac of Believers' by Gerardo Marti

Mosaic in southern California is one of the largest and most innovative multiethnic congregations in America. Gerardo Marti shows us how this unusual church has achieved multiethnicity, not by targeting specific groups, but by providing multiple havens of inclusion that play down ethnic differences. He reveals a congregation aiming to reconstruct evangelical theology, personal identity, member involvement, and church governance to create an institution with greater relevance to the social reality of a new generation.

Autobiography of a Recovering Skinhead: The Frank Meeink Story as Told to Jody M. Roy, Ph.D., by Frank Meeink and Jody M. Roy (Hawthorne Books)

'Autobiography of a Recovering Skinhead' by Meeink and Roy

Autobiography of a Recovering Skinhead is Frank Meeink’s raw telling of his descent into America’s Nazi underground and his ultimate triumph over drugs and hatred. Frank’s violent childhood in South Philadelphia primed him to hate, while addiction made him easy prey for a small group of skinhead gang recruiters. By 16 he had become one of the most notorious skinhead gang leaders on the East Coast and by 18 he was doing hard time.

Teamed up with African-American players in a prison football league, Frank learned to question his hatred, and after being paroled he defected from the white supremacy movement and began speaking on behalf of the Anti-Defamation League. A story of fighting the demons of hatred and addiction, Frank’s downfall and ultimate redemption has the power to open hearts and change lives.

Fire in the Heart: How White Activists Embrace Racial Justice, by Mark R. Warren (Oxford University Press)

'Fire in the Heart' by Mark R. Warren

Fire in the Heart uncovers the dynamic processes through which some white Americans become activists for racial justice. The book reports powerful accounts of the development of racial awareness drawn from in-depth interviews with fifty white activists in the fields of community organizing, education, and criminal justice reform.

Drawing extensively on the rich interview material, Mark Warren shows how white Americans can develop a commitment to racial justice, not just because it is the right thing to do, but because they embrace the cause as their own. Contrary to much contemporary thinking on racial issues focused on altruism or interests, Warren finds that cognitive and rational processes alone do little to move whites to action.

Rather, the motivation to take and sustain action for racial justice is profoundly moral and relational. Warren shows how white activists come to find common cause with people of color when their core values are engaged, as they build relationships with people of color that lead to caring, and when they develop a vision of a racially just future that they understand to benefit everyone — themselves, other whites, and people of color. Warren also considers the complex dynamics and dilemmas white people face in working in multiracial organizations committed to systemic change in America’s racial order, and provides a deeper understanding and appreciation of the role that white people can play in efforts to promote racial justice.

The first study of its kind, Fire in the Heart brings to light the perspectives of white people who are working day-to-day to build not a post-racial America but the foundations for a truly multiracial America rooted in a caring, human community with equity and justice at its core.

Transcending Racial Barriers: Toward a Mutual Obligations Approach, by Michael O. Emerson and George Yancey (Oxford University Press)

'Transcending Racial Barriers' by Emerson and Yancey

Despite recent progress against racial inequalities, American society continues to produce attitudes and outcomes that reinforce the racial divide. In Transcending Racial Barriers, Michael Emerson and George Yancey offer a fresh perspective on how to combat racial division. They document the historical move from white supremacy to institutional racism, then look at modern efforts to overcome the racialized nature of our society. The authors argue that both conservative and progressive approaches have failed, as they continually fall victim to forces of ethnocentrism and group interest.

They then explore group interest and possible ways to account for the perspectives of both majority and minority group members. They look to multiracial congregations, multiracial families, the military, and sports teams-all situations in which group interests have been overcome before. In each context they find the development of a core set of values that binds together different racial groups, along with the flexibility to express racially-based cultural uniqueness that does not conflict with this critical core.

Transcending Racial Barriers offers what is at once a balanced approach towards dealing with racial alienation and a bold step forward in the debate about the steps necessary to overcome present-day racism.

December 22, 2010

Written by C.N.

First Results from 2010 Census

Earlier this week, the Census Bureau released its first official data from the 2010 census. They also produced the interactive graphic below where you can get more detailed numbers by state (you can visit the Census’s site for a full-screen version), but the main findings are:

  • As of April 1, 2010, the U.S.’s population is officially 308,745,538 — an increase of 9.7% from the 2000 census.
  • This 9.7% increase is much smaller than the 13.2% increase from 1990-2000 and actually is the smallest increase since 1940.
  • Nonetheless, the U.S.’s population is still growing faster than other industrialized nations: in the past decade, the populations in France and England each increased about 5%, about 6% in China, and 10% in Canada. Japan’s population is largely unchanged and is actually declining in Germany.

As news organizations such as MSNBC report, the 2010 Census data shows that several states in the South and West are gaining population (and some new seats in the House of Representatives) while a few states in the Northeast and Midwest are losing population:

The most populous state was California (37,253,956); the least populous, Wyoming (563,626). The state that gained the most numerically since 2010 was Texas (up 4,293,741 to 25,145,561); the state that gained the most as a percentage was Nevada (up 35 percent to 2,700,551).

Politically, Texas will gain four House seats due to a burgeoning Hispanic population and a diversified economy that held up relatively well during the recession. Other winners are GOP-leaning Arizona (1), Florida (2) . . . Georgia (1), South Carolina (1), Utah (1) and Washington (1).

States that lose seats are: Illinois (1), Iowa (1), Louisiana (1), Massachusetts (1), Michigan (1), Missouri (1), New Jersey (1), New York (2), Ohio (2), Pennsylvania (1). The Ohio and New York losses typify many of the Democratic strongholds carried by Barack Obama in 2008 that saw declines in political influence. And, for the first time in its history, Democratic-leaning California did not gain a House seat after a census after losing many of its residents in the last decade to neighboring states.

It would seem that these latest Census numbers favor Republicans in the 2012 election. But as the New York Times points out, much of the population increase is due to the fast-growing Latino population:

[P]opulation gains in the South and West were driven overwhelmingly by minorities, particularly Hispanics, and the new districts, according to the rules of redistricting, will need to be drawn in places where they live, opening potential advantages for Democrats, who tend to be more popular among minorities. . . . [T]he most lasting political impact for Republicans and Democrats alike is the rise in the influence of Hispanic voters, particularly across Arizona, Nevada and Texas, which underscores the urgency facing both parties in finding new ways to appeal to Hispanics. In future presidential races, Democrats believe they can make inroads into Arizona and Texas, which are traditionally carried by Republicans, particularly if voters speak out against Arizona’s tough immigration law.

The way it’s shaping up, it looks like the Latino population will play a big role in determining who wins or loses many elections in the South and West. Given that, just last week, Republicans fought hard to defeat the DREAM Act and given their history of supporting (or at least being largely indifferent to) numerous anti-immigrant movements and legislation, it’s too early to say that Republicans will have an easy time in the 2010 elections.

Stay tuned . . .

December 20, 2010

Written by C.N.

The Most Significant Racial/Ethnic Issue of the Decade

Not only are we nearing the end of the year but also the end of the first decade of the new millennium. I recently posted about the best and worst news events of 2010. In this post, I would like to take an even broader look at news events and other political, economic, cultural, and demographic trends of the last 10 years to identify what I consider the most important and significant issue that has affected racial/ethnic relations in the U.S. so far in the 21st century.

There are certainly many potential issues, trends, and events from which to choose. An obvious one are the 9/11 Attacks and the resultant War on Terrorism. As I’ve detailed since that fateful day in 2001, lives of Americans from all racial/ethnic backgrounds were literally changed overnight, not the least of whom were and are Arab and Muslim Americans, who have to balance their dual identities of being both Americans while also frequently being seen as “enemies in our own backyards.”

Another clear choice would have been the election of Barack Obama as the U.S.’s first non-White President. His campaign and eventual victory were certainly very historical moments in the racial/ethnic landscape of American society. For good and for bad, they further brought many underlying racial issues to the surface of American society and resulted in both more cohesion and divisions across racial/ethnic lines.

Further, a third good choice could be the emergence of Unauthorized Immigration as a divisive, hot button issue within American society. As the need for cheap labor increased, so did the numbers of immigrants from all over the world but particularly from Mexico and Central America arriving in the U.S. to fill that need. In the process, their presence led to numerous and ongoing debates and conflicts over whether their presence is good and bad for the country.

But in the end, I believe that one racial/ethnic issue in particular is even more significant than the others. This issue has become a underlying political, economic, and cultural dynamic that has exacerbated, intensified, and reinforced the effects of the other three that I mentioned above. In many ways, this issue has become a fundamental factor upon which many contemporary forms of racial/ethnic inequality and controversy are now based. That issue — the most significant racial/ethnic issue of the decade — is Globalization.

Globalization: Its Forms & Effects

Of course, there are different definitions of globalization. For my purposes, I define it as the contemporary and ongoing institutional process involving increasingly frequent and complex political, economic, and cultural interconnections and competition between countries and groups of citizens around the world.

Globalization © Wojtek Kozak &

Globalization can also take many specific forms. As I detail below, those that have had significant effects on racial/ethnic relations in the U.S. this first decade of the 21st century include demographic change, outsourcing and postindustrial occupational shifts, increased economic competition in the global marketplace, and decreased economic stability on the institutional and individual levels.

In taking each form one at a time, the first significant effect of globalization on American society and racial/ethnic relations is demographic change. For some time now, due to the continuation of high levels of immigration from non-European countries and the relatively high birth rates of non-White racial/ethnic groups, the U.S.’s population is gradually shifting from overwhelmingly White to more racially diverse and multicultural. In fact, the Census Bureau projects that if current trends are sustained, Whites will cease to be the majority population somewhere around 2050. Whites will still be the largest racial/ethnic group by far but for the first time in several centuries, non-Whites will comprise more than 50% of the U.S.’s population.

These demographic changes have already transformed the racial/ethnic composition of numerous cities, metropolitan areas, and states around the country. Further, such shifts have inevitably led to political and cultural transformations as well in these locations as well, such as the creation of new ethnic enclaves and communities where the majority of the population are Asian American, as one example. As social disorganization theory describes, such demographic changes have inevitably led to some resentment and tension between more established residents (predominantly White) and “newcomer” groups (who are predominantly non-White).

Globalization has also resulted in accelerating postindustrial trends in the occupational structure of the U.S. While the U.S.’s economy has been gradually shifting from one dominated by manufacturing to one focused more on services, in the past two decades, globalization seems to institutionalized a segmented labor market in which almost all new jobs that are created are located either near the top of the occupational structure (involving knowledge management and information technology, requiring high levels of education and job skills, and resultant high pay) or near the bottom (manual labor service sector jobs that require little education or job skills and involving low pay and job security). New middle-level (for example, “blue collar” skilled manufacturing) jobs are much less common these days.

The New Normal: Economic Instability

What this means for racial/ethnic relations is that there is more economic competition for jobs that offer some opportunity for social mobility. In the past, White workers were able to count on these mid- and high-level jobs that would propel them and their families into the middle and upper classes through succeeding generations. But today, due to globalization (and other factors), Whites face more frequent and more intense competition for such jobs from immigrants and non-Whites.

This is important because one of the most consistent sociological patterns through the years has been that whenever you have economic competition, almost always it will eventually lead to racial/ethnic hostility. Taken together, this increased economic competition seems poised to become the norm in the near future due to the ongoing effects of globalization and related forces.

However, because many White Americans have grown accustomed (perhaps even feeling entitled) to economic security and a middle class standard of living, these fundamental institutional changes and feelings of economic insecurity are likely to be the biggest shock to them. Feeling destabilized themselves and perceiving that others (particularly immigrants, American non-Whites, and international non-Whites) to be benefiting at their expense, it is not surprising that many Whites would ultimately feel threatened, angry, and engage in some form of backlash or scapegoating.

Therefore, it is within this context that I feel that globalization is the most significant racial/ethnic issue of this past decade. The demographic shifts and economic instability brought on by globalization and felt by many Americans, but particularly White Americans, forms the foundation upon which much of the anti-immigrant and anti-minority tensions, hostility, and backlash of the past 10 years is based, along with magnifying its political, economic, and cultural effects.

The war on terrorism and much of the anti-Arab and anti-Muslim suspicions involve the conscious or unconscious fear of America’s majority White and Christian cultural dominance being threatened. In many ways, Barack Obama’s election as our first non-White President also symbolizes a loss of power for the majority White establishment. And much of the vehement opposition to unauthorized immigration again is based on the direct and indirect fear that non-Whites are “taking over” or “invading” the U.S., determined to “overthrow” its majority White culture.

So while there have been many notable and important news events in this past decade that have affected racial/ethnic relations, from a sociological point of view, one significant common thread among them all is that, to a large extent, they are based on the demographic, political, economic, and cultural effects of globalization and how such effects are perceived to be a threat to the institutional power and hegemony of the U.S. White majority population.

December 18, 2010

Written by C.N.

Blood Types & Personality in Japanese Culture

Many Asian cultures believe that there are several different factors that influence an individual’s personality. In Japanese culture, one set of influences involved a person’s blood type. The following infographic from describes traditional and contemporary beliefs of how your blood type may influence your personality and your overall life.

Japanese Bloodtyping

December 16, 2010

Written by C.N.

Posts from Years Past: December

In case you’re the nostalgic type, here are some posts in this blog from December of years past:

December 10, 2010

Written by C.N.

More Examples of Why Professors Go Crazy

Today is the last day of classes at my university so I am getting ready for another round of grading exams, final papers, and dealing with “special requests” from students. Some of these requests are reasonable, such as “Is it OK if I use slightly smaller line spacing so that my paper fits within the 10-page limit?” Others are less so, such as, “Can you give me full credit for this paper even though the deadline was three months ago and everybody else in the class already turned it in when they were supposed to?” (I’m paraphrasing of course).

With this in mind and following up on the earlier video of “The Real Life of a College Professor,” here is another animated video titled “One Professor’s Fantasy” (probably not the title I would choose) that shows how some students (or more specifically some of their “requests”) drive many of us crazy:

But wait, there’s more — some more examples of stuff students do that drives us crazy, courtesy of ForexMom:

For my fellow educators out there, what’s the most memorable “special request” that you’ve received from a student?

December 8, 2010

Written by C.N.

Links, Jobs & Announcements #35

Here are some more announcements, links, and job postings about academic-related jobs, fellowships, and other related opportunities for those interested in racial/ethnic/diversity issues. As always, the announcements and links are provided for informational purposes and do not necessarily imply an endorsement of the organization or college involved.

Job Announcement: Asian American Studies, UMass Boston

The Asian American Studies Program at the University of Massachusetts Boston invites applications for a tenure-track Assistant Professor position beginning Fall 2011. Responsibilities include teaching and mentoring students within the undergraduate Asian American Studies program and within the newly developing interdisciplinary Transnational, Cultural and Community Studies (TCCS) doctoral program.

Specific areas of focus are open but applicants should be able to teach core courses within Asian American Studies as well as courses in the TCCS graduate program. In addition, applicants’ engaged scholarship, teaching focus, and prospects for or record of grant development should reflect a local/global approach with attention to transnational and diasporic issues, and with strong possibilities to create connections with local Metro Boston Asian American communities.

Requirements include an earned doctorate by the time of appointment with research focus on Asian American issues, prior teaching experience at the undergraduate level, and familiarity with the pedagogical approach and goals of Asian American Studies. Although all competitive applications will be considered, preference will be given to candidates with interests, experiences, and linguistic/cultural competencies relative to Southeast Asian American populations and issues or intersections with Asian Americans and Arab American and Muslim American populations and issues. Preference will also be given to applicants with successful records of teaching with diverse urban populations.

Please apply online with a C.V. and statement of research and teaching interests along with (p)reprints of publications, and three letters of recommendation. Questions should be directed to Karen L. Suyemoto, AsAmSt Search Committee, Review of applications will begin on December 1, 2010 and continue until the position is filled. We expect to schedule interviews in February, 2011. Please send confidential letters of reference to Cheryl Harris, Please include a subject heading of “AsAmSt letter for ___”

Conference: LGBT Youth, Families, Allies, & Counselors

True Colors is a non-profit organization that works with other social service agencies, schools, organizations, and within communities to ensure that the needs of sexual and gender minority youth are both recognized and competently met. We are having our 18th annual conference on the University of Connecticut’s Storrs campus on March 11 and 12.

The conference is for LGBT youth, families, allies, school guidance counselors, therapists, and employees of state agencies that work with LGBT youth. Last year the total attendance for both days was over 2500 people and in addition, there were about 140 presenters who gave over 300 workshops. If you or someone from your organization would like to give a workshop you can find the form to submit workshops here (the deadline to submit a workshop proposal is Dec. 10). The deadline for attendee registration is Feb. 14.

Blakemore Foundation Language Grant

The Blakemore Foundation was established in 1990 by Thomas and Frances Blakemore to encourage the advanced study of Asian languages and to improve the understanding of Asian fine arts in the United States. Blakemore Freeman Fellowships are awarded for one year of advanced level language study in East or Southeast Asia in approved language programs. Deadline: December 30, 2010.

Dissertation Scholarships for Korean American Studies

The Research Center for Korean Community at Queens College of CUNY encourages submissions for The Global Society of Korea and America Dissertation Scholarships, its annual dissertation scholarship program created to promote doctoral students’ academic research on Korean Americans.

In 2011, The Center plans to award three scholarships of $3,000 each. Additionally, scholarship recipients will also be asked to attend the Center’s annual research conference to accept their awards and give presentations of their findings. The Center will cover all conference-related expenses.†The applicant must be a currently enrolled student in the dissertation stage of an accredited doctoral program in the social sciences at a United States university. Deadline: December 31, 2010.

Five College Fellowship Program for Minority Scholars

Five College Fellowships offer year-long residencies for doctoral students completing dissertations. The program supports scholars from under-represented groups and/or scholars with unique interests and histories whose engagement in the Academy will enrich scholarship and teaching. Normally, four fellowships are awarded each year. The fellowship includes a stipend of $30,000, a research grant, health benefits, office space, housing or housing assistance, and library privileges at all five campuses belonging to the consortium. Deadline: January 3, 2011.

Job Announcement: Asian American Studies, UC Santa Barbara

The Department of Asian American Studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara, invites applications for Assistant or Associate Professor in the social sciences to begin in Fall 2011. Area of specialization is open, but applicants with Ph.D. degrees in sociology, anthropology, political science, economics, urban studies, ethnic studies, or related social sciences are preferred. Expertise on Filipino Americans, South Asian Americans, or Southeast Asian Americans is especially welcome. The University is particularly interested in candidates who can contribute to the diversity and excellence of the academic community through research, teaching, and service.

Review of applications will begin on January 12, 2011, and continue until the position is filled. Applications should include a cover letter, curriculum vitae, a publication or writing sample, two Asian American Studies course syllabi, teaching evaluations, and three letters of references. Send materials to: Diane Fujino, Chair, Search Committee, Department of Asian American Studies, University of California, Santa Barbara, CA 93106-4090.

December 6, 2010

Written by C.N.

Racial/Ethnic Relations in 2010: The Best & Worst

As we near the end of 2010, it’s fitting to review the major events, developments, and trends in U.S. racial/ethnic relations during the past year. Therefore, below is my look back at some of the positive highlights as well as the setbacks in terms of achieving racial/ethnic equality and justice, with a particular focus on Asian Americans (my area of expertise). This list is not meant to be an exhaustive review of all racial/ethnic news in 2010, but rather the ones that I covered in this blog and ones that I believe have the most sociological significance.

The Best

The Worst

December 3, 2010

Written by C.N.

Links, Jobs, & Announcements #34

Here are some more announcements, links, and job postings about academic-related jobs, fellowships, and other related opportunities for those interested in racial/ethnic/diversity issues. As always, the announcements and links are provided for informational purposes and do not necessarily imply an endorsement of the organization or college involved.

Job Announcement: Program Coordinator, Asian American Studies, Univ. of Maryland

The Asian American Studies Program at the University of Maryland (AAST) is seeking to hire a Program Coordinator. The Program Coordinator will be the principal person in charge of day-to-day operations of the Program Office and the Asian American Studies minor. He or she will assist the Director of Asian American Studies, as well as faculty, other staff, students, and visitors when appropriate.

The AAST Program Coordinator will be primarily responsible for administrative support and office management. He or she will assist the Program Director on administrative, planning, programming, curricular, and fundraising activities. Duties include maintaining the Director’s calendar and appointments; setting up faculty and staff meetings; working with the Director in planning and organizing annual events; assisting the Director in grant and fund development and management; providing support for AAST curriculum proposals and academic program development; receiving and screening telephone calls and e-mail correspondences; assisting with the distribution of information within the program; making travel arrangements; ordering office supplies; distributing mail; and overseeing and maintaining the physical office environment. In addition, the Coordinator will assist faculty and supervise both Graduate Assistants and Federal Work Study Student Employees.

Minimum Qualifications:
A Bachelor’s degree is required. Preference will be given to candidates with a graduate degree. Applicants must have 3 years of supervisory and team-building experience, preferably in higher education. Position will entail extensive student, faculty, and staff interaction and requires excellent organization, planning, interpersonal, written, and verbal skills. Knowledge of and/or experience working in higher education and/or with University of Maryland administrative systems are helpful but not required. Experience working with a diverse audience that includes Asian Americans is a must.

Preference is given to candidates with a graduate or professional degree.

Salary & Application Directions:
Starting salary ranges from $45,000 to $55,000 commensurate with experience. To apply, please attach resume, cover letter and contact information for 3 professional references through (Posting Number: 0001061). For best consideration please apply by December 6, 2010. Position will remain open until filled.

Participants Needed: Study on Bicultural Chinese Americans

My name is Karen Lau, and I am a doctoral student at the California School of Professional Psychology at Alliant International University in San Francisco California. I am in the process of recruiting participants in the San Francisco bay area for my Ph.D. dissertation research study looking at problem solving skills, acculturation, and bicultural stress among Chinese American adults.

My study examines the bicultural experience in 1.5 and 2nd generation Chinese American adults. I am planning on having volunteers complete a set of questionnaires (roughly 20 minutes) about their bicultural identity and experience of bicultural stress as well as a couple problem solving tasks (roughly 20 minutes). The total time of participation is about 45 minutes to 1 hour. As a token of my appreciation, I would reimburse each participant with a $10.00 gift care for their time.

Participants in the San Francisco bay area should e-mail me at

Thank you!

Karen Lau, M.A.
Ph.D. Doctoral Candidate
California School of Professional Psychology

Job Announcement: Sociology, Cal Poly Pomona

The Psychology and Sociology Department at California State Polytechnic University, Pomona (Cal Poly Pomona) invites applications for a tenure-track position at the rank of Assistant Professor in Sociology to begin Fall 2011. The successful candidate will have a specialization and/or ability to teach Quantitative Research Methods and teach or specialize in at least one of the following areas: Urban Sociology, Immigration/Migration, and/or Public Policy.

The Position:
The position requires excellence in undergraduate teaching and advising, professional and scholarly work, and service to the department, university, and community. The successful applicant will also demonstrate sensitivity to issues of diversity, including race, ethnicity, gender, class, age, and sexuality. The candidate is also expected to accept committee assignments and to advise students. Applicants whose work incorporates a global perspective and a commitment to diversity in higher education are particularly encouraged to apply. Finalists will be required to appear on campus for two days of interviews that will include a research presentation to faculty and students. The presentation should both introduce the candidate’s research and demonstrate the candidate’s teaching abilities.

Minimum Qualifications:

  • ABD status in Sociology (or related field) from an accredited Ph.D. program (PhD from an accredited university must be received and verified by July 1, 2012)
  • Evidence of teaching ability; please send evaluations if available
  • Evidence of ability to work with and mentor a diverse student population
  • Evidence of scholarly potential (conference presentations, publications, grant development)

Preferred/Desired Qualifications:

  • Ph.D. in Sociology with demonstrated abilities in teaching quantitative research methods and urban sociology, immigration/migration, and/or public policy
  • At least one year of college teaching experience
  • Knowledge of GIS implementation

Application Procedure: A completed application will consist of:

  • a cover letter that describes the candidate’s teaching and research experience and interests and that addresses the duties and qualifications articulated in the position description; this must include a statement of their teaching philosophy within a multicultural environment with examples of past experiences
  • a curriculum vitae comprised of at least those elements specified on the application form and including the names, titles, addresses, email addresses, and telephone numbers of at least five individuals who can speak to the candidate’s potential for success in this position
  • three recent (dated within the past two years) letters of reference
  • a completed application form
  • a transcript showing highest degree earned (from an accredited educational institution)
  • a sample of professional writing; and
  • sample syllabi and teaching evaluations of courses taught (if available)

Note: If a candidate has ABD status, Registrar’s verification is required if status is not indicated on official transcripts; Ph.D. must be received and verified by July 1, 2012. The position is open until filled, but first consideration will be given to completed applications postmarked by December 20, 2010. Early response is encouraged. Please address all nominations, inquiries, requests for application forms, and application forms to:

Sociology Search Committee
California State Polytechnic University, Pomona
Psychology & Sociology Department
3801 West Temple Avenue
Pomona, CA 91768
(909) 869-3890

Or for additional information, contact:
Dr. Mary Yu Danico, Search Chair
(909) 869-3895

job Announcement: Ethnic Studies, Virginia Tech

The Department of Sociology at Virginia Tech invites applications for a full-time, nine-month, tenure-track position at the level of Assistant Professor in the area of sociology of diversity and assessment, beginning
fall 2011. This position will include teaching and assessing the core course in a newly developing, interdisciplinary, diversity concentration for undergraduates. This core course will be housed in the department of sociology.

The successful candidate must have a strong record of teaching excellence and show evidence of strong research potential in the area of diversity and assessment. A Ph.D. in sociology is required and must be in hand by the time of appointment. In addition to interest in the sociology of diversity, we are seeking a candidate with interest in one or more of the following areas: Africana Studies, American Indian Studies, Women’s and Gender Studies, Aging, Hispanic Studies, social identity, and social inequality.

Please complete an on-line application, including a curriculum vitae, statement of research and teaching interests (use candidate statement field), samples of written work (use other doc field), names and email addresses of three references, teaching evaluations (if available) at Send any additional materials that cannot be submitted on-line to Professor Ted Fuller, Diversity Search Chair, C/O Brenda Husser, Department of Sociology, Virginia Tech, 560 McBryde Hall (0137), Blacksburg VA 24061. Review of applications will begin January 3, 2011, and will continue until the position is filled.

Seeking Donations: Radio Show on Nail Salons

When Lam Le first came to this country from Vietnam, working in a nail salon seemed like her only option. Being a manicurist could make her a decent living, she thought, as an older worker with limited English skills. After working for 12 years in the industry, Le found herself with breast cancer, a thyroid condition, skin rashes and asthma.

She ended her career just as she went into it: not by choice, but by necessity. Now Le is speaking at Congressional hearings, attending Patient Leadership Councils at Asian Health Services in Oakland, and is part of a growing movement to protect workers in the nail salon industry.

Making Contact would like to produce a half-hour radio documentary about the experiences of nail salon workers like Lam Le. We plan to look into the health impacts of the chemicals put in nail salon products, and government regulation and protection of this predominantly immigrant worker population.

Once we get funding, we’ll learn why experts, advocates and public officials are not waiting for studies that prove increased health risk to nail salon workers. And, we’ll explore a trend towards greener nail salons, and how workers are making a foray into the environmental justice movement. By broadcasting these stories of organizing and victories in communities across the country, Making Contact programs inspire others to take action on similar issues, whether workplace safety or environmental justice.

If you would like to make a donation to support this project, please visit the website.

December 1, 2010

Written by C.N.

World AIDS Day 2010

Every December 1, 2010, the world marks the 23rd commemoration of World AIDS Day. HIV/AIDS is a disease that affects millions of people around the world, from all races, ethnicities, nationalities, social classes, genders, and sexualities. As it relates to Asian Americans, the Asian Pacific Islander Wellness Center points out the following important reminders, along with a short video:

In late September, US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released a new study estimating that 1 in 5 gay and bisexual men is currently HIV positive, and nearly half don’t know it (in 21 major cities). For A&PIs of all sexual orientations, including heterosexuals, 1 in 3 living with HIV don’t know it. Even worse, two-thirds of all Asians and over half of all Pacific Islanders have never been tested for HIV. Here are more key facts about HIV and A&PIs:

  • Between 2001 and 2004, Asian and Pacific Islander men had the largest percentage increase in new HIV infections, more than any other racial and ethnic group
  • Between 2001 and 2006, the number of new HIV infections among young gay and bisexual Asian and Pacific Islander men more than doubled

David Stupplebeen at the API Wellness Center writes more about how HIV/AIDS affects the Asian & Pacific Islander (A&PI) American community:

Which racial/ethnic group also has the highest increase in annual rate of new HIV infections?1 That’s right — Asians and Pacific Islanders. If this surprises you, you’re not alone. We don’t often hear the words “HIV” and “Asians and Pacific Islanders” spoken in the same breath. Maybe that’s one reason two — thirds of A&PIs have never been tested for HIV — the lack of information certainly makes it easy to assume A&PIs are unaffected by the disease. If you are A&PI, you are far less likely to get tested for HIV than your African — American or Latino peers. . . .

A&PIs aren’t prioritized as a population for HIV prevention because the number of A&PIs living with HIV/AIDS is considered “too low.” But if 1 in 3 A&PIs living with HIV don’t know it, and two — thirds have never been tested, is it any wonder rates appear “too low?” If you don’t know you’re at risk, why bother to get tested? Clearly, there are issues with under — reporting and under — testing; using the lack of data as a reason to deny resources to a community in need is circular logic. . . .

When A&PIs do get tested, it is often very late: A&PIs are the most likely to develop an AIDS diagnosis within 12 months of testing positive for HIV. A diagnosis of HIV/AIDS is highly stigmatized, often leading to rejection by family, friends and the greater A&PI community. This stigma can be so brutal that many A&PIs living with HIV/AIDS abandon their families and friends and move to a different city or state to seek treatment. . . .

Tragedies like this highlight the importance of this year’s World AIDS Day theme: “Universal Access and Human Rights.” We need to do more to make sure that A&PIs have ways to access information and testing and increase awareness in the community so people living with HIV/AIDS can exercise their right to access care when and where they want. We cannot wait until HIV infections among A&PIs are too pervasive to ignore.