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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.

August 11, 2014

Written by C.N.

Links, Jobs, & Announcements #78

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

Adjunct Positions: Asian American Studies, CUNY Hunter

© Corbis

The Asian American Studies Program at Hunter College is currently seeking adjunct faculty for the fall 2014 semester, to teach the three courses listed below. We need to fill these courses ASAP, since the semester begins August 28. Please note that these courses are fully enrolled and scheduled, so days/times cannot be changed.

Candidates must have a graduate degree in a relevant field (M.A., M.F.A., PhD/ABD) and a stellar record of teaching at the undergraduate level. We are looking for faculty who are committed to public education and the critical teaching of Asian American Studies to a socioeconomically and racially diverse urban student population. The Asian American Studies Program at Hunter College offers a 12-credit minor and is a small but dynamic program, with extraordinarily dedicated faculty. For more information about the program, please visit our website at www.hunter.cuny.edu/aasp

Please submit CV, cover letter, and teaching statement via email to:

Jennifer Hayashida, Director
Asian American Studies Program
jennifer.hayashida@hunter.cuny.edu

ASIAN 210.00
Asians in the US
M/TH 11:10 – 12:25

There are today nearly 1.2 million Asian American New Yorkers, making up approximately 14% of the city’s population. Asians in the U.S. provides a critical introduction to Asian American history and contemporary experience, frequently omitted or marginalized in mainstream narratives about the origins and ongoing formation of the U.S. With a focus on intersectional analysis and attention to constructions of race, class, gender, and sexuality, students in this course engage in active reading and discussion to become closely familiar with historic and contemporary issues in Asian American communities; the social construction of race in the U.S.; and Asian American political, economic, and cultural contributions to the larger fabric of U.S. culture. Key topics include, but are not limited to: Orientalism; the 1882 Chinese Exclusion Act; Japanese American Internment; pan-Asian and cross-racial political activism; post-9/11 detention and deportation; Asian American cultural production; postcolonial theory; critical race studies; media representations; U.S. wars in Asia; and transnational adoption.
ASIAN 340.01
Asian Pacific American Media
M/TH 1:10 – 2:25

This course will explore and critically analyze representations of Asian Pacific Islander Americans (APIAs) in the media, including stereotypical images of APIA identity, culture, behavior, sexuality and history, as well as media that contests or subverts these dominant narratives. This course will examine how political, social, and cultural forces have affected Asian American participation in the media and how these forces have shaped APIA media representations. Through class readings and analyzing films and other media, we will utilize frameworks on immigration, nationalism and citizenship, race, ethnicity, gender, capitalism, class, sexuality and transnationalism, all within the social construction of race in the United States both historically and currently.

ASIAN 390.18
Asian American Poetics
Wed 10:10 – 1:00

This course will provide a broad survey of contemporary poetry by Asian Pacific Islander Americans (APIAs). This course will examine how assumptions and dominant narratives about APIA identity, culture, behavior, sexuality and history—and our own values and belief systems about what poetry is—affect both the reading and availability of APIA poetry. We will also read critical essays and other texts to contextualize readings of poetry and class discussion. This course strives to equip students with a framework to both read and relate to poetry as an artistic discipline as well as a framework with which to use poetry as a means to connect individual and collective expression within a broader social, political, migratory, historical, colonial and/or neoliberal context. Works explored will include both Asian American canonical poetry, experimental and other schools of poetry, and poetry that contests or subverts the dominant narratives. Students will also be given the opportunity to participate directly in the creative process by writing their own poetry and other creative work.

Call for Papers: Race and Contention in 21st Century U.S. Media Book Proposal

In the 21st century, colorblind ideology permeates all structures and institutions of society, including the institution of media. While representations of minorities continue to reflect contentious stereotypes and ideologies, these characters reflect the racial
order in which they were produced. To date, much has been written on the topic of minority representation in the media. However, there have been fewer critical works on the ways in which increased minority characters are created within contemporary media structures, and the ways in which these representations reflect a normative racial ideology.

In Race and Contention in 21st Century U.S. Media, we strive to address the ways in which minority characters have broken the historical limitations of representation in 21st century mainstream/popular media. Through the works presented in this anthology, we will acknowledge the power of dominant values and ideologies in non-normative racial/gender representations, and the types of characterizations these representations reproduce. We contend that these representations have direct consequences on contemporary racial ideologies and hierarchies.

We seek both theoretical and empirical submissions that address minority representations in a variety of post-2000 media – including film, television, music, news media, and online/new media. Please submit your completed chapter (5000-7000 words), OR a chapter proposal (500-750 words, including your research question, key literature, and conclusions) to the editors by August 30, 2014. Authors will be notified by October 2014 if their proposals have been accepted for the book prospectus. For more information and to submit proposals, contact Jason Smith (jsm5@gmu.edu) and Bhoomi K. Thakore (bhoomi.thakore@northwestern.edu).

Position: Qualitative Methods/Citizenship, Syracuse

Application deadline: September 15

The Department of Sociology in the Maxwell School of Citizenship & Public Affairs at Syracuse University invites applications for a tenure-track Assistant Professor position to begin Fall 2015. We seek a scholar with a strong background and interest in qualitative methods, and a research focus on the social problems of citizenship, including political, cultural, and legal structures of community. The department seeks candidates with teaching interests in political sociology, social movements, or ethnographic/ qualitative methods. Preference will be given to candidates who contribute to Maxwell School-wide priorities.

Candidates must have a Ph.D. in Sociology or a related discipline by the time of appointment and must show success in or a strong promise of scholarly achievement and productivity, as well as a commitment to graduate and undergraduate teaching. Faculty members have the opportunity to affiliate with one of the Maxwell School’s research institutes or a number of other interdisciplinary centers and We will begin reviewing applications on September 15 and continue until the position is For consideration, interested candidates must apply online at www.sujobopps.com

Candidates must attach a letter of interest, vita, and one publication or writing sample. Three letters of recommendation are required. Other materials may be requested if needed.

Position: Executive Director, Massachusetts Asian American Commission

The Asian American Commission represents the interests of Asian Americans throughout the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and is dedicated to advocacy on behalf of Asian Americans throughout Massachusetts. The Commission’s goal is to recognize and highlight the vital contributions of Asian Americans to the social, cultural, economic, and political life of the Commonwealth; to identify and address the needs and challenges facing residents of Asian ancestry; and topromote the well-being of this dynamic and diverse community, thereby advancing the interests of all persons who call Massachusetts home.

The 21 Commissioners of the Asian American Commission, appointed by the constitutional state officers, makeup this governing body. The ED is a commissioner-appointed position. The ED reports to the Commissioners and is responsiblefor the Commission’s financial stability and achievement of its mission. Some of the ED’s activities include, but are not limited to:

Organizational responsibilities:

  • Develop and execute current and long-term organizational goals and objectives as well as policies and procedures
  • Cultivate open and active communications between the Commission and state offices
  • Promote state officer support of Commission initiatives, activities, and events
  • Encourage an active Commission where all members will participate fully
  • Ensure the Commissioners’ terms are kept current and lead the recruitment process of new Commissioners
  • Convene regular meetings and prepare agenda items
  • Review and update internal policies to maintain compliance with state laws
  • Work closely with the Executive Officers of the Commission
  • Manage and oversee fundraising efforts
  • Other administrative duties as necessary

Financial Responsibilities:

  • Manage fundraising goals and activities, including the annual Unity Dinner
  • Develop and maintain sound financial practices
  • Explore alternative funding and grants from government and nonprofit sources

Community Responsibilities:

  • Provide quality programming that promotes the Commission’s identity
  • Establish working relationships with community organizations
  • Respond to and manage incoming and outgoing communications and be an effective voice for the Commission

Applicants must have a college degree. A successful candidate should be articulate, energetic, and enthusiastic about being an active participant in the Massachusetts Asian American community. Strong project leadership and interpersonal skills are essential. 3-5 years of experience, or the equivalent, in the management of a community non-profit and/or for-profit organization, government agency, or business, is preferred. A graduate degree in business management or government is a plus. Good working knowledge of Boston-based, regional, and state Asian American community organizations is optimal.

Salary is $40K with benefits. Time commitment is 0.75 Full Time Equivalent. Send your resume (3-page limit) and cover letter (1-page limit) to job@aacommission.org with subject “Job Opportunity.”

Position: Sociology, U.C. Riverside

University of California, Riverside. The Department of Sociology invites applications for an Assistant Professor position in medical sociology and/or population health beginning July 1, 2015. We seek a scholar with an emphasis in disparities of health and/or health care linked to gender, race, class, ethnicity and/or immigrant status, as well as candidates who can add to existing strengths within the Department of Sociology, while also offering the potential for collaboration with UCR’s new School of Medicine. Competitive candidates will demonstrate a strong record of publication, a commitment to extramural funding, and teaching excellence.

UC Riverside ranks among the top 5 PhD granting institutions nation-wide in racial and ethnic diversity. Thus, competitive candidates will possess a strong commitment to pedagogical excellence in a diverse context at both the graduate and undergraduate levels. Successful candidates will be qualified to teach quantitative or qualitative methods at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. Supervision of graduate students, curricular development and performance of Departmental and University service are also expected.

A PhD in Sociology is preferred prior to the appointment start date. Applications received by October 1, 2014, will receive full consideration. The position will remain open until filled. To apply, submit a letter of application, research and teaching statement, three letters of recommendations, and up to three writing samples to https://aprecruit.ucr.edu/apply/JPF00163. Address inquiries to the search committee chair, Matthew C. Mahutga, Department of Sociology, University of California, Riverside. matthew.mahutga@ucr.edu.

Conference: Southeast Asian American Studies, U. Minnesota

The States of Southeast Asian American Studies
Southeast Asians in Diaspora Conference | October 2 & 3, 2014

The fourth triennial Southeast Asians in the Diaspora Conference will take place at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities on October 2-3, 2014. The conditions that “brought the field into being” have shifted in light of recent events and new scholarship across various fields and communities. Hosting this event in Minnesota is significant given the vibrant Southeast Asian population in the state.

Minnesota has experienced dramatic demographic shifts over the past few decades, becoming an immigration hub for people from Southeast Asia and elsewhere. This timely event will bring together scholars, artists, activists, and other members of Southeast Asian American communities to consider the past, present, and future of these communities.

Please visit our website to view schedule, speaker, and registration information. We encourage you to register by September 15, 2014. The program has not yet been finalized so please visit the site for updates and changes. For those traveling from out of town, you will find accommodations information here. We encourage you to book your rooms soon to ensure you receive the conference rate.

Please email us with any questions: SEADconference2014@gmail.com.

Position: Sociology, American University

Department of Sociology Assistant Professor Multiple Fields/Theory

The Department of Sociology, College of Arts & Sciences, at American University (Washington, D.C.), invites applications for a tenure line appointment at the rank of Assistant Professor to begin August 2015. The department seeks candidates with expertise in health, urban sociology, immigration and globalization or social inequality and with ability and interest to teach sociological theory. Responsibilities will include active scholarship in the area(s) of specialization and teaching two courses per semester, including theory and at least one graduate course each academic year. Preference will be given to candidates with the potential to contribute to the Department and University’s growing emphasis on externally funded research.

Please send application materials (curriculum vitae, letter describing research and teaching interests and experiences, statement of teaching philosophy, teaching evaluations, (p)reprints, and at least three letters of reference) to: socio@american.edu with the subject line, “Faculty Search”. Electronic submissions are preferred; applications may also be mailed to: Search Committee Chair, Department of Sociology, American University, 4400 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20016-8072. Review of applications will begin by October 6, 2014 and will continue until the position is filled.

American University is an Affirmative Action employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability, or protected Veteran status. Women and minority candidates are strongly encouraged to apply. American University offers employee benefits to same-sex domestic partners of employees and prohibits discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation/preference and gender identity/expression.

Community Campaign: “Who Killed Koreatown?”

We are emailing you to let you know about the current redistricting issue in Los Angeles Koreatown. The Korean American Coalition is organizing a campaign called “Who Killed Koreatown?” to raise awareness of how the city ignored thousands of requests to keep Koreatown whole and drew district lines to influence future elections, cutting Koreatown into two. As a result, Koreatown has no representative to advocate for the community, and residents still lack basic services like community centers and parks. Several Koreatown residents filed a lawsuit against the city to address the many injustices against their community.

The lawsuit is not only about Koreatown, but also about the disenfranchisement of a community and the need for Asian American representation. You can read up on the lawsuit in the KoreaAm article and our media page. We have also created a FAQ that summarizes the issues as well. We are currently working on a video and a crowdfunding campaign to fundraise for legal fees associated with the lawsuit.

Thank you,
Eric Kim
Miriam Cho

Post-Doc: Race & Ethnicity, Indiana Univ.

The Center for Research on Race & Ethnicity in Society (CRRES) at Indiana University, Bloomington is pleased to accept applications for two Postdoctoral Fellowships for scholars studying race and ethnicity from a broad range of social science fields, including (but not limited to) African American Studies, American Studies, Asian American Studies, Anthropology, Economics, Geography, History, Native American Studies, Latino Studies, Political Science, Psychology, and Sociology.

The CRRES postdoctoral fellowship program aims to create a legacy of scholars who will be positioned to address issues related to race and ethnicity using a multidisciplinary lens. These fellowships are designed to nurture the academic careers of new scholars by providing opportunities to pursue research while gaining mentored experience as teachers, CRRES fellows, and members of the faculty in host departments. Strong applicants will demonstrate evidence of scholarship potentially competitive for tenure-track appointments at Indiana University and other research universities.

Terms of Agreement Fellows are expected to pursue research activities associated with their primary area, as demonstrated by conference presentations and published work. Fellows will also teach two courses in their home departments during each year of their residency, and are expected to participate in CRRES activities and in seminars in their home departments.

The positions are available for two years beginning August 1, 2015 through May 31, 2017, at a 10-month starting salary of $51,500. Each postdoctoral fellow will also receive $3,000 each year in research support and Indiana University health benefits. Fellows are allocated office space with basic office supplies, and a computer and printer.

Application Process We invite applications from qualified candidates who are at the beginning of their academic careers, having received the Ph.D. in 2013 or 2014 but who do not yet hold tenure-track academic positions. Candidates who do not hold a Ph.D. but expect to by June 30, 2015 must provide a letter from the chair of their dissertation committee, confirming the proposed timeline for completion. All applicants must file their dissertations no later than June 30, 2015.

Applicants should submit a cover letter, CV, personal statement (3,000 words describing dissertation project, work in progress, professional goals and plans for publication, and proposed major field[s] of teaching), writing sample, and three letters of reference. If available, applicants may also submit materials demonstrating their aptitude as teachers. Following review by the CRRES postdoctoral committee, strong applications will be circulated to relevant departments. We prefer that applications be submitted online at http://indiana.peopleadmin.com.

Materials sent by mail or any questions regarding the position or application process can be directed to: Dina Okamoto, Search Committee Chair, Center for Research on Race and Ethnicity in Society, Indiana University – Schuessler Institute for Social Research 209, 1022 E. Third Street, Bloomington, IN 47405 or crres@indiana.edu. Applications received by November 10, 2014 will receive full consideration.


June 5, 2014

Written by C.N.

In Memory of Yuri Kochiyama

You may have heard that long-time civil rights activist and Asian American icon Yuri Kochiyama passed away earlier this week at the age of 93. Readers can learn more details about her amazing life through boted Asian American scholar Diana Fujino’s biography Heartbeat of Struggle: The Revolutionary Life of Yuri Kochiyama. Prominent Asian American blog Reappropriate also has links to several other articles from major media outlets about her passing.

Yuri Kochiyama, © ColorLines magazine

The biography and articles highlight how she grew up in the Los Angeles area and had a seemingly normal middle-class life. All of that changed after the Japanese military attacked Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. As history records, this eventually resulted in 120,000 Japanese Americans (two-thirds of them being U.S. citizens) having their constitutional rights revoked and incarcerated, just based on their Japanese ancestry, in dozens of prison camps across the U.S., without any due process whatsoever.

Among those imprisoned were Yuri and her family and this experience forever changed her perspective on the state of race relations, racism, and the overwhelming need for social justice in the U.S. She eventually married a Japanese American GI and moved to Harlem, New York City. There, she befriended a young Black nationalist named Malcolm X and in the course of her friendship, galvanized her determination to work toward social equality and justice on behalf of her community. She was there when Malcolm X was assassinated on February 21, 1965.

Thereafter, she became known for actively participating in the movements for ending the Viet Nam War, Puerto Rican independence (highlighted by being part of the group that occupied the Statue of Liberty in 1977), and for Japanese American reparations. In her later years in Oakland, CA, she kept up her activism and social justice work, particularly around the fight against racial profiling and rounding up of Arab and Muslim Americans in the aftermath of 9/11, as detailed in the excellent documentary “Lest We Forget” that highlighted the similarities between Japanese Americans after Pearl Harbor and Arab & Muslim Americans after 9/11. Here at my institution, the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, our Asian American student center is named the “Yuri Kochiyama Cultural Center” on her behalf.

For me personally, Yuri Kochiyama was a hero and an inspiration. Like Yuri, I grew up in a predominantly White community and was entrenched in an assimilationist environment. I did not care about my roots as an Asian American, an immigrant, or a person of color — I just wanted to fit in and be like everybody else around me. In doing so, I was ignorant of all the racial injustices that had been perpetrated against people like me throughout U.S. and world history and that was still taking place all around me in different ways.

It wasn’t until my later years in college and after I started studying Sociology and Asian American Studies that I finally woke up, opened my eyes, reclaimed my identity, and pledged myself to do what I could to fight for racial equality and justice. That’s when I first learned about Yuri Kochiyama. She represented not just someone who was determined to draw on her personal experiences of racism to fight on behalf of others in similar situations, but as an Asian American woman, she stood in stark contrast to the stereotypical images of Asian American women as meek, submissive, exotic, and hypersexualized “geishas” and “China dolls.”

In other words, she gave all of us — men and women, Asian American or not — a different example of what Asian Americans, particularly women, are capable of. It is these examples and memories of Yuri Kochiyama as a strong, determined, committed, and inclusive activist and Asian American woman that I will carry forth with me.


June 4, 2014

Written by C.N.

New Books: Asian Americans and Global Communities

Among Asians and Asian Americans, “community” can take many different forms, whether it refers to the historical and contemporary dynamics of enclaves or diasporic and imagined frameworks of identity. As a reflection of this, the following books examine different examples and aspects of this emerging trend.


Making a Global Immigrant Neighborhood: Brooklyn’s Sunset Park
, by Tarry Hum (Temple University Press)

'Making a Global Immigrant Neighborhood' by Tarry Hum

Based on more than a decade of research, Making a Global Immigrant Neighborhood charts the evolution of Sunset Park–with a densely concentrated working-poor and racially diverse immigrant population–from the late 1960s to its current status as one of New York City’s most vibrant neighborhoods.

Tarry Hum shows how processes of globalization, such as shifts in low-wage labor markets and immigration patterns, shaped the neighborhood. She explains why Sunset Park’s future now depends on Asian and Latino immigrant collaborations in advancing common interests in community building, civic engagement, entrepreneurialism, and sustainability planning. She shows, too, how residents’ responses to urban development policies and projects and the capital represented by local institutions and banks foster community activism.

Hum pays close attention to the complex social, political, and spatial dynamics that forge a community and create new models of leadership as well as coalitions. The evolution of Sunset Park so astutely depicted in this book suggests new avenues for studying urban change and community development.

Little Manila Is in the Heart: The Making of the Filipina/o American Community in Stockton, California, by Dawn Bohulano Mabalon (Duke University Press)

'Little Manila is in the Heart' by Dawn Bohulano Mabalon

In the early twentieth century—not long after 1898, when the United States claimed the Philippines as an American colony—Filipinas/os became a vital part of the agricultural economy of California’s fertile San Joaquin Delta. In downtown Stockton, they created Little Manila, a vibrant community of hotels, pool halls, dance halls, restaurants, grocery stores, churches, union halls, and barbershops.

Little Manila was home to the largest community of Filipinas/os outside of the Philippines until the neighborhood was decimated by urban redevelopment in the 1960s. Narrating a history spanning much of the twentieth century, Dawn Bohulano Mabalon traces the growth of Stockton’s Filipina/o American community, the birth and eventual destruction of Little Manila, and recent efforts to remember and preserve it.

Mabalon draws on oral histories, newspapers, photographs, personal archives, and her own family’s history in Stockton. She reveals how Filipina/o immigrants created a community and ethnic culture shaped by their identities as colonial subjects of the United States, their racialization in Stockton as brown people, and their collective experiences in the fields and in the Little Manila neighborhood. In the process, Mabalon places Filipinas/os at the center of the development of California agriculture and the urban West.

Bengali Harlem and the Lost Histories of South Asian America, by Vivek Bald (Harvard University Press)

'Bengali Harlem' by Vivek Bald

In the final years of the nineteenth century, small groups of Muslim peddlers arrived at Ellis Island every summer, bags heavy with embroidered silks from their home villages in Bengal. The American demand for “Oriental goods” took these migrants on a curious path, from New Jersey’s beach boardwalks into the heart of the segregated South. Two decades later, hundreds of Indian Muslim seamen began jumping ship in New York and Baltimore, escaping the engine rooms of British steamers to find less brutal work onshore.

The stories of these early working-class migrants vividly contrast with our typical understanding of immigration. Vivek Bald’s meticulous reconstruction reveals a lost history of South Asian sojourning and life-making in the United States. At a time when Asian immigrants were vilified and criminalized, Bengali Muslims quietly became part of some of America’s most iconic neighborhoods of color, from Tremé in New Orleans to Detroit’s Black Bottom, from West Baltimore to Harlem. Many started families with Creole, Puerto Rican, and African American women.

Korean Immigrants in Canada: Perspectives on Migration, Integration, and the Family, edited by Samuel Noh, Ann Kim, and Marianne Noh (University of Toronto Press)

'Korean Immigrants in Canada' edited by Noh, Kim, and Noh

Koreans are one of the fastest-growing visible minority groups in Canada today. However, very few studies of their experiences in Canada or their paths of integration are available to public and academic communities. Korean Immigrants in Canada provides the first scholarly collection of papers on Korean immigrants and their offspring from interdisciplinary, social scientific perspectives.

The contributors explore the historical, psychological, social, and economic dimensions of Korean migration, settlement, and integration across the country. A variety of important topics are covered, including the demographic profile of Korean-Canadians, immigrant entrepreneurship, mental health and stress, elder care, language maintenance, and the experiences of students and the second generation. Readers will find interconnecting themes and synthesized findings throughout the chapters. Most importantly, this collection serves as a platform for future research on Koreans in Canada.

Cultivating Connections: The Making of Chinese Prairie Canada, by Alison R. Marshall (University of British Columbia Press)

'Cultivating Connections' by Alison R. Marshall

In the late 1870s, thousands of Chinese men left coastal British Columbia and the western United States and headed east. For these men, the Prairies were a land of opportunity: there, they could open shops, and potentially earn enough money to marry. The result of almost a decade’s research and more than three hundred interviews, Cultivating Connections tells the stories of some of prairie Canada’s Chinese settlers – across the generations, between the genders, and through cultural difference. These stories reveal the critical importance of networks of belonging within these communities in coping with experiences of racism and establishing a successful life on the Prairies.


May 22, 2014

Written by Jerry Z. Park

Keeping (and Losing) Faith, the Asian American Way

The following post was originally published on AAPI Voices on May 22, 2014 by Jerry Z. Park and Joshua Tom.

Are Asian Americans in a state of religious confusion? And are Asian American Protestants fleeing their religion?

Consider the example of Lisa, a 20-year old second-generation Vietnamese American from Houston: “I really don’t think I have a religious preference,” she says “I believe that someone is up there, and I’m pretty much screwed up in the head,” she continued with a laugh. “You know ‘cuz I went to Catholic school until I was in 8th grade, and when my parents got divorced I went to [Buddhist] temple for like about 5 or 6 years. So I got the aspects of both religions, and I think that both of them have good aspects, and both of them have bad aspects. And I do what [my parents] ask me to do, but in my own mind I really don’t have like a set religion y’know?”

Lisa’s story isn’t often told in the writings on Asian American religion, academic or otherwise. This gap is particularly apparent when we try to understand religion among those who are the children of immigrants, sometimes called the second-generation. A quick glance at prior studies gives the impression that there is great vitality in religious affiliation and participation.

Indeed one lone conflicting voice, journalist Helen Lee, back in the 1990s made huge waves when she proposed that a “silent exodus” of second-generation Asian American Protestants was taking place. As she noted, churches developed by immigrant Protestant Christians were not filling to capacity by their children and their friends. As these young men and women matured, their parents expected new congregations with English-friendly worship services alongside the main immigrant churches. Indeed in my various visits with Protestant churches lead by second-generation Asian American Protestants over the past 15 years, the Sunday morning congregation never seemed to number more than a couple of hundred and usually averaged between 25 and 75.

Where were the second-generation Protestants? For that matter how was the Asian American second-generation who were not Protestants, like Lisa Tran, doing with regard to their faith?

The need for quantifiable data on religion among Asian Americans is ever more pressing as this population grows more rapidly than the rest of the nation. One of the most rigorous attempts at surveying Asian Americans comes from the Pew 2012 Asian American Survey (hereafter Pew Survey). Through this survey of over 3,500 Asian Americans (with more than 800 from the second-generation), we are able to identify some important patterns that provide context to the numerous smaller-scale studies on religion among the Asian American second-generation that otherwise suggested great intergenerational vitality.

With respect to the silent exodus of the second-generation, we can look at the data from two vantage points, the percentage of those who retained their faith from childhood, and the percentage of current affiliates who grew up with that faith. The first number tells us whether religious individuals have remained committed to their faith tradition, while the second tells us whether today’s believers are made up of long-term followers or new converts. These figures can grant us insight into the negotiation of cultural identities by second-generation Asian Americans, especially as these identities change over time.

For the second-generation Protestants, these two figures are surprisingly similar. The data shows us that 66 percent of those who grew up Protestant were still Protestant at the time they were surveyed. Similarly, about two-thirds of today’s second-generation Asian American Protestant Christians grew up as Protestant. Either way we look at the data, there does not appear to be a mass exodus, if nearly two-thirds who started their faith journey as Protestants are still Protestant.

Pew Survey Graph 1

Importantly, the Pew survey data also let us see these patterns for Protestants in comparison to other religious groups (see below). As the Pew survey indicates, 88 percent of today’s second-generation Asian American Catholics started out as Catholic, a fairly high rate compared to the Protestants. Based on a small sample of only 20 second-generation Asian American Muslims, nearly all grew up Muslim.

religion2

Similarly more than 96 percent of today’s second-generation Asian American Hindus were raised Hindu and 81 percent of today’s second-generation Asian American Buddhists were raised Buddhist. In this light, it appears that the supply of second-generation Asian American “cradle Protestants” accounts for a smaller fraction of Protestants than the cradle believers of other faiths. So there does appear to be a disproportionate exodus of Protestants.

religion3

At the same time, the exodus does not seem to be towards other religious traditions. The figure above shows the adult religious affiliation of second-generation respondents to the Pew Survey by the religion that they were raised in. The blue bars can be thought of as the ‘retention rate’ for these groups, or the degree to which they avoid losing adherents to other groups However, most of those who change religious affiliation seem to be heading towards a category that sociologists of religion call “nones” or the nonaffiliated.

While this category comprises those who do not identify with a particular religious tradition, religious “nones” encompass a variety of religious orientations including atheists, agnostics and the ‘spiritual but not religious’. A religious “none” may still pray or engage in other identifiably religious activities, or they may be wholly irreligious in identity and behavior.

While there is some variation among religious groups in the likelihood of the second generation becoming religiously nonaffiliated as adults, it is a decidedly popular destination. The green columns in the figure above show the likelihood of second-generation Asian Americans identifying as a religious “none” by the religion they were raised in. Among second-generation Asian Americans, 25% of Protestant-raised and 18% of Catholic-raised currently identify as religiously nonaffiliated.

Buddhist-raised respondents were even more likely to identify as a “none” at the time of the survey, with 34% now claiming no religious affiliation. Small sample size does not permit us to generalize on the proportions for other religious groups, but the data do suggest significant proportions become unaffiliated during adulthood.

These proportions, coupled with the data showing the retention rates for religious groups, account for the majority of religious mobility among second-generation Asian Americans. Stated differently, next to staying in one’s religion, the second most preferred religious destination for second-gen Asian Americans is to have no religion at all. As we saw earlier, these religiously mobile individuals comprise half of all second-gen Asian American “nones”. One might say that the silent exodus is not just a Protestant phenomenon for second-gen Asian Americans; it applies to followers from many faiths.

The big question still to be answered is why: Why is nonaffiliation so appealing to a large minority of “cradle believers” in the second-generation? If part of the answer is conformity to the mainstream, we have some indication of a cultural turning point in American society. Whereas being Protestant, Catholic or Jewish was once thought of as an indication of assimilation into American society for the immigrants and their children, perhaps lack of affiliation today marks a new way that today’s immigrants identify with America.

This possibility coincides with the contemporary rise of the religiously nonaffiliated among Americans in general; while such identification hovered around 10% at the turn of the millennium the proportion has grown to 20% in a single decade. This movement toward irreligion may run even deeper than identity; about 18% second generation Asian-Americans say they don’t believe in God or a universal spirit, compared to only 6% of the general public. By these measures first-generation Asian Americans have always been less religious than their contemporaries, so irreligion may be a fundamentally easier shift for the second generation.

Additionally, the Pew survey data suggest that higher educational attainment among second-generation Asian Americans is associated with disaffiliation among former Protestants and Catholics; this is consistent with our knowledge of the religious ‘nones’ generally, and may help explain the religious switching of Asian Americans specifically. Higher educational attainment can indicate a variety of things that contribute to irreligion; for example, particular religious doctrines may become less tenable with exposure to scientific explanations of reality, or individuals may become less sure of their religious convictions upon repeated interactions with people of different worldviews. Perhaps educational attainment serves to create cultural distance from one’s immigrant parents which may include disaffiliation.

The religious story of the second-generation is far from settled. Right now, they constitute only about one-third of all Asian Americans, and they are relatively young compared to the immigrant generation. Perhaps we will see a return to religious affiliation as more of them marry, and raise children. Time will tell if the second-generation of Asian Americans will replicate the pattern of earlier white European immigrants, or if we are indeed facing a changing religious future.


May 16, 2014

Written by C.N.

Asian Pacific American Heritage Month: Facts for 2014

You may know that May is Asian Pacific American (APA) Heritage Month. To recognize this occasion, the U.S. Census Bureau has released its annual “Facts for Figures” report that summarizes some interesting demographic facts and data about the APA population. Below are a few interesting data tidbits:

Asian Pacific American population distribution, 2010 © U.S. Census Bureau

18.9 million
The estimated number of U.S. residents in 2012 who said they were Asian alone or Asian in combination with one or more other races. This group comprised slightly less than 6 percent of the total U.S. population.

46.0%
Percentage growth of the Asian alone or in combination population between the 2000 and 2010 censuses, which was more than any other major race group.

4.2 million
Number of Asians of Chinese, except Taiwanese, descent in the U.S. in 2012. The Chinese (except Taiwanese) population was the largest Asian group, followed by Filipinos (3.6 million), Asian Indians (3.3 million), Vietnamese (1.9 million), Koreans (1.8 million) and Japanese (1.3 million). These estimates represent the number of people who reported a specific detailed Asian group alone, as well as people who reported that detailed Asian group in combination with one or more other detailed Asian groups or another race(s).

$70,644
Median income of households headed by the Asian alone population in 2012. Median household income differed greatly by Asian group. For Asian Indians, for example, the median income in 2012 was $96,782; for Bangladeshi, it was $44,293. (These figures represent the Asian alone population.)

50.5%
The percentage of the Asian alone population 25 and older who had a bachelor’s degree or higher level of education. This compared with 29.1 percent for all Americans 25 and older.

21.2%
The percentage of 25-and-older Asian alone population who had a graduate or professional degree. This compared with 10.9 percent for all Americans 25 and older.

49.1%
The proportion of civilian employed Asian alone population 16 and older who worked in management, business, science and arts occupations, such as financial managers, engineers, teachers and registered nurses in 2012. Additionally, 17.3 percent worked in service occupations, 20.6 percent in sales and office occupations, 9.7 percent in production, transportation and material moving occupations and 3.2 percent in natural resources, construction and maintenance occupations.

88.6%
Percentage of Asian alone population in 2012 living in a household with Internet use — the highest rate among race and ethnic groups.


February 27, 2014

Written by C.N.

Links, Jobs, & Announcements #77

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

Visiting Position: Asian American Studies, CUNY

© Corbis

Job Title: Dr. Thomas Tam Visiting Professorship, Asian-American Studies (Visiting Job ID: Associate or Full Professor)

Faculty Vacancy Announcement
The City University of New York is hiring a Visiting Professor at the senior faculty level of full or associate professor for the Dr. Thomas Tam Visiting Professorship in Asian-American Studies. Performs teaching, research, and guidance duties in area(s) of expertise as noted below. Shares responsibility for committee and department assignments, performing administrative, supervisory, and other functions as assigned.

The Dr. Thomas Tam Visiting Professor will be based at one of the four CUNY campuses participating in the search, Brooklyn College, Hunter College, Queens College or the Graduate Center. He or she will teach one class a semester at that campus and will engage with students and faculty members during the appointment. The Dr. Thomas Tam Visiting Professor will participate in public events designed to raise the visibility of scholarship in Asian American studies. This will include working closely with CUNY’s Asian American/Asian Research Institute (AAARI), a University-wide institute that promotes undergraduate and graduate education in Asian-American studies and educates civic, business, academic leaders, and the general public, on issues of concern to the Asian American community.

This distinctive position presents an opportunity for a leading scholar to work in New York City¿s diverse and dynamic environment while also working with AAARI and CUNY faculty to develop and enrich the CUNY research agenda in Asian American studies. The search committee contains representatives of the four CUNY colleges involved in the search, with appointment to a particular college dependent on the candidate’s fit with that college’s goals and academic priorities. Visiting faculty are individuals with a primary commitment to another accredited college or university who possess advanced scholarship or professional achievement.

Qualifications For Associate or Full Professor
Ph.D. degree in area(s) of experience or equivalent. Also required are the ability to teach successfully, demonstrated scholarship or achievement, and ability to cooperate with others for the good of the institution. Substantial research experience, expertise and publications on the Asian American experience are required. Areas of focus may include: trends and evolution of Asian American communities, civic and political engagement, entrepreneurship and economic development, religious and ethnic identity, gender and sexuality, intergenerational relations, critical race theory, diaspora and transnational experiences and communities and others.

Compensation
CUNY offers faculty a competitive compensation and benefits package covering health insurance, pension and retirement benefits, paid parental leave, and savings programs. We also provide mentoring and support for research, scholarship, and publication as part of our commitment to ongoing faculty professional development.

How to Apply
For full consideration, please submit a CV, letter of intent, and contact information for at least three professional references by the closing date. The direct link to the job opening from external sources is:

https://home.cunyfirst.cuny.edu/psp/cnyepprd/GUEST/HRMS/c/HRS_HRAM.HRS_CE.GBL?Page=HRS_CE_JOB_DTL&Action=A&JobOpeningId=10168&SiteId=1&PostingSeq=1

Closing Date
February 28, 2014

Position: Sociology, Bryan Mawr College

The Department of Sociology at Bryn Mawr College invites applications for a full-time, one-year Lecturer position to begin August 1, 2014. We seek a sociologist who specializes in immigration and/or gender, with additional areas in medical/health, social psychology, law, organizations, qualitative methods, Asian-American, Latino, or global sociology. A candidate whose work focuses on the Global South would be especially attractive. The teaching load is 3/3.

A Ph.D. in hand by the start of the position is required. To apply, please send a detailed cover letter that addresses your teaching and research interests, curriculum vitae, a list of courses you would be interested in teaching, sample syllabi (at least two), and names and contact information of three references (including email contacts). Send materials in a single PDF file (electronic submissions only, subject line should read “Sociology Search”) to: Karen Sulpizio, ksulpizi@brynmawr.edu. Review of applications will begin on March 3, 2014.

Located in suburban Philadelphia, Bryn Mawr College is a highly selective liberal arts college for women who share an intense commitment to intellectual inquiry, an independent and purposeful vision of their lives, and a desire to make meaningful contributions to the world. Bryn Mawr comprises an undergraduate college with 1,300 students, as well as coeducational graduate programs in social work, and in some humanities and sciences. The College promotes faculty excellence in both research and teaching, and participates in consortial programs with Haverford College, Swarthmore College, and the University of Pennsylvania.

Summer Workshop: Asian America Leadership, NYC

Are you in New York City this summer and looking for something fun and meaningful to do? Apply to be a Summer Leadership Institute facilitator!

Chinatown Youth Initiative’s Summer Leadership Institute (SLI) consists of a series of weekly workshops engaging high school youth in exploratory activities and discussions. These workshops aim to facilitate identity and leadership development, as well as to enhance awareness of social issues affecting underrepresented communities.

Responsibilities include:

  • Facilitating youth workshops around sociopolitical issues
  • Serving as a positive role model and mentor to youth participants
  • Maintaining consistent communication with participants in assigned small group
  • Working with facilitation team to develop curricula and workshop materials
  • Maintaining active and consistent communication with the team to ensure that participants have a safe and enriching experience
  • Attending all staff meetings and trainings, in addition to workshops and special events

If interested, please complete the application form, which can be found here: http://bit.ly/1bbK7Nq and e-mail your resume to apply@cyinyc.org. Applications are due Monday, March 3rd, 2014 at 11:59PM! For more information, please feel free to e-mail matthew.lim@cyinyc.org.

Summer Internship: Leadership in Action, SoCal

Leadership in Action (LIA) is an eight-week paid summer internship program designed to develop emerging young leaders by providing college students with practical leadership skills and the opportunity to work hands-on in the Asian and Pacific Islander (API) community in Southern California.

Approaching its 17th year, the program takes learning beyond the classroom, and places them in selected community-based organizations in Southern California, where they are expected to work 4 full days per week under an assigned staff supervisor. The fifth day will be devoted to leadership development training or issue discussions and group project work. Nationally recognized trainers will deliver workshops in critical skill areas. Issue discussions are on local or timely topics of interest and are facilitated by local community leaders/activists and LEAP trainers.

Program Length and Stipend
The eight-week program runs from June 16 through August 8, 2014. Interns will receive compensation in the amount of $2,500 for successful completion of the program and are responsible for their own housing, transportation, and insurance.

Who Should Apply?
College students or recent graduates with…

  • Prior experience in API communities
  • A passion for learning and growing leadership skills
  • An interest in gaining work experience in an API community-based nonprofit organization

Deadline
Applications available online at: http://bit.ly/1dbWXYA. All application materials must be received by Monday, March 10, 2014.

About LEAP
Leadership Education for Asian Pacifics (LEAP) is a national, non-profit, community-based organization with a mission to achieve full participation and equality for Asian and Pacific Islanders through leadership, empowerment and policy.

Workshop: Race in Multiracial America

Call for Student Participants for Upcoming Workshop:
Measuring the Diverging Components of Race in Multiracial America

We are seeking applications from sociology graduate students seeking a PhD who are interested in attending a workshop focused on cutting-edge research on the measurement of race and ethnicity. A description of the workshop is below. Students who are interested in doing research on the topic are invited to submit a 1-2 page description of their interests and the benefit they would receive from attending the workshop, as well as a CV (which should include a brief description of the student’s progress in their graduate program).

We would like to include students from a range of experience levels, so it is not required that the application include work that the student has already done. Student participants will not be expected to present a paper, but will participate in all discussions. Applications should be submitted to Wendy Roth at wendy.roth@ubc.ca by March 8, 2014.

The workshop will be held June 26-27 at Texas A&M University, in College Station, Texas. This workshop is funded by the ASA Fund for the Advancement of the Discipline, the Texas A&M University Sociology Department, the Race and Ethnic Studies Institute (RESI) at Texas A&M, the Kinder Institute for Urban Research at Rice University, and the Program for the Study of Ethnicity, Race and Culture at Rice University. We will be able to pay travel expenses within North America, and accommodation and meals during the workshop for the students selected to participate. Students of any citizenship are welcome to apply.

This workshop will be organized around the central questions of how “race” and “ethnicity” are measured, lived, and experienced in today’s evolving racial landscape. In the last few decades, research on how racial categories are experienced has become much more sophisticated, as researchers acknowledge the importance of self-identification for the creation of identity, meaning and community, identification by others for the effects of discrimination and differences in treatment, and the importance of both individual- and group-level shifts in the construction of these categories. Immigration, interracial families, and changing ideas about racial categorization have all combined to create an evolving landscape for the lived experiences of “race,” both in the United States and around the world.

Central Questions:

  • Given the growth of groups that complicate racial boundaries such as multiracial populations, interracial families and immigrants, how are the various components of race lived, experienced, and measured today?
  • How should we think theoretically about the multiple aspects that contribute to how a person experiences race, such as how they are seen racially by others (observed race), how they subjectively identify (internal race), how they identify themselves to others and on questionnaires (expressed race), how they believe they are seen by others (reflected race), their biology and both known and unknown ancestry, and the various aspects of their appearance or phenotype?
  • What are the highest-quality measures available for each of these aspects of “race”? Do we need new measures of race and ethnicity, or can the old measures be employed in new ways?
  • What is the quality of the measures available for these aspects of race in public data holdings available to survey researchers? For example, the U.S. Census is considering revamping their approach to collecting racial/ethnic data in order to increase quality, and has tested revisions to the census questions covering race and ethnicity. For researchers, what are the considerations in identifying and using an ever evolving array of race measures?

The workshop will involve presentations of cutting-edge research on the measurement of race and ethnicity, discussion of key existing resources on measuring diverse components of race, and discussion of what measurements and survey question formats are needed in future data collection and research.

Conference: Reimagining Indonesia

Reimagining Indonesia: Ideals, Actions, and Challenges
April 11-12 2014, Yale University
Hosted by the Yale Indonesia Forum with the Cornell Indonesian Association

Call for Papers

http://www.yale.edu/seas/YIFConf2014.htm

2014 will witness the emergence of a new national leader from the upcoming Presidential election in Indonesia. Once again, the question of development has been bought to the fore, upon which hope of national progress rests. Recognizing the impor­tance of a visionary and systematic transformation, the Indonesian people look forward to seeing better management of national resources, which should be liberated from the grip of elite interests and dedicated instead toward the greater good of public sovereignty.

Rising above the excitement of the national elections, the 2014 Yale Indonesian Forum Spring Dialogue seeks to revitalize discussions on how local and regional cultures could invigorate considerations on the development policies of the new regime. What are the viable alternatives for future development in Indonesia? What has been missing from the discussions of the new leadership in Indonesia and the future of the nation and how the nation is re-imagined?

What might be other modes of thinking, inquiry, knowledge, practices, and spaces of explorations, development, and potentials available in local and regional areas in Indonesia that will enable us to reimagine Indonesia? How can the new visions of Indonesia be realized? How can the new visions mobilize and unite the diverse cultures and interests across the archipelago? What are the challenges lying in the broad spectrum of cultural, social, political and ecological variability?

Endowed with rich resources and cultural diversity, Indonesia does not face a paucity of ideas to tackle the challenges arising from resource mismanagement. The effort to re-imagine a vibrant and sustainable Indonesia will depend on a deep grasp of existing problems, the quality of the vision and the commitment of substantive implementation.

In alignment with this aim and theme, the Yale Indonesian Forum (YIF) and Cor­nell Indonesian Association (CIA) invite paper submissions for their 11th Northeastern Con­ference on Indonesia. We welcome submissions from graduate and undergraduate stu­dents from any discipline at any stage engaged in original research on Indonesia related to the themes highlighted above. While these themes will certainly be highlighted in the program, proposals not directly related to the themes above are also explicitly encouraged.

The program will begin on Friday, April 11th, 2014 at Yale University, New Haven, CT with an interactive 2014 yif spring dialogue featuring 3 invited scholars with various areas of expertise, who have researched and written extensively about Indonesia. Attendees are encouraged to join the dialogue. There will be a moderator assisting the dialogue.

On Saturday, April 12th, 2014, the discussion continues through the 11th northeastern yif-cia conference on indonesia with a keynote ad­dress by Professor R. William Liddle, Ohio State University, and paper presentations by students.

Proposal Submission
Please contact organizers at yifconference2014@gmail.com if you have any question(s) regarding the dialogue and the conference. The par­ticipants are encouraged to seek fund­ing from their home institutions. The conference committee will provide ac­commodation for selected contributors.

Please submit your proposal in .doc or .docx file only. The proposal is lim­ited to 350 words. Please include in your proposal the description of your project, the research questions, per­spective(s) or theoretical framework, methods, substantiated conclusions/tentative key findings, and the signifi­cance of the work. In addition to your proposal, please provide a short refer­ence (at the end of your proposal), situ­ating your work.

Please send your proposal to yifconference2014@gmail.com and provide the following with nth body of the e-mail:
-name (and co-pre­senters (if any))
-institutional affilia­tion(s)
-status (undergraduate or grad­uate)
-title of the paper/presentation
-email address
-phone number

Proposal Submission Deadline:
March 14, 2014 at 12 a.m. est

Notification of Acceptance:
by March 22, 2014 (via email)

Volunteer Summer Program: Asian American Organizing

The National Fellowship Program for Asian American Organizing develops the leadership of a new generation of activists and organizers who are deeply invested in building the power of and improving the lives of working-class Asian immigrant communities. During ten weeks of intensive training, ground work and reflection, Fellows will learn about and support struggles at one of their host sites:

Boston: Chinese Progressive Association
Long Beach: Khmer Girls in Action
Los Angeles: Chinatown Community for Equitable Development
New York: CAAAV – Organizing Asian Communities
San Francisco: Filipino Community Center and Chinese Progressive Association

This is an intensive full-time, volunteer program for the summer. Applicants are also encouraged to seek additional and alternative funding sources (include campus work-study programs, scholarships and stipends). All cost (including travel to host site cities and housing) will the responsibility of each Fellow. A limited number of scholarships ranging from $500 – $2000 are available.

Applications are due March 10, 2014 at 5 pm PST.


February 24, 2014

Written by C.N.

New Books: Contemporary Immigration to the U.S.

I am teaching my “Sociology of Immigration” course again this semester and to reflect the importance of this issue within the public and political realms of U.S. society at the moment, below are some recently-released books that highlight the multidimensional and interrelated aspects of immigration to the U.S. these days. As always, a book’s inclusion is for informational purposes only and does not necessarily mean a full endorsement of its contents.

Arizona Firestorm: Global Immigration Realities, National Media, and Provincial Politics, edited by Otto Santa Ana and Celeste González de Bustamante (Rowman & Littlefield)

'Arizona Firestorm' by Santa Ana and Gonzalez de Bustamente

In 2010, the governor of Arizona signed a controversial immigration bill (SB 1070) that led to a news media frenzy, copycat bills in twenty-two states, and a U.S. Supreme Court battle that put Arizona at the cross-hairs of the immigration debate. Arizona Firestorm brings together well-respected experts from across the political spectrum to examine and contextualize the political, economic, historical, and legal issues prompted by this and other anti-Latino and anti-immigrant legislation and state actions. It also addresses the news media’s role in shaping immigration discourse in Arizona and around the globe. Arizona is a case study of the roots and impact of the 21st century immigration challenge. Arizona Firestorm will be of interest to scholars and students in communication, public policy, state politics, federalism, and anyone interested in immigration policy or Latino politics.

Education and Immigration, by Grace Kao, Elizabeth Vaquera, and Kimberly Goyette (Polity Press)

'Education and Immigration' by Kao, Vaquera, and Goyette

Education is a crucially important social institution, closely correlated with wealth, occupational prestige, psychological well-being, and health outcomes. Moreover, for children of immigrants – who account for almost one in four school-aged children in the U.S. – it is the primary means through which they become incorporated into American society. This insightful new book explores the educational outcomes of post-1965 immigrants and their children.

Tracing the historical context and key contemporary scholarship on immigration, the authors examine issues such as structural versus cultural theories of education stratification, the overlap of immigrant status with race and ethnicity, and the role of language in educational outcomes. Throughout, the authors pay attention to the great diversity among immigrants: some arrive with PhDs to work as research professors, while others arrive with a primary school education and no English skills to work as migrant laborers. As immigrants come from an ever-increasing array of races, ethnicities, and national origins, immigrant assimilation is more complex than ever before, and education is central to their adaptation to American society.

Sacrificing Families: Navigating Laws, Labor, and Love Across Borders, by Leisy Abrego (Stanford University Press)

'Sacrificing Families' by Abrego

Widening global inequalities make it difficult for parents in developing nations to provide for their children, and both mothers and fathers often find that migration in search of higher wages is their only hope. Their dreams are straightforward: with more money, they can improve their children’s lives. But the reality of their experiences is often harsh, and structural barriers—particularly those rooted in immigration policies and gender inequities—prevent many from reaching their economic goals.

Sacrificing Families offers a first-hand look at Salvadoran transnational families, how the parents fare in the United States, and the experiences of the children back home. It captures the tragedy of these families’ daily living arrangements, but also delves deeper to expose the structural context that creates and sustains patterns of inequality in their well-being. What prevents these parents from migrating with their children? What are these families’ experiences with long-term separation? And why do some ultimately fare better than others?

As free trade agreements expand and nation-states open doors widely for products and profits while closing them tightly for refugees and migrants, these transnational families are not only becoming more common, but they are living through lengthier separations. Leisy Abrego gives voice to these immigrants and their families and documents the inequalities across their experiences.

Immigration, Poverty, and Socioeconomic Inequality, edited by David Card and Steven Raphael (Russell Sage Foundation)

'Immigration, Poverty, and Socioeconomic Inequality' by Card and Raphael

The rapid rise in the proportion of foreign-born residents in the U.S. since the mid-1960s is one of the most important demographic events of the past fifty years. The increase in immigration, especially among the less-skilled and less-educated, has prompted fears that the newcomers may have depressed the wages and employment of the native-born, burdened state and local budgets, and slowed the U.S. economy as a whole.

Would the poverty rate be lower in the absence of immigration? How does the undocumented status of an increasing segment of the foreign-born population impact wages in the U.S.? In Immigration, Poverty and Socioeconomic Inequality, noted labor economists David Card and Steven Raphael and an interdisciplinary team of scholars provide a comprehensive assessment of the costs and benefits of the latest era of immigration to the U.S. Immigration, Poverty and Socioeconomic Inequality rigorously explores shifts in population trends, labor market competition, and socioeconomic segregation to investigate how the recent rise in immigration affects economic disadvantage in the U.S.

Race and Immigration, by Nazli Kibria, Cara Bowman, and Megan O’Leary (Polity Press)

'Race and Immigration' by Kibria, Bowman, and O'Leary

Immigration has long shaped US society in fundamental ways. With Latinos recently surpassing African Americans as the largest minority group in the U.S., attention has been focused on the important implications of immigration for the character and role of race in U.S. life, including patterns of racial inequality and racial identity.

This insightful new book offers a fresh perspective on immigration and its part in shaping the racial landscape of the US today. Moving away from one-dimensional views of this relationship, it emphasizes the dynamic and mutually formative interactions of race and immigration. Drawing on a wide range of studies, it explores key aspects of the immigrant experience, such as the history of immigration laws, the formation of immigrant occupational niches, and developments of immigrant identity and community. Specific topics covered include: the perceived crisis of unauthorized immigration; the growth of an immigrant rights movement; the role of immigrant labor in the elder care industry; the racial strategies of professional immigrants; and the formation of pan-ethnic Latino identities.

Undocumented: How Immigration Became Illegal, by Aviva Chomsky (Beacon Press)

'Undocumented' by Chomsky

Immigrant rights activist Aviva Chomsky shows how “illegality” and “undocumentedness” are concepts that were created to exclude and exploit. With a focus on US policy, she probes how and why people, especially Mexican and Central Americans, have been assigned this status—and to what ends. Blending history with human drama, Chomsky explores what it means to be undocumented in a legal, social, economic, and historical context. She also unmasks how undocumented people live—how they work, what social services they’re eligible for, and how being undocumented affects the lives of children and families. Undocumented turns a fresh lens onto one of today’s most pressing debates.


January 13, 2014

Written by C.N.

Links, Jobs, & Announcements #76

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

Post-Doc Fellowship: Cornell Population Center

© Corbis

The Cornell Population Center (CPC) invites applicants for the Frank H.T. Rhodes Post-doctoral Fellowship. The start date for the position will be August 15, 2014 and will be funded for 2 years, subject to a satisfactory first year evaluation. Selection will be based on scholarly potential, ability to work in multidisciplinary settings, and the support of a faculty mentor and CPC affiliate at Cornell who will work closely with the post-doctoral associate.

Preference will be given to fellows with research interests in areas broadly related to the CPC’s four main foci: families & children; health behaviors & disparities; poverty & inequality; and immigration & diversity. Especially encouraged are applications from candidates whose research has significance for those countries on which the fellowship’s funder focuses – the United States, the Republic of Ireland, Northern Ireland, Vietnam, South Africa, and Bermuda.

The Frank H. T. Rhodes Fellowships stand as a testament to the profound difference Frank Rhodes has made at Cornell by furthering scholarship and research in areas related to poverty alleviation, support for the elderly and disadvantaged children and youth, public health, and human rights. The postdoctoral program is designed to provide support through collaborations with faculty and to assist new scholars in launching their own programs of research. Postdoctoral Associates devote most of their time to independent research, but are expected to be involved in CPC institution building activities, as well.

The postdoctoral associate will have access to the full range of university resources and receive an annual salary of $50,000 plus benefits and a modest research/travel account.

Applications must include: (a) letter of application, (b) curriculum vita, (c) a statement proposing both an individual research project and how the candidate will engage with a CPC faculty affiliate’s on-going research, (d) examples of written work, (e) a letter from a CPC faculty affiliate agreeing to mentor the candidate, and (d) three letters of recommendation. These materials must be submitted online by clicking here. For questions, contact Erin Oates.

Qualifications
Applicants must have a Ph.D. in economics, sociology, public health, public policy, or another related social science discipline by August 15, 2014. Screening of applications begins February 1, 2014, and will continue until the position is filled.

Research Fellowship: Institute of American Cultures, UCLA

The UCLA Institute of American Cultures (IAC), in cooperation with UCLA’s four Ethnic Studies Research Centers (American Indian Studies Center, Asian American Studies Center, Bunche Center for African American Studies, Chicano Studies Research Center) offers fellowships to visiting scholars and researchers to support research on African Americans, American Indians, Asian Americans, and Chicanas/os.

Eligibility/Funding: Applicants must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents and hold a Ph.D. from an accredited college or university at the time of appointment. UCLA faculty, staff, and currently enrolled students are not eligible to apply.

Two types of awards will be offered: 1) Visiting Scholar appointments for persons who currently hold permanent academic appointments and 2) Visiting Researcher for newly degreed scholars. In 2014-2015, IAC Visiting Scholars/Researchers will receive funding for one or more quarters, with a maximum stipend of $32,000 to $35,000 for three quarters (contingent upon rank, experience, and date of completion of their terminal degree) and will receive health benefits.

For Visiting Scholars, these funds can be used to supplement sabbatical support for a total that does not exceed the candidate’s current institutional salary. Visiting Scholars will be paid through their home institutions and will be expected to continue their health benefits through that source as well; Visiting Researchers will be paid directly by UCLA. Awardees may receive up to $4,000 in research support (through reimbursements of research expenses), $1,000 of which may be applied toward relocation expenses.

Deasline: Applications must be received no later than 5:00pm, Wednesday, February 5th, 2014, at the Asian American Studies Center, 3230 Campbell Hall or via email. Awards will be announced in April.

Application forms and additional information are available On-Line:

http://www.iac.ucla.edu/docs/2014-2015VisitingScholarsApplication.pdf

Fellowship Period: October 1, 2014 through June 30, 2015.

Pre-Doc Fellowship: Asian American Studies, UConn

Pre-Doctoral In-Residence Fellowship: Asian American Studies Institute

The University of Connecticut is pleased to announce a call for applications for the Pre-doctoral In-Residence Fellowship to advance diversity in higher education. The program will support scholars from other universities while they complete their dissertation or post-MFA study for the term of an academic year. Fellows will have access to outstanding resources, faculty expertise, mentoring and other professional development opportunities.

The Asian American Studies Institute, Institute for African American Studies, Institute of Latina/o, Caribbean and Latin American Studies, and the Women’s, Gender and Sexualities Program will each host one fellow in-residence per year, for a total of four fellowships awarded annually. The faculty in the host institutes currently hold joint-appointments in three different schools at the University: The Neag School of Education, School of Fine Arts, and the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. All fellows will be appointed jointly between an institute and one of these Schools and College.

Applicants for this opening will be considered for the fellowship hosted by the Asian American Studies Institute. Founded in 1993, the Asian American Studies Institute is a leading East Coast multidisciplinary research and teaching program that reflects the heterogeneity of both Asian American Studies and Asian America. Although the primary focus of the Institute is upon experiences of people of Asian ancestry in America, attention is also given to the study of Asia, since Asian informs the Asian American experience.

This transnational orientation is reflected through the Institute’s research initiatives, teaching, and community outreach. The Institute encourages students to explore the ways in which race, gender, and class are shaped by immigration histories, social inequalities, changing global dynamics and shifting border politics.

Minimum Qualifications: 1.) Be enrolled in a PhD program or be within one year post-MFA in the liberal arts and sciences, fine arts, or education field at schools other than UConn, 2.) Have passed a PhD qualifying examination and be in either the research or writing phase of an approved dissertation or in the case of post-MFA have a project to be completed within the term of a year, 3.) Be conducting research in an area that can contribute to Asian American Studies, and 4.) Have a demonstrated commitment to the advancement of diversity and to increasing opportunities for underrepresented or disadvantaged groups

The program will provide a stipend of $27,000, medical and dental benefits, office space, library privileges, and computer access. A research/travel budget of $3,000 is also included. As part of the program terms, the fellows must be at the University of Connecticut for the duration of the fellowship and will be expected to teach one class and share their work in a public forum.

Applications are accepted via UConn’s Husky Hire website. Applications must include a cover letter, full curriculum vitae, a two-page teaching statement, PhD project description outlining the scope of the project, its larger significance, methodology, and timetable for completion, appropriate example of recent work not to exceed 20 pages, and three confidential letters of recommendation, one of which is from the academic advisor, sent directly in electronic form from the referees to Courtney.Wiley@uconn.edu with the applicant’s name in the subject line.

Post MFA applicants should include an appropriate project description:

  • Choreographers/Dances: documentation of performance
  • Film and Video: links to works
  • Musicians: complete list of works or significant performances
  • Theatre Artists: sample of design portfolio
  • Visual Artists: 20 images
  • Writers: 2-3 short stories, 10-15 poems, or novel passages not to exceed 50 pages

Applicants who apply to this opening will be considered for a pre-doctoral fellowship hosted by the Asian American Studies Institute. If you wish to apply to a fellowship(s) hosted by another Institute, you will need to submit an application directly to that opening. The fellowship hosted by the Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Program is opening # 2014259, the Institute for African American Studies is opening # 2014263, and the Institute of Latina/O, Caribbean, and Latin American Studies is opening # 2014264. To apply, visit http://jobs.uconn.edu/ and click “Staff Openings,” where you can insert the search number for the position. Application deadline is February 17, 2014.

Summer Internship: Asian American Advocates

OCA – Asian Pacific American Advocates, a national membership – driven organization dedicated to advancing the political, social, and economic well-being of Asian Pacific Americans (APAs), announces the 25th Year Anniversary and open application of the 2014 Summer Internship program.

OCA invites student advocates from all across the nation to apply for the opportunity to be involved in the political process through a national organization. The Internship has successfully led former participants to become more active on their college campus and significantly increased the level of APA civic engagement in local, state, and national public policy issues. A number of OCA alums have pursued careers in public service, advocacy, and as appointed officials as well as non-public sector positions.

“The program is an excellent opportunity for students to be in the dynamic atmosphere of Washington, DC and to continue to discover their self-identities and how to use those identities effectively for our APA community and our country,” said Stan Lou, Vice President on Culture and Education.

Candidates are selected from both two- year and four-year institutions. Typically, the participants are rising juniors, seniors, or recent graduates. The interns are placed in a full-time position in a variety of organizations in the Washington, D.C. area and provided a living stipend. The program exposes participants to public policy and advocacy efforts while gaining invaluable work experience. Placements of the interns are based on individual background, interest, and skill level. Interns are assigned to federal agencies, nonprofit organizations, congressional offices, and public affairs unit of corporations. Moreover, summer interns are also integrated in many OCA programs and activities which include the OCA National Convention in Los Angeles, California.

For more information on the OCA Summer Internship as well as the application, visit OCA’s website at www.ocanational.org and click ‘Internship’ tab under ‘Programs’ Section. Click here to directly access the on-line application. Applications and support materials must be submitted by Monday March 3, 2014; 11:00PM PST.


September 10, 2013

Written by Jerry Z. Park

Cultivating Ethnic and Religious Identities for Chinese Americans

Posted on Black, White and Gray

This past summer I continued my readings in social scientific and popular renderings of ethnicity, race, and religion. In one popular reading I was introduced to early 20th century Chinese history through the perspectives of nationalists and Christian converts. More than a work of history, it is an invitation into Chinese mythology and the sense of the spiritual that animates the minds of many young people.

Noted author and artist Gene Luen Yang, a second-generation Chinese American, recently published a two-volume series called Boxers and Saints. Told from two different perspectives, it revisits the Boxer Rebellion of the early 1900s as seen from two young Chinese people, a man and a woman. Boxers, the larger of the two works sets the stage for the events that are retold in Saints. It’s reminiscent of the two-part film series by Clint Eastwood chronicling the Battle of Iwo Jima from the perspective of US forces (Flags of Our Fathers) and Japanese forces (Letters From Iwo Jima). For film fans, both Eastwood and Yang’s works are preceded by the classic film Rashomon directed by Akira Kurosawa.

For those wanting to know more about the Boxer Rebellion, Boxers and Saints is an easy introduction into this pivotal moment in world history. I say “world history” because while it takes place in China, it is very much the story of western imperialism and evangelicalism which prompted these events in the first place. Yang, an educator at heart, ends both volumes with a list of readings that helped shape his understanding of the events he chronicled. My focus in this post is on the work’s significance for Asian Americans, particularly those with a religious background.

Boxers invites us into a world filled with Chinese gods and demigods who inspire and empower young peasant men to resist what they see as an encroaching Western presence in their homeland. Westerners and their foreign religion of Christianity are cast as devils that must be purged from the land, and only the power of China’s old gods can resist them. Saints similarly imagines a world visited by Catholic saints from the perspective of a young peasant woman who is introduced to this religion by foreign missionaries from the west and converts she meets along the way. She is empowered by Saint Joan of Arc to side with the religious Westerners, Catholic and Protestant missionaries and new Chinese converts. Interestingly, from the perspective of the Christians, the Boxers’ violence is not spiritualized as demonic but rather remain an earthly violent force set on killing them. The turn to the saints is for physical protection.

What struck me was the introduction of this spiritual dimension which plays a significant part for both the participants in the Boxer movement as much as the Christians. In typical readings of these moments, the spiritual is irrelevant apart from a few sidebars of the folklore that ran through local villages who encountered the Boxers or the Christians. But for Yang, the spiritual is very much a part of lived reality and whether it is “real” in some scientific sense may be less important than the notion that spiritual characters motivate people to act in heroic, compassionate and violent ways. Such is the power of belief whether Chinese mythology or Western Christianity, at least during this period.

Boxers and Saints accomplishes more than presenting two sides of an event. For readers who are second-generation Chinese American (or know someone who is) and searching for a sense of rootedness, this work highlights a part of the history that they likely have not heard in any course they have taken in school or college. And perhaps it is not told by their family members who are often working long hours to make ends meet. In the contemporary context, without available resources to help young Chinese Americans take hold of their Chinese roots, their ethnicity might signify little if anything. Boxers and Saints becomes an important means by which ethnicity can be socialized for young people. Sociologists note that ethnicity and religion are both social constructions; understanding Chinese identity and Christian identity require materials that describe the origins and meanings for the group’s existence, along with rituals, and relationships with others who help reinforce what one is learning. In this wayBoxers and Saints, geared at a younger audience, is one such material resource to help inculcate a sense of being a part of the folk religious Chinese people and Christian Chinese people.

Given the fairly strong presence of Christianity within Chinese American circles (about 30 percent based on last year’s Pew Research Center survey on Asian Americans), the second book, Saints, serves a similar function as Boxers by conveying a sense of rootedness with a faith that perhaps seems distal to their Chinese heritage. Reading Boxers and Saints still conveys a sense that Christianity is not Chinese culturally; it is imported by white Westerners. But it does remind readers that Chinese Christians have been around for more than a century. Wrestling with this reality, and coming to terms with it is an important exercise, and perhaps one that could be done in community for these young men and women.

Boxers and Saints extends beyond the Chinese American community as well; second-generation Asian Americans have fairly diverse networks relative to whites and blacks. For those who have friends in the Asian American community, this work can help introduce a perspective that is altogether new as well. It invites non-Asian Americans to consider what it might mean to be both Chinese and American (read: Western). In particular it asks us to think about what it means to be rooted in a culture that is animated by a pantheon of gods rather than one God? With that in mind, what might it mean to encounter the god of foreigners particularly in the midst of geopolitical turmoil involving exploitation? As Chinese immigration continues steadily through the 21stcentury, successive waves of second-generation Chinese Americans will continue to face these same questions of identity be it religious, ethnic or both. Boxers and Saintscould prove a useful tool in helping individuals and groups understand their place in the world, and their place in history.


June 28, 2013

Written by C.N.

Links, Jobs, & Announcements #75

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

Fellowship: Center for Asian American Media

© Corbis

Armed With a Camera Fellowship

In its twelfth season, the successful Armed With a Camera (AWC) Fellowship for Emerging Media Artists nurtures the next generation of Asian Pacific American media artists to capture their world, surroundings and outlook on life. Visual Communications works with the Fellows for seven months and provides special training, mentoring and networking opportunities, access to facilities and equipment, plus a cash and rental stipend to create four to five-minute digital shorts that premiere at the Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival and other venues nationwide.

The 2013-2014 Armed With A Camera Fellowship is accepting submissions May 15 – August 2, 2013. Up to 10 artists will be selected for the Fellowship. We will announce the new class of Fellows in September.

Visual Communications (VC) seeks to cultivate a new generation of Asian Pacific American media artists committed to preserving the legacy and vision of VC. The Armed With A Camera Fellowship will award up to ten fellows $1,000 in cash and $1,000 in equipment rental to complete a four to five-minute digital video. Through the Armed With A Camera Fellowship, emerging media artists will capture their world, surroundings and outlook on life as a part of a new generation of Asian Pacific Americans.

Final projects must be shot in digital video format and completed by March 21, 2014. A special program will showcase all completed projects at various VC exhibitions across the city of Los Angeles, including the 2014 Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival and other venues nationwide. VC will co-own the productions and will also package and distribute completed works. Distribution income will aid in the continuation of the Armed with a Camera Fellowship.

Applicant Eligibility
Eligible applicants must be of Asian Pacific descent and residents of Southern California. If accepted, Fellows must be able to attend mandatory meetings and workshops in Los Angeles. Women, South Asian and Southeast Asian filmmakers are highly encouraged to apply to the AWC Fellowship. If you’re not sure of your eligibility, please contact Visual Communications.

For more details on how to apply for the Armed With A Camera Fellowship, visit the Visual Communications website.

Online Survey: Asian American LGB

My name is Brianna Werner, and I am a research assistant to Dr. Frances Shen, a faculty member at the University of Illinois Springfield. We are in need of university student participants to complete a survey on the impact of discrimination on Asian American LGB persons.

We are seeking individuals who (1) identify as Asian American, (2) identify as lesbian, gay or bisexual, and (3) are at least 18 years of age to complete a confidential web-based survey that will ask you about the impact of discrimination on Asian American LGB persons.

The entire study should take approximately 30-40 minutes. The answers you provide will be kept completely confidential. You will not be asked to provide your name on the inventory. This research has been reviewed and approved by the UIS Human Subjects Review Officer, Dr. Lynn Pardie. Dr. Pardie can be reached at 217-206-7230 to answer any questions about your rights as a volunteer participant in this study.

As a thank you, participants who complete the survey can enter into a lottery drawing to win one of four $25 gift certificates or one of four $50 gift certificates.

For more information about the study, and to participate, please go to https://illinois.edu/sb/sec/4852751.

Sincerely,
Brianna Werner
Dr. Frances Shen

Online Survey: Interracial Relationships

You are invited to participate in a study exploring relationships among People of Color. The requirements are as follows: you must be 18 years of age or older; a Person of Color, and be involved in an interracial relationship for a minimum of one year. Participation in this study is voluntary and anonymous and you will not be compensated.

If you would like to participate or have any questions please contact Magie S. Maekawa at magiemaekawa@gmail.com or click on the following hyperlink: https://csulapsychology.qualtrics.com/SE/?SID=SV_ebQFLDRt1n30oHX.

Thank you very much,
Magie S. Maekawa

Call for Submissions: Race & Social Problems Journal

Call for Papers: Submit your manuscript for publication in Race and Social Problems.

We welcome manuscripts that explore, but are not limited to, such topics as criminal justice, economic conditions, education, the elderly, families, health disparities, mental health, race relations, and youth.

To submit a manuscript, please visit www.crsp.pitt.edu/publications/CallForPapers.pdf. Articles in the journal are available for free online at http://link.springer.com/journal/12552. In 2014, there will be a special issue on Asian Americans. You may submit your manuscript to www.crsp.pitt.edu/publications/SpecialIssueCallforPapers2013-2.pdf.

Expected future special issues of Race and Social Problems include the following:

  • Women of Color, 2015
    Race and Religiosity, 2016
    Race and Education, 2017
    Race and Aging, 2018

June 14, 2013

Written by Jerry Z. Park

Hmong, Indian, What’s the Difference?

(Article cross-posted from BlackWhiteandGray)

Recent news on the higher education scene has turned attention to the Asian American case, or cases we should say. A team of education researchers led by Dr. Robert Teranishi used data from the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey and the University of California higher education system to make the case that Asian American ethnic groups are not all performing in the “model minority” way. As some readers know, Asian Americans tend to be grouped together as if they were a racial equivalent to “white” “black” and sometimes “Hispanic.”

When this kind of grouping occurs, scholars and interested citizens look for similarities and differences between racial groups on outcomes like educational attainment, household income, poverty levels, health etc. From this classification approach Asian Americans tend to appear exemplary on a number of outcomes. Take for example, last year’s Pew report on Asian Americans. Using the American Community Survey, Pew shows an aggregate figure for bachelor’s degree attainment and median household income in 2010 for Asian Americans. As the title of their figure states “Asian Americans Lead Others in Education, Income.”

Teranishi and colleagues’ report disaggregates, that is, splits into smaller groups, the Asian American classification using the same data, and this is what they find. In this first graph we see bachelor’s degree attainment across multiple Asian American groups and we find surprising differences across the board. At the one end, Taiwanese and Asian Indian Americans report over 71% within each group with a bachelor’s degree. At the other end, about 12% of Laotian and 15% of Hmong Americans claim the same educational attainment. So while it is the case that Asian Americans as a group appear to have a lot of education, the reality is that only certain groups are showing this level attainment.

Now let’s look at household income. Using the median household income ($66,000 according to the Pew report) for all Asian Americans, Teranishi et al. disaggregate that figure and show the following.

As you can see, at one extreme, Asian Indian Americans exceed the Asian American household income mean by over $21,000 on average. Hmong Americans are below that same mean by almost the same amount. In fact 9 out of the 15 groups are below the Asian American mean. And 7 of these groups are lower than the white American average.

What this suggests is that Asian Americans are highly diverse socioeconomically. To the extent that the model minority myth is applied to this collection of SES-diverse groups, it masks the evident differences among them. Read the full report here to find out more about the benefits of disaggregation especially in higher education within the University of California system. Similar kinds of analyses were conducted by Dr. Paul Ong and associates who disaggregated homeownership and cash public assistance rates across Asian ethnic groups in several different areas of the US.

The slide show report on some of their findings is here, and the regional reports are here. Like Teranishi et al.’s report, disaggregation of Asian American homeownership, other assets and public assistance shows that the rates of these socioeconomic patterns vary a lot by Asian ethnic group.

Some might ask: then why is the overall Asian American average so high to begin with. The answer is a matter of population size. Look back at the disaggregated figures. Pick out these groups: Chinese, Filipino, Indian, Vietnamese, Korean, and Japanese. These groups take up 83% of all Asian Americans. Statistically, the other groups are not numerically large enough to alter the educational attainment or household income average of the largest six groups since they take up a greater share of the population. We should remember too, sizable numbers of Asian Americans in the larger groups do not share in the picture of “success” that their same-ethnic peers experience.

In our racialized society, we like our groups to be simple; we prefer to ignore the diverse realities within the groupings we create. By using “Asian American” as shorthand for “the successful minority” we mask major differences in the outcomes that presumably all Asian Americans share. Notably, our social programs often utilize this assumption and give next to nothing for vulnerable Asian Americans. This in turn makes Asian American inequalities invisible.

Hopefully more leaders and concerned citizens will grow aware of the problem we create when we use the stereotype of “the high –achieving, hard-working minority.” Reports and studies, like the one produced by Dr. Teranishi that disaggregate the Asian American data story expand our own understanding that this story is not just diverse culturally, but socioeconomically as well.


Written by C.N.

Introducing Jerry Z. Park, Another New Contributing Author

As another contributing author to the Asian-Nation team, I would like to introduce Jerry Z. Park.

Jerry Z. Park is an Associate Professor of Sociology at Baylor University. His research interests are in American race relations, religion, social identities, culture and civic engagement, with a focus on Asian Americans. He has published peer-reviewed articles in journals such as Social Forces, The Sociological Quarterly, Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, Sociological Perspectives, and Journal of Asian American Studies.

He has participated in obtaining the Asian American oversample of the Portraits of American Life Survey Wave I (2006) and has been a regular contributor of the Baylor Religion Surveys (2005-2013). In 2012, he served as an advisory panel member of the Pew Asian American Survey and is currently studying the religious influences in workplace outcomes and in entrepreneurial enterprises through a grant from the National Science Foundation.

Since 2012 he is a feature blogger on “Black, White and Gray: Where Christianity and Sociology Meet” on Patheos.com, and looks forward to joining the team at Asian-Nation. Address: One Bear Place #97326, Baylor University, Waco, TX 76798.

Welcome aboard, Jerry. It’s great to have you be a part of the expanding Asian-Nation team and I and my readers look forward to reading your posts!