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Behind the Headlines: APA News Blog

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

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

December 6, 2012

Written by C.N.

Links, Jobs, & Announcements #70

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.

2 Positions: American Ethnic Studies, Kansas State Univ.

© Corbis

Director – American Ethnic Studies

Kansas State University invites applications for Director of the American Ethnic Studies Program. The Program will grow significantly over the next three years to meet the requirements to become a department and to contribute to the university’s goal of being recognized as a top 50 public research university by 2025: http://www.k-state.edu/2025. This is a 12-month, tenure line appointment with a reduced teaching load.

Requirements include a strong record of teaching, research, and service that focuses specifically on historically under-represented racial and ethnic populations in the U.S. Candidates with a Ph.D. in Ethnic Studies or related interdisciplinary field are especially encouraged to apply. Regardless of research field, the successful candidate will demonstrate an emphasis on interdisciplinarity and have a clear and demonstrated understanding of how race, culture, language, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, and multiple perspectives in the U.S. context intersect with important elements of inequality and opportunity. Candidates should also demonstrate academic administrative experience with diverse groups of professionals, a strong commitment to supporting research and scholarship within an interdisciplinary department, and a vision for the program’s future. The successful candidate will also have excellent interpersonal and organizational skills, will be able to exhibit innovative thinking about the program’s ongoing development and resource challenges, and will possess a commitment to working with the Dean and college department Directors/Heads.

Responsibilities
The director will:

  • provide leadership for the development of the program according to program, college, and university strategic goals
  • oversee and supervise programmatic functions (e.g., scheduling, budgeting, and personnel)
  • represent the program on and off-campus
  • mentor faculty members in their research and teaching
  • teach, advise, and pursue focused research interrogating the multiple perspectives and contexts for historically under-represented racial and ethnic populations in the U.S.
  • foster a sense of community by promoting open communication, cooperation, and collegiality among faculty, staff, and students
  • work with the college, K-State Foundation, and alumni to attract funds and resources
  • relate effectively to individuals of diverse backgrounds

Required Qualifications

  • Earned Ph.D. in a discipline with a clear teaching, research, and service focus specific to historically under-represented racial and ethnic populations in the U.S.
  • Strong background of interdisciplinary scholarship
  • Excellent leadership and administrative skills
  • Experience working with diverse groups
  • Qualifications consistent with the rank of Associate Professor or Professor

Preferred Qualifications

  • Demonstrated success in a leadership or administrative role
  • Demonstrated ability to obtain and administer external funding, including philanthropic gifts
  • Qualifications consistent with the rank of Professor

Application Information
Review of applications will begin January 14, 2013, and continue until the position is filled. Applicants must submit: (1) a letter of application that describes their qualifications and background, (2) a one-page statement outlining a vision for expanding the department’s capabilities and productivity, especially in research, scholarship, and creative activity, (3) a curriculum vita, and (4) the names and contact information for three references. Submit materials (preference is for a single PDF file) to Ms. Karen Solt, College of Arts & Sciences, Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS 66506-1005; (785) 532-6900. Submissions by email are preferred: solt@k-state.edu. Contact Ms. Karen Solt with any questions. Kansas State University is an equal opportunity employer and actively seeks diversity among its employees. A background check is required.

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American Ethnic Studies Tenure Track Assistant Professor Position

The American Ethnic Studies Program at Kansas State University invites applications for a tenure-track Assistant Professor. Candidates must have a record or clear promise of:

  • research publication in Asian-American, Latino/a, OR American-Indian studies
  • strong teaching
  • demonstrated commitment to departmental and institutional service and diverse student populations
  • Regardless of research field, the successful candidate will have a clear and demonstrated understanding of how race and ethnicity in the U.S. context intersect with important elements of inequality and opportunity

The person hired will play a key role in developing the new major in American Ethnic Studies. Teaching load is 3/2, including Introductory American Ethnic Studies surveys, upper-level American Ethnic Studies courses, and upper-level courses in area of specialty. Completed PhD in related field by time of appointment.

Review of applications begins December 7, 2012. Send letter, CV, one sample of article-length scholarly writing, three letters of recommendation, and evidence of teaching effectiveness to Kimberly Garver, kgarver@k-state.edu, Kansas State University, American Ethnic Studies Program, 3 Leasure Hall, Manhattan, KS 66506. Electronic submissions are encouraged.

Department Information
Created as a secondary major over twenty years ago, American Ethnic Studies is a now an academic major with strong support from the College Administration. This position is one of two hires for 2013, with a third new position anticipated the following year. By the end of Spring 2015, the program will have four tenure-track faculty and begin the transition to the status of a department.

Currently, one tenure track faculty (focusing in African American Studies), one interim director, and three instructors comprise the core faculty. The program has 19 undergraduate majors and 79 minors. In addition, the program is supported by 27 affiliated faculty from around the university and advised by an 11-person governance board. The program’s core areas of scholarship inquiry may be found on the web site: http://www.k-state.edu/ameth/.

Position: Director, Institute on Race and Ethnicity, Univ. of Arkansas at Little Rock

The University of Arkansas at Little Rock (UALR) invites applications and nominations for the Director of the UALR Institute on Race and Ethnicity. . . . [T]he Institute is dedicated to dismantling the remaining historical, cultural, and institutional barriers that have impeded the progress of racial and ethnic justice in America.

UALR established the Institute on Race and Ethnicity in late 2011 after seven years of comprehensive planning, research, and public discussion led by Chancellor Joel Anderson. Today the Institute is poised to become a state-wide forum for direct conversation, focused action, and systemic change by bringing people of diverse backgrounds together through scholarly research, public forums, and action-driven initiatives to foster civic renewal and reconciliation.

The Search Advisory Committee seeks a visionary builder with a passion for social justice and talents as a collaborator and mediator. The successful candidate in this broad national search will have the signal opportunity to help write the next chapters in the history of race relations in Arkansas and the South; to position the Institute as a world-class change agent in achieving fuller cooperation among the races; and to lead in refining and implementing its vision, mission, and strategic plan as the Institute grows in stature regionally and nationally.

The Search Committee will accept applications and nominations until the on-campus interview stage. For best consideration, materials should be received before February 15, 2013. Interviews will begin in March. Applications should include a detailed letter of interest describing relevant experiences and interest in the position; curriculum vitae; names of five references with titles, addresses, and telephone numbers. Individuals who wish to nominate a candidate should submit a letter of nomination, including name, position, address, telephone number, and email address of the nominee.

Materials should be electronically submitted via MS Word or pdf to UALRInstitute@academic-search.com. The search is assisted by John B. Hicks, Senior Consultant Academic Search, Inc. John.hicks@academic-search.com 205-345-7221.

Position: Research Associate/Social Demographer, Latin American Studies, Univ. of Nebraska

University of Nebraska at Omaha
Research Associate-Social Demographer
6001 Dodge St., Omaha NE 68182

Job Summary
The University of Nebraska at Omaha and the Office of Latino/Latin American Studies of the Great Plains (OLLAS) invites applications for a post-doctoral scholar who can help OLLAS build its record of local and trans-hemispheric community-oriented and policy relevant research in areas related to Latino/Latin American population movements as well as socioeconomic characteristics and impacts. The University and OLLAS have a strong commitment to achieving diversity among faculty and staff. We are particularly interested in receiving applications from members of under-represented groups and strongly encourage women and persons of color to apply.

Qualifications
PhD required. Must be proficient in U.S. census analysis as well as knowledgeable of Latin American censuses. Must have excellent writing and oral communication skills. Teaching experience and experience working with grassroots Latino communities and a record of collaborative research and engagement are required. Proficiency in reading, writing, and speaking of Spanish language is highly desirable. Must have a secondary area of research such as health, education, social inequality, or migration.

Essential Duties
The successful candidate must be able to conduct research, publish reports, and participate in related community engagement projects in the areas of Latino/Latin American migration and socioeconomic issues associated with multi-generational Latinos in Nebraska and Great Plains region.

To Apply
Apply for this position at http://agency.governmentjobs.com/unomaha/default.cfm and submit the following items electronically: cover letter, curriculum vitae, names of at least three references, and research statement. Hard copies of materials that cannot be attached electronically should be mailed to Dr. Lourdes Gouveia, OLLAS, University of Nebraska at Omaha, 6001 Dodge Street, Omaha NE, 68182.

Call for Submissions: Asian American Religions in a Globalized World

Amerasia Journal Special Issue Call for Papers: Asian American Religions in a Globalized World

Guest Editors: Professor Khyati Y. Joshi (Farleigh Dickinson University) and Professor Sylvia Chan-Malik (Rutgers University)
Publication Date: Spring 2014

Due Dates: 400-word abstracts due on January 10, 2013; authors with selected abstracts will be notified shortly after, with an April 1, 2013 due date for completed essay submissions.

How does religion shape the existing and emergent terrains of Asian Pacific America? In our contemporary moment, as neoliberal policies of globalization and militarism converge with legacies of colonialism and racial violence, what role has religion played in the racial formation of Asian Pacific Americans in the U.S. and beyond? As dividing lines between the “religious” and the “secular” become increasingly blurred, how do processes of racialization affect what we understand as “religious” practices in APA communities, both domestically and transnationally? To investigate such questions, we seek critical essays, book reviews, and first-person accounts that engage the intersections of Asian Pacific America and Religion for a special issue of Amerasia Journal, scheduled for publication in Spring 2014.

Building upon “Racial Spirits” (1996), an earlier project exploring Asian American religions in Amerasia Journal, this special issue will look at how religion plays a central role in creating belonging and identity formation in Asian Pacific America, alongside how APA religions themselves are constructed and reproduced through lived experience and community formation. While broadly speaking, there is increasing interest in religion amongst scholars in Asian American Studies, much more inquiry is necessary to assess the salience of spirituality and religion in the everyday lives of Asian Pacific Americans, as well as how religion has been racialized, gendered, and sexualized in the post-9/11 era. We are particularly interested in how religion provides transnational sources of identification for APA communities, enabling and fostering affiliations that often span beyond the nation-state and challenge U.S.-based categories of racial and religious formation.

We seek scholarship engaging APA religions from a variety of methods and disciplines, and welcome intersectional analyses that account for and offer new frameworks for understanding the dynamic interplay between categories of race, gender, class, sexuality, and religion. In addition to scholarly essays, we encourage submissions of first-person narratives from community activists, theologians, and religious leaders. Stepping across theoretical and disciplinary boundaries is strongly encouraged.

The issue’s major foci will be on:

  • Asian Pacific American Religious Histories and Communities, in particular those affected by post-9/11 racializing practices, e.g. Sikhs, Hindus, Muslims, etc.
  • Lived Religion in the Asian Pacific American Experience
  • Asian Pacific American Religious Communities and Social Justice
  • Race and Sacred Spaces
  • Interracial-Interreligious Intersections, i.e. Relationships between Asian Pacific American Religious Communities and other religious communities of color (i.e. Black/Chicano-Latino/Native American-Indigenous, etc.)

To submit, please send a 400-word abstract, along with a short biographical note, to Dr. Khyati Joshi, Dr. Sylvia Chan-Malik, and Dr. Arnold Pan at the addresses below by January 10, 2013. If selected for publication, final pieces will range from 3000-5000 words.

Submission Guidelines:
The editorial procedure involves a three-step process. The guest editors, in consultation with the Amerasia Journal editors and peer reviewers, make decisions on the final essays:

1. Approval of abstracts
2. Submission of papers solicited from accepted abstracts
3. Revision of accepted peer-reviewed papers and final submission

Please send correspondence regarding the special issue on religion and Asian American Studies to the following addresses. All correspondence should refer to “Amerasia Journal Religion Issue” in the subject line.

Professor Khyati Joshi: khyati@fdu.edu
Professor Sylvia Chan-Malik: s.chanmalik@rutgers.edu
Arnold Pan, Associate Editor, Amerasia Journal: arnoldpan@ucla.edu

Call for Submissions: Hmong Across Borders

“Hmong Across Borders” Conference
Friday, October 4 to Saturday, October 5, 2013
University of Minnesota, Twin Cities

The Consortium for Hmong Studies between the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities and the University of Wisconsin-Madison (http://hmongstudies.wisc.edu/index.htm) will be hosting our second conference entitled “Hmong Across Borders” on October 4-5, 2013 at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities. This will be an interdisciplinary, international conference that will focus on current, innovative research on the Hmong across different intellectual and national boundaries around the world. The aim of the conference is to gather scholars around the globe who are interested in critical Hmong studies and related ideas.

This includes bringing together well-established scholars as well as those beginning their careers. Graduate students are encouraged to submit abstracts. Although the central focus of this conference is on the Hmong, papers of a comparative nature that focus on the Hmong and other ethnic groups are equally welcome. Presenters will not be required to pay the registration fee for attending, but will be expected to cover their own travel and accommodation costs.

Scholars interested in presenting are encouraged to submit individual abstracts not exceeding 250 words, or ideas for panels not exceeding 400 words. Submissions should be sent to Mai Na M. Lee at mainalee@umn.edu. Abstracts should be received no later than April 15, 2013. Acceptance of abstracts and panel ideas will be confirmed by May 30, 2013.

Organized panels should compose of 3-4 participants presenting formal papers and 1 discussant. Panel organizers should supply the following information:

  • Title of the panel
  • Name, institution, address and email of the panel organizer
  • Name, institution, address and email of each presenter
  • Name, institution, address and email of the panel discussant
  • Abstract (250 words or less) describing the panel as a whole
  • Title and abstract (250 words or less) of each individual papers

Individual papers must include the following information:

  • Title of the paper
  • Name, institution, address and email address of the presenter
  • Abstract of 250 words or less

August 15, 2011

Written by C.N.

Academic Research: Articles on Race/Ethnicity & Immigration #4

The following is a list of recent academic journal articles and doctoral dissertations from scholars in the social sciences and humanities that focus on race/ethnicity and/or immigration, with a particular emphasis on Asian Americans. As you can see, the diversity of research topics is a direct reflection of the dynamic and multidimensional nature of people’s lives, experiences, and issues related to race/ethnicity and immigration.

The academic journal articles are generally available in the libraries of most colleges and universities and/or through online research databases. The dissertation records are compiled by Dissertation Abstracts International. Copies of the dissertations can be obtained through your college’s library or by addressing your request to ProQuest, 789 E. Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106-1346. Telephone 800-521-3042, email: disspub@umi.com. As always, works included in this list are for informational purposes only and do not imply an endorsement of their contents.

Yamashiro, Jane H. 2011. “Racialized National Identity Construction in the Ancestral Homeland: Japanese American Migrants in Japan.” Ethnic and Racial Studies. 34:9:1502-1521

  • Abstract: This article examines Japanese Americans in Japan to illuminate how ‘Japanese American’ – an ethnic minority identity in the US – is reconstructed in Japan as a racialized national identity. Based on fifty interviews with American citizens of Japanese ancestry conducted between 2004 and 2007, I demonstrate how interactions with Japanese in Japan shape Japanese Americans’ racial and national understandings of themselves.

    After laying out a theoretical framework for understanding the shifting intersection of race, ethnicity, and nationality, I explore the interactive process of racial categorization and ethnic identity assertion for Japanese American transnationals in Japan. This process leads to what I call racialized national identities – the intersection of racial and national identities in an international context – and suggests that US racial minority identities are constructed not only within the US, but abroad as well.

© Lisa Zador and Images.com/Corbis

Smith, Sandra Susan and Jennifer Anne Meri Jones. 2011. “Intraracial Harassment on Campus: Explaining Between- and Within-Group Differences.” Ethnic and Racial Studies. 34:9:1567-1593.

  • Abstract: Using the National Longitudinal Survey of Freshmen (NLSF), we examine both between- and within-group differences in the odds of feeling intraracially harassed. Specifically, we investigate the effects of colleges’ and universities’ racial composition as well as the nature of students’ associations with non-group members, including involvement in racially homogeneous campus organizations, ethnoracial diversity of friendship networks, and interracial dating.

    Our findings suggest that although college racial composition appears to have little effect on experiencing intraracial harassment, the nature of students’ involvement with other-race students matters a great deal. For all groups, interracial dating increased odds of harassment. Among black and white students, more diverse friendship networks did as well. And among Asian and Latino students, involvement in any racially homogeneous campus organization was associated with increases in reports of intraracial harassment. Thus, we propose a baseline theoretical model of intraracial harassment that highlights the nature of students’ associations with outgroups.

Sakamoto, Arthur, Isao Takei & Hyeyoung Woo. 2011. “Socioeconomic Differentials among Single-Race and Multi-Race Japanese Americans.” Ethnic and Racial Studies. 34:9:445-1465.

  • Abstract: Using data from the 2000 US Census, this study investigates various groups of single-race and multi-race Japanese Americans in terms of their schooling and wages. The results indicate that all categories of Japanese Americans tend to have higher schooling than whites. Single-race Japanese Americans tend to have higher schooling than multi-race Japanese Americans, and 1.5-generation Japanese Americans tend to have higher schooling than native-born Japanese Americans.

    With the exception of foreign-educated, immigrant Japanese Americans, most of the wage differentials are explained by schooling and a few other demographic characteristics. These results are rather inconsistent with traditional assimilation theory which posits rising socioeconomic attainments with increasing acculturation. Instead, the findings suggest a reverse pattern by which the groups that are more closely related to Japan tend to have higher levels of educational attainment which then become translated into higher wages.

Khattab, Nabil, Ron Johnston, Tariq Modood, and Ibrahim Sirkeci. 2011. “Economic Activity in the South-Asian Population in Britain: The Impact of Ethnicity, Religion, and Class.” Ethnic and Racial Studies. 34:9:1466-1481.

  • Abstract: This paper expands the existing literature on ethnicity and economic activity in Britain by studying the impact of religion and class. It argues that while the class location of the different South-Asian groups is important in determining their labour market outcomes, it does not operate independently from ethnicity; rather it is highly influenced by ethnicity in the process of determining the labour market participation of these groups.

    We use data obtained from the 2001 UK Census on Indian, Pakistani, and Bangladeshi men and women aged between twenty and twenty nine. Our findings confirm that class structure of the South-Asian groups is highly ethnicized, in that the ethno-religious background and class are interwoven to the extent that the separation between them is not easy, if not impossible.

Massey, Douglas and and Monica Espinoza Higginsa. 2011. “The Effect of Immigration on Religious Belief and Practice: A Theologizing or Alienating Experience?” Social Science Research. 40:5:1371-1389.

  • Abstract: Using data from the New Immigrant Survey, we examine the religious beliefs and practices of new legal immigrants to the United States. We find that Christian immigrants are more Catholic, more Orthodox, and less Protestant than American Christians, and that those immigrants who are Protestant are more likely to be evangelical. In addition to being more Catholic and more Orthodox than American Christians, the new immigrants are also paradoxically less Christian, with a fifth reporting some other faith.

    Detailed analysis of reported church attendance at places of origin and in the United States suggest that immigration is a disruptive event that alienates immigrants from religious practice rather than “theologizing” them. In addition, our models clearly show that people who join congregations in the United States are highly selected and unrepresentative of the broader population of immigrants in any faith. In general, congregational members were more observant both before and after emigration, were more educated, had more cumulative experience in the United States, and were more likely to have children present in the household and be homeowners and therefore yield biased representations of all adherents to any faith. The degree of selectivity and hence bias also varies markedly both by religion and nationality.

Jasso, Guillermina. 2011. “Migration and stratification.” Social Science Research. 40:5:1292-1336.

  • Abstract: Migration and stratification are increasingly intertwined. One day soon it will be impossible to understand one without the other. Both focus on life chances. Stratification is about differential life chances – who gets what and why – and migration is about improving life chances – getting more of the good things of life.

    To examine the interconnections of migration and stratification, we address a mix of old and new questions, carrying out analyses newly enabled by a unique new data set on recent legal immigrants to the United States (the New Immigrant Survey). We look at immigrant processing and lost documents, depression due to the visa process, presentation of self, the race-ethnic composition of an immigrant cohort (made possible by the data for the first time since 1961), black immigration from Africa and the Americas, skin color diversity among couples formed by US citizen sponsors and immigrant spouses, and English fluency among children age 8–12 and their immigrant parents.

    We find, inter alia, that children of previously illegal parents are especially more likely to be fluent in English, that native-born US citizen women tend to marry darker, that immigrant applicants who go through the visa process while already in the United States are more likely to have their documents lost and to suffer visa depression, and that immigration, by introducing accomplished black immigrants from Africa (notably via the visa lottery), threatens to overturn racial and skin color associations with skill. Our analyses show the mutual embeddedness of migration and stratification in the unfolding of the immigrants’ and their children’s life chances and the impacts on the stratification structure of the United States.

Hersch, Joni. 2011. “The Persistence of Skin Color Discrimination for Immigrants. Social Science Research. 40:5:1337-1349.

  • Abstract: Under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, discrimination in employment on the basis of color is prohibited, and color is a protected basis independent from race. Using data from the spouses of the main respondents to the New Immigrant Survey 2003, this paper shows that immigrants with the lightest skin color earn on average 16–23% more than comparable immigrants with the darkest skin color.

    These estimates control for years of legal permanent residence in the US, education, English language proficiency, occupation in source country, Hispanic or Latino ethnicity, race, country of birth, as well as for extensive current labor market characteristics that may be themselves influenced by discrimination. Furthermore, the skin color penalty does not diminish over time. These results are consistent with persistent skin color discrimination affecting legal immigrants to the United States.

Akresh, Ilana Redstone. 2011. “Wealth Accumulation among U.S. Immigrants: A Study of Assimilation and Differentials.” Social Science Research. 40:5:1390-1401.

  • Abstract: Data from the New Immigrant Survey are used to study wealth differentials among U.S. legal permanent residents. This study is unique in its ability to account for wealth held in the U.S. and that held abroad and yields several key findings. First, relative to immigrants from Western Europe, Australia, Canada, and New Zealand (who have median wealth similar to native born non-Hispanic whites), other immigrant groups have lower levels of total wealth even after accounting for permanent income and life course characteristics.

    Second, time in the U.S. is positively associated with the wealth of married immigrants, yet this relationship is not statistically significant for single immigrants. Third, differences in the means of measured characteristics between Western European immigrants and those from most other origin regions account for more than 75 percent of observed wealth disparities. However, for immigrants from Asia and from the Indian subcontinent, much of the wealth differential remains unexplained by these factors.

Lin, Ken-Hou. 2011. “Do Less-Skilled Immigrants Work More? Examining the Work Time of Mexican Immigrant Men in the United States.” Social Science Research. 40:5:1402-1418.

  • Abstract: Using data from the US Current Population Surveys 2006–2008, I examine the weekly work hours of Mexican immigrants. Mexican immigrant workers on average work 2–4 h less than non-Hispanic whites per week, which contradicts the popular portrait of long immigrant work hours. Four mechanisms to explain this gap are proposed and examined.

    Results show that the work time disparity between non-Hispanic white and Mexican immigrant workers is explained by differences in human capital, ethnic concentration in the labor market, and selection process into employment. English proficiency has limited effect on work time after location in labor market is specified, while the effect of citizenship status remains robust.


August 3, 2011

Written by C.N.

Academic Research: Articles on Race/Ethnicity & Immigration #3

The following is a list of recent academic journal articles and doctoral dissertations from scholars in the social sciences and humanities that focus on race/ethnicity and/or immigration, with a particular emphasis on Asian Americans. As you can see, the diversity of research topics is a direct reflection of the dynamic and multidimensional nature of people’s lives, experiences, and issues related to race/ethnicity and immigration.

The academic journal articles are generally available in the libraries of most colleges and universities and/or through online research databases. The dissertation records are compiled by Dissertation Abstracts International. Copies of the dissertations can be obtained through your college’s library or by addressing your request to ProQuest, 789 E. Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106-1346. Telephone 800-521-3042, email: disspub@umi.com. As always, works included in this list are for informational purposes only and do not imply an endorsement of their contents.

Yasuike, Akiko. 2011. “Economic Opportunities and the Division of Labor among Japanese Immigrant Couples in Southern California.” Sociological Inquiry 81:353-376.

  • Abstract: Based on 36 in-depth interviews conducted with 18 Japanese couples who live in Southern California, this study examines the impact of differential economic opportunities on the division of labor among Japanese immigrant couples. Three main factors facilitate Japanese professional and businessmen’s mobility to and settlement in Southern California: (1) the gender-based stratification of the workplace in Japan; (2) U.S. immigration policies that favor foreign nationals with strong corporate ties and business experience; and (3) the strong presence of Japanese corporations in Southern California.

    Whereas these conditions enable men to maintain their earning power, they do not benefit women in employment opportunities. The difference in economic opportunities encourages Japanese couples to preserve a breadwinner and homemaker division of labor, and women continue to do a bulk of housework and childcare even when women reenter the labor force later in their lives.

© Lisa Zador and Images.com/Corbis

Xiea, Yu, and Emily Greenman. 2011. “The Social Context of Assimilation: Testing Implications of Segmented Assimilation Theory.” Social Science Research 40:965-984.

  • Abstract: Segmented assimilation theory has been a popular explanation for the diverse experiences of assimilation among new waves of immigrants and their children. While the theory has been interpreted in many different ways, we emphasize its implications for the important role of social context: both processes and consequences of assimilation should depend on the local social context in which immigrants are embedded. We derive empirically falsifiable hypotheses about the interaction effects between social context and assimilation on immigrant children’s well-being.

    We then test the hypotheses using data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health. Our empirical analyses yield two main findings. First, for immigrant adolescents living in non-poverty neighborhoods, we find assimilation to be positively associated with educational achievement and psychological well-being but also positively associated with at-risk behavior. Second, there is little empirical evidence supporting our hypotheses derived from segmented assimilation theory. We interpret these results to mean that future research would be more fruitful focusing on differential processes of assimilation rather than differential consequences of assimilation.

Thomas, Kevin J. A. 2011. “What Explains the Increasing Trend in African Emigration to the U.S.?” International Migration Review 45:3-28.

  • Abstract: In this study, data from the U.S. State Department on visas issued abroad and information from other sources are used to examine trends in African emigration to the U.S. The results suggest that, on average, moderate increases in African Gross Domestic Product between 1992 and 2007 had a buffering effect on emigration trends. Yet, emigration to the U.S. increased much faster from the poorest than wealthiest countries in Africa. Contrary to expectations, larger emigration increases were found in Africa’s non-English than English-speaking countries.

    Despite the increasing overall trend, however, critical differences were observed in the impacts of specific types of flows. For example, overall trends were driven by increases in Diversity Visa migration, refugee movements, and the migration of immediate relatives. However, significant declines were observed in employment-related emigration from Africa to the U.S. The results further suggest that impact of trends in African fertility, urbanization, and phone use are circumscribed to specific contexts and types of migration flows. The findings, therefore, provide an empirical basis for concluding that the dynamics of African migration to the U.S. are becoming increasingly more complex.

Taylor, Marylee C., and Peter J. Mateyka. 2011. “Commuity Influences on White Racial Attitudes: What Matters and Why?” Sociological Quarterly 52:220-243.

  • Abstract: Tracing the roots of racial attitudes in historical events and individual biographies has been a long-standing goal of race relations scholars. Recent years have seen a new development in racial attitude research: Local community context has entered the spotlight as a potential influence on racial views. The race composition of the locality has been the most common focus; evidence from earlier decades suggests that white Americans are more likely to hold anti-black attitudes if they live in areas where the African-American population is relatively large.

    However, an influential 2000 article argued that the socioeconomic composition of the white community is a more powerful influence on white attitudes: In low-socioeconomic status (SES) locales, “stress-inducing” deprivations and hardships in whites’ own lives purportedly lead them to disparage blacks. The study reported here reassesses this “scapegoating” claim, using data from the 1998 to 2002 General Social Surveys linked to 2000 census information about communities. Across many dimensions of racial attitudes, there is pronounced influence of both local racial proportions and college completion rates among white residents. However, the economic dimension of SES exerts negligible influence on white racial attitudes, suggesting that local processes other than scapegoating must be at work.

Son, Deborah, and J. Nicole Shelton. 2011. “Stigma Consciousness Among Asian Americans: Impact of Positive Stereotypes in Interracial Roommate Relationships.” Asian American Journal of Psychology 2:51-60.

  • Abstract: The present research examined the intrapersonal consequences that Asian Americans experience as a result of their concerns about appearing highly intelligent, a positive stereotype associated with their racial group. A daily diary study of Asian-American college students (N = 47) revealed that higher levels of stigma consciousness were associated with greater anxiety, contact avoidance, perceived need to change to fit in with a roommate, and concerns about being viewed as intelligent for Asian Americans living with a European-American (vs. racial minority) roommate.

    Further, among Asian Americans with a European-American roommate, concerns about appearing intelligent partially mediated the relationships between stigma consciousness and the outcomes of anxiety and perceived need to change to fit in. In sum, these findings demonstrate that positive stereotypes about the group—not just negative stereotypes—may lead to undesirable intrapersonal outcomes.

Ruzek, Nicole A., Dao Q. Nguyen, and David C. Herzog. 2011. “Acculturation, Enculturation, Psychological Distress and Help-Seeking Preferences among Asian American College Students.” Asian American Journal of Psychology July 4, 2001.

  • Abstract: We examined the relationship between Asian American college students’ levels of acculturation, enculturation, and psychological distress. We also explored the methods Asian American college students prefer when seeking help for psychological concerns. The sample included 601 Asian American students from a large public university in Southern California. Respondents completed an online questionnaire, which included instruments assessing acculturation and enculturation levels as well as psychological distress and help-seeking preferences.

    Regression analyses indicated that when Asian American students hold a greater degree of European values they are less likely to experience psychological distress. A repeated-measures ANOVA found that Asian American students prefer more covert approaches to mental health treatment. These findings both compliment and contradict previous studies of acculturation, enculturation, psychological distress and help-seeking among the Asian American college student population.

Hunt, Geoffrey, Molly Moloney, and Kristin Evans. 2011. “‘How Asian Am I?’ Asian American Youth Cultures, Drug Use, and Ethnic Identity Construction.” Youth & Society 43:274-304.

  • Abstract: This article analyzes the construction of ethnic identity in the narratives of 100 young Asian Americans in a dance club/rave scene. Authors examine how illicit drug use and other consuming practices shape their understanding of Asian American identities, finding three distinct patterns. The first presents a disjuncture between Asian American ethnicity and drug use, seeing their own consumption as exceptional. The second argues their drug consumption is a natural outgrowth of their Asian American identity, allowing them to navigate the liminal space they occupy in American society.

    The final group presents Asian American drug use as normalized and constructs identity through taste and lifestyle boundary markers within social contexts of the dance scenes. These three narratives share a sense of ethnicity as dynamic, provisional, and constructed, allowing one to go beyond the static, essentialist models of ethnic identity that underlie much previous research on ethnicity, immigration, and substance use.

Howard, Tiffiany O. 2011. “The Perceptions of Self and Others: Examining the Effect Identity Adoption has on Immigrant Attitudes toward Affirmative Action Policies in the United States.” Immigrants & Minorities 29:86-109.

  • Abstract: While there exist several studies devoted to evaluating the political attitudes of US citizens, very little has been done to distinguish between the political attitudes of immigrants and citizens of the same racial or ethnic group. Using data from the Multi-City Study of Urban Inequality, 1992-94, this study evaluates the role identity adoption plays in highlighting the distinctions which exist between the political attitudes of immigrants and those of US citizens from the same racial/ethnic group.

    The results reveal that despite pronounced cultural distinctions between immigrants and US citizens, in many cases race and ethnicity are important unifiers on opinions regarding public policy issues, specifically that of affirmative action. This is an important finding because it suggests that there is some homogeneity of attitudes and public


April 12, 2010

Written by C.N.

Updated List of White Backlash Examples

Following up on my earlier post entitled “White Backlash: Yes, It’s Real,” I will use this post to maintain a continually updated list of news stories that highlight and exemplify various examples of this kind of direct and indirect anti-minority, anti-’foreigner,’ and pro-’traditional American’ mentality and behavior that is increasingly on display throughout American society. The list in in reverse chronological order (most recent stories first). Also, feel free to mention any other examples I missed in the comments section at the bottom.

  • Secret Service to Probe Bullet-Ridden Picture of Obama (Jan. 2012)
    A photograph showing a group of men with guns posing with a bullet-riddled T-shirt containing an image of Barack Obama’s face is to be investigated by the Secret Service. The picture originally appeared on the Facebook page of an Arizona (surprise!) police officer.
  • Kansas Republican Leader Calls Michelle Obama ‘Mrs. YoMama,’ Prays She Becomes a Widow (Jan. 2012)
    Kansas House Speaker Mike O’Neal (R) was forced to apologize to First Lady Michelle Obama after forwarding an email to fellow lawmakers that called her “Mrs. YoMama.”
    Earlier that same week, O’Neal said “Let [President Obama's] days be few” and calls for his children to be without a father and his wife to be widowed.
  • Arizona Teenage Girls Post Racist YouTube Denigrating Immigrants (Jan. 2012)
    A group of Arizona girls post a video on YouTube about “Mexican immigration” and the “new Arizona law that just passed the legislator (sic).” The video was pulled from YouTube and the creators deleted their YouTube account shortly after their inboxes and social media accounts were flooded with video responses and hate mail.
  • California Libertarian Politician Calls for Obama to be Assassinated (Jan. 2012)
    Jules Manson, who ran for city council in Carson (CA), posts about President Obama on his Facebook page, “Assassinate the fucken nigger and his monkey children.”
  • Fox Sports Sports Segment Mocks Asians With an Accent (Sept. 2011)
    Fox Sports deliberately singles out Asian students who have a foreign accent at USC to suggest that USC students are clueless about sports.
  • Muslim American U.S. Citizen Removed from Flight for Saying “I’ve Got to Go” (March 2011)
    Racial Profiling 1010: a Muslim American graduate student was removed from a Southwest flight after a crew member thought they had overheard the passenger say something vaguely threatening over her cell phone — “I’ve got to go.”
  • Posters for Students of Color Vandalized at Univ. of Utah (March 2011)
    Candidates of color running for student government at the Univ. of Utah have their campaign posters torn down or vandalized with racist terms such as “terrorists,” “ghetto,” and other offensive stereotypes.
  • Blond UCLA Student Majoring in White Privilege (March 2011)
    Clueless UCLA student Alexandra Wallace thinks it’s cool to post a video on YouTube where she mocks and stereotypes Asians (yes, the tired, old ‘ching chong’ routine) and makes light of the catastrophe in Japan. [Insert blond joke here].
  • Kansas Lawmaker Suggests Hunting Illegal Immigrants Like ‘Feral Hogs’ (March 2011)
    Murder is so funny, isn’t it — State Rep. Virgil Peck cracks, “Looks like to me, if shooting these immigrating feral hogs works, maybe we have found a (solution) to our illegal immigration problem,” refuses to apologize.
  • British Prime Minister Calls Multiculturalism a Failure (February 2011)
    Cameron stereotypes and indicts entire religious, ethnic, and cultural groups by arguing that “hands-off tolerance” in Britain and other European nations has encouraged Muslims and other immigrant groups “to live separate lives, apart from each other and the mainstream.”
  • Asian American Legislator Receives Death Threats for Criticizing Rush Limbaugh (January 2011)
    Rush Limbaugh mocks China’s President Hu Jintao using juvenile “ching chong” gibberish, refuses to apologize, and his supporters threaten the life of an Asian American legislator who calls for a boycott of Limbaugh’s advertisers.
  • Ohio Mom Sent to Jail for Sending Kids to Suburban School (January 2011)
    A single African American mother tries give her kids a better life by sending them to a predominantly White school, only to be arrested, convicted of “tampering with school records,” and sentenced to 10 days in jail.
  • Virginia Republican Chair Compares Blacks to Dogs (October 2010)
    Virginia’s Republican Party Chairman Bob McDonnell sent around an email in which he draws on racist stereotypes about Blacks on welfare.
  • Billboard in Colorado Portrays President Obama as Terrorist, Gangster, Mexican Bandit, and Gay (October 2010)
    An anonymous individual or group puts up a billboard on Interstate 70 in Colorado that has cartoon caricatures of President Obama as an Arab terrorist, a gangster, a Mexican bandit/illegal immigrant, and as a homosexual.
  • German Chancellor Angela Merkel: Multiculturalism has ‘Utterly Failed’ (October 2010)
    Germany’s leader declares that attempts at building a multicultural society has “utterly failed” and that, basically it is entirely the responsibility of non-Germans (i.e., non-Whites) to integrate into the German mainstream. Didn’t we hear a similar message from another high-profile German Chancellor back in the 1930s?
  • Islamophobia Reaches a Fever Pitch (August 2010)
    Racist and xenophobic opposition to a mosque near Ground Zero and calls by some Christian leaders to burn the Koran on 9/11 illustrates America’s rising hatred of Islam.
  • “Yup, I’m A Racist” T-Shirts for Sale (July 2010)
    Celebrate Independence Day 2010 by proudly proclaiming your racism and do your part to make racism cool.
  • U.S Hospital Fires 4 Filipina Nurses for Speaking Tagalog on Their Lunch Break (June 2010)
    Four Filipina ex-staffers of a Baltimore City hospital haven’t gotten over the shock of being summarily fired from their jobs, allegedly because they spoke Pilipino during their lunch break. . . “They claimed they heard us speaking in Pilipino and that is the only basis of the termination. It wasn’t because of my functions as a nurse. There were no negative write-ups, no warning before the termination,” [Nurse Hachelle Hatano] added.
  • South Carolina State Senator Calls President Obama a “Raghead” (June 2010)
    Republican state Sen. Jake Knotts refers to President Obama and Nikki Haley, a Republican gubernatorial candidate of Indian descent: “We’ve already got a raghead in the White House, we don’t need another raghead in the governor’s mansion.”
  • Arizona Passes Law Censoring Ethnic Studies Programs (May 2010)
    On the heels of the law that critics argue would legalize racial profiling against Latinos, Arizona’s new anti-ethnic studies bill “prohibits classes that advocate ethnic solidarity, that are designed primarily for students of a particular race or that promote resentment toward a certain ethnic group.”
  • Alabama Governor Candidate Declares “We Speak English” (April 2010)
    Tim James, Republican candidate for Governor of Alabama, releases a TV ad in which he declares, “This is Alabama; we speak English. If you want to live here, learn it” (you can watch the actual ad at the link above).
  • Arizona Enacts Stringent Law on Immigration (April 2010)
    Arizona’s new legislation would allow police to question anyone suspected of being an unauthorized immigrant. Critics charge that it basically amounts to legally-sanctioned racial profiling and plan demonstrations, boycotts, and lawsuits to protest and block its implementation.
  • Asian American Legislator Receives Racist Threats After Questioning Palin Visit (April 2010)
    California State Legislator Leland Yee summarizes the racist threats he received from Sarah Palin supporters after questioning her planned visit to a Cal State University campus.
  • John Jay College Accused of Bias Against Noncitizens (April 2010)
    The Justice Department files a lawsuit against John Jay College of Criminal Justice, accusing it of violating provisions of immigration law by demanding extra work authorization from at least 103 individuals since 2007.
  • McDonnell’s Confederate History Month Proclamation Irks Civil Rights Leaders (April 2010)
    The Governor of Virginia revives a dormant proclamation that April is “Confederate History Month,” with the initial version of his proclamation omitting any mention of slavery.
  • Male Studies vs. Men’s Studies (April 2010)
    A group of White male academics are trying to create a new academic discipline that highlights the ways in which males (by implication, White males) are apparently an underrepresented and oppressed group in contemporary American society.
  • Racist Fliers Distributed at UW-Oshkosh, St. Norbert College (March 2010)
    An example of how White supremacist hate groups are increasingly capitalizing on this White backlash.
  • UC Regents Sorry for Acts of Hate on Campuses (March 2010)
    Summarizing numerous racist incidents at numerous University of CA (UC) campuses, students and faculty try to get the UC Regents to see that racial ignorance and intolerance is a serious and endemic problem.
  • Meeting Space for Muslim Students at Brandeis is Vandalized (March 2010)
    On the heals of the racist incidents at the University of CA campuses, a newly renovated meeting space for Muslim students at Brandeis University is vandalized.
  • The Year in Nativism (March 2010)
    The Southern Poverty Law Center summarizes notable recent hate crimes against immigrants in 2008 and notes that nativist extremist groups have more than tripled in number, from 144 in 2007 to 309 in 2009.
  • Justice Department Fights Bias in Lending (January 2010)
    Under a new initiative from the Obama administration, the U.S. Justice Department begins targeting the rising predatory practice of “reverse redlining” aimed predominantly at minorities in which “. . . a mortgage brokerage or bank systematically singles out minority neighborhoods for loans with inferior terms like high up-front fees, high interest rates and lax underwriting practices. Because the original lender would typically resell such a loan after collecting its fees, it did not care about the risk of foreclosure.”
  • New Basketball League for Whites Only (January 2010)
    The “All-American Basketball Alliance” announces plans to create a minor league basketball league in which “only players that are natural born United States citizens with both parents of Caucasian race are eligible to play in the league.”

March 24, 2010

Written by C.N.

Asian American/Ethnic Studies Positions Available

As listed below, there are several academic positions and opportunities available related to Asian American Studies or Ethnic Studies.

Willamette University Position in Sociology

The Department of Sociology invites applications for a tenure-track position at the rank of Assistant Professor beginning August 2011. We seek candidates with combined teaching and research interests in Sociology who do comparative work on racialized groups (particularly Native American, Latino/a, and/or Asian American) with expertise in environmental sociology, sociology of education, or public/social policy.

Teaching responsibilities include five courses annually. The candidate will support the Sociology Department’s core curriculum and the general education program, as well as offer some core courses in her/his areas of specialization that contribute to both Sociology and the American Ethnic Studies program. Promise of teaching excellence required. PhD preferably completed by August 2011.

The following materials should be submitted electronically to Honey Wilson (hwilson@willamette.edu), Administrative Assistant, and addressed to Kelley Strawn, Chair, Department of Sociology, by Friday, September 10†: letter of application, Curriculum Vitae, graduate transcripts, separate statements on teaching and research, a writing sample, and three letters of reference. Also include a statement that explains how you will engage multiple perspectives in your teaching and contribute to our institutional and departmental commitments to social responsibility.

Believing that diversity contributes to academic excellence and to rich and rewarding communities, Willamette University is committed to recruiting and retaining a diverse faculty, staff and student body. We seek candidates, particularly those from historically under-represented groups, whose work furthers diversity and who bring to campus varied experiences, perspectives and backgrounds. The University is near the Portland metropolitan area, the Pacific Ocean, and the Cascade Mountains. For more information, visit Willamette’s web site.

One or more of my colleagues (including myself) will be at a number of professional meetings over the next several months and we would welcome opportunities to meet potential candidates in advance of the application process. These include the Eastern Sociological Society meetings (March 18-21 in Boston, MA), the Pacific Sociological Association meetings (April 8-11 in Oakland, CA), and the National Association of Ethnic Studies meetings (April 8-11 in Washington, D.C.) We will also be at the American Sociological Association meetings in Atlanta in August, and will be conducting initial interviews there through the ASA Job Service. Anyone interested can contact me via email (kstrawn@willamette.edu) or telephone (503-370-6196).

Regards,
Kelley Strawn
Search Committee Chair
Assistant Professor of Sociology
Willamette University

Distinguished Lecturer – Asian American Studies Program, Hunter College

GENERAL INFORMATION
Hunter College, City University of New York (CUNY) invites applications for the position of Director of the Asian American Studies Program (AASP). We seek a dynamic scholar working in Asian American Studies, discipline open, who will provide intellectual and programmatic vision and leadership for the AASP, and who is committed to building and sustaining cross-disciplinary connections to other programs and organizations at Hunter, as well as throughout CUNY and New York City. This is a full-time, Distinguished Lecturer line, subject to annual reappointment, renewable for up to seven years.

Established in 1993, the AASP offers a multidisciplinary range of courses to the entire Hunter College community, a minor in Asian American Studies, and extracurricular programs and events. The AASP benefits from its location in a global city with unmatched cultural and intellectual resources and a diverse and vibrant Asian American population. Hunter College is the largest college of the City University of New York. It is comprised of five schools: Arts and Sciences, Education, Nursing, Public Health, and Social Work, and has nearly 600 full-time faculty members. Hunter enrolls over 20,000 students, and has one of the most diverse student bodies in the United States.

The Distinguished Lecturer’s primary responsibility is directing the AASP, which includes: program and curriculum development, student advisement and engagement, and development/grant writing. S/he works closely with student groups, local and regional Asian American community organizations, and within the field of Asian American Studies as a whole to elevate the profile of the AASP both within and outside Hunter. Teaching load will be determined in consultation with the Provost based on the scope of programmatic activities and curricular needs.

MINIMUM & PREFERRED QUALIFICATIONS
Bachelor’s degree and a record of achievement in a profession or field of expertise related to anticipated teaching assignments. Also required is the ability to cooperate with others for the good of the institution. Ph.D. or equivalent terminal degree preferred. Demonstrated leadership, teaching, and administrative experience in Asian American Studies preferred. Record of publications and active scholarly agenda desired.

COMPENSATION & BENEFITS
Salary commensurate with experience and qualifications. CUNY offers a comprehensive benefits package to employees and eligible dependents based on job title and classification. Employees are also offered pension and Tax-Deferred Savings Plans. Part-time employees must meet a weekly or semester work hour criteria to be eligible for health benefits. Health benefits are also extended to retirees who meet the eligibility criteria.

HOW TO APPLY
All applications must be received be mail or email. Do not apply online at this job board. Please submit a cover letter, a curriculum vitae, and three letters of reference to:

Asian American Studies Search Committee
Office of the Provost
Room E1701
695 Park Avenue
New York , NY 10065
OR
via email to: iavargas@hunter.cuny.edu

Open until filled with review of applications to begin March 3, 2010.

Distinguished Lecturer – Asian American Studies Program, Hunter College

The Asian American Studies Program at Hunter College CUNY, seeks Adjunct Faculty for June 10 – July 12, 2010 to teach “Asians in the U.S.,” our interdisciplinary introduction to Asian American Studies. Applicants must have an M.A. or ABD in a relevant field, as well as a record of successful undergraduate teaching.

The Asian American Studies Program (AASP) at Hunter College was founded in 1993 on the initiative of students and faculty. Today, we are a small but dynamic program with a growing number of minors, and we offer approximately 12 courses per semester, ranging from our interdisciplinary survey courses to more advanced courses in Literature, Cultural Studies, and Diasporic community formations — West Asian American, Chinese American, and Korean American in particular.

Applicants should be prepared to teach “Asians in the U.S.” to a cross-section of undergraduate students from all majors. The majority of our courses are taught by adjunct faculty, and as a result, the work you will do in our program is crucial to the process of introducing undergraduates to concepts concerning Asian American history and experience; we hope to work with dedicated, effective, and intelligent educators, and we seek to provide a welcoming and supportive work environment for our faculty.

For more information concerning our course offerings, faculty, or student activities, please visit the AASP site. Please send CV, letter of intent, and contact information for at least 3 references to:

Jennifer Hayashida, Acting Director
Asian American Studies Program
Hunter College, CUNY
695 Park Avenue, Room 1037HE
New York, NY 10065

“What Can I Do With Asian American Studies?” Grad Student Conference

The Claremont Graduate University Transdisciplinary Group on Asian American Studies is proud to announce an upcoming conference for graduate students pursuing Asian American Studies-related fields. So you’re studying Asian American Studies in graduate school. Has anyone ever asked, “what are you going to do with THAT?” Learn how to answer this question at a FREE upcoming one-day graduate student conference “What Can I Do With Asian American Studies?”

Our conference, “What Can I Do With Asian American Studies?” will take place on Saturday, April 17th in Claremont, California. Registration (Deadline April 1, 2010) is now open via our website, where you can also get more information on our scheduled events and speakers.

We will be featuring career and real world-centered workshops by some of today’s leaders in Asian America, who were in similar shoes as yourself in the not-so-distant past. Also, all participants will be placed into breakout groups with peers from different universities. Everyone is encouraged to bring something that you’re currently working on in order to give/receive constructive feedback from new sets of eyes. This will be a great opportunity to network! If you have any questions, comments, suggestions, or concerns, please contact Dean at dean.adachi@cgu.edu.


May 28, 2009

Written by C.N.

In Memory of Professor Ronald Takaki

As many Asian American bloggers have been reporting around the internet and as the University of California, Berkeley has just confirmed, Professor Ronald Takaki has passed away at the age of 70:

Professor Ronald Takaki

Ronald Takaki, a professor emeritus of ethnic studies at the University of California, Berkeley, and prolific scholar of U.S. race relations who taught UC’s first black history course, died at his home in Berkeley on Tuesday (May 26). He was 70.

During his more than four decades at UC Berkeley, Takaki joined the Free Speech Movement, established the nation’s first ethnic studies Ph.D. program as well as Berkeley’s American Cultures requirement for graduation, and advised President Clinton in 1997 on his major speech on race.

A descendent of Japanese plantation workers in Hawaii, Takaki left the islands in the late 1950s to study at Ohio’s College of Wooster, where he earned a bachelor’s degree. He went on to earn a Ph.D. in American history from UC Berkeley in 1967 and was hired at UCLA, where he taught the campus’s first black history course. He joined Berkeley’s Ethnic Studies department in 1971 and served as chair from 1975-77.

Among his numerous accolades for scholarship and activism, Takaki received a Pulitzer nomination for his book, A Different Mirror: A History of Multicultural America (Little Brown and Company, 1993); a Distinguished Teaching Award from UC Berkeley and the 2003 Fred Cody Award for lifetime achievement from the Bay Area Book Reviewers Association.

As the Berkeley blurb above points out, Professor Takaki had a long and very distinguished career — he was an active member of the free speech movement in the 1960s, taught the University of California’s first Black History course, and was one of the early pioneers and leaders of UC Berkeley’s Ethnic Studies Department. In short, he was a giant in the field of Ethnic Studies.

He was also one of the early icons and most influential scholars of Asian American Studies as well and it was within this context that I first learned about him, read his work, and eventually met him in person.

In my junior year of college at UC Irvine, I had just begun my minor in Sociology and one of my first courses was “Race & Ethnicity” in which his book Iron Cages: Race and Culture in 19th-Century America was one of the assigned readings. Through his book and the course, I rediscovered my identity as an Asian American and as a person of color, after consciously and unconsciously trying to repress that identity ever since I was a young boy growing up in a predominantly White society.

Through his book and his other seminal book in Asian American Studies Strangers from a Different Shore: A History of Asian Americans, I finally saw that being a person of color and an Asian American was not a source of shame or embarrassment but rather, a source of pride, strength, and inspiration — a lesson upon which I have built this website, along with my entire life and professional career.

I finally had the opportunity to meet Professor Takaki in person in 1993, my final year of college, when he came to to UC Irvine to give a talk and promote the release of his book A Different Mirror. Before the lecture, he sat outside at a table signing books for people. I brought along my copy of Iron Cages for him to sign and as he wrote, “Celebrating our different shores” inside the front cover, he asked me my name, what I was studying (Political Science and Sociology), and my plans for the future now that I was graduating.

I told him that after studying Sociology and reading texts like his, I had decided to pursue my Ph.D. in Sociology. A big smile came to his face and he replied, “That’s great, that means that one day we’ll be colleagues!” It took a while, but about ten years later, I finally completed my Ph.D. and he and I finally did become colleagues.

A couple of years ago, Professor Takaki visited this area and gave a talk at Amherst College, sponsored by a colleague in the area (herself one of dozens, if not hundreds, of young scholars that Professor directly mentored through the years) and she invited me to have dinner with her and Professor Takaki before his talk. He didn’t remember me from that day in 1993, but when I told him the story and what he said to me, he again smiled and said, “I’m glad to see that it came true.”

Professor Takaki, thank you for your life of service to American society, to the fields of Ethnic Studies, Sociology, and Asian American Studies, and for inspiring this humble person to be proud to be an Asian American.

Update: The Los Angeles Times has an article that discusses Professor Takaki’s life and career in more detail and also reveals that as a result of his 20-year battle with multiple sclerosis, Professor Takaki took his own life. While some will focus on the way Professor Takaki died, I nonetheless prefer to focus on the way he lived.


November 13, 2008

Written by C.N.

40th Anniversary of SF State Strike for Ethnic Studies

Among academics like me, this month is very significant not just because of the presidential election, but also because it marks the 40th anniversary of the multiracial mass student strikes at San Francisco State University (SFSU) which lasted for several months and eventually resulted in the creation of the country’s first Ethnic Studies (including Asian American Studies) program in the U.S. To commemorate this anniversary and to provide a detailed chronology of the strike’s significant moments, the San Francisco Chronicle has a story that reflects on the strike’s legacy 40 years later:

Critics of the strike said some of its goals did not justify the violence. But ethnic studies experts and historians say it brought positive change to the university, particularly the creation of its College of Ethnic Studies, which includes Asian American Studies, Black Studies, La Raza Studies and Native American Studies. . . .

“Did their 15 demands justify the bombings? Hell no,” he said. “They placed a bomb in the administrative offices while school was in session. They were setting fires in the library. They were putting people’s lives in serious danger.”

But Laureen Chew, now associate dean of the College of Ethnic Studies and one of nearly 700 students jailed during the strike, said the battle was necessary. As an Asian American, she had faced racism in high school and from customers of her parents’ laundry shop who called her father a “stupid Chinaman.”

As a scholar whose work and life centers largely on Ethnic Studies and Asian American Studies, I feel a lot of complicated and perhaps even contradictory feelings over these events that took place 40 years ago, long before I was even born.

On the one hand, I generally do not subscribe to a “the ends justify the means” approach when it comes to protests or demonstrations. While I was not there 40 years ago and can’t confirm the tactics that the student protesters may have used that put people’s lives in danger, I will say that committing violence to make a point and purposely putting innocent people’s lives in harm’s way is not the answer.

At the same time, I am pretty sure that the violence that the student protesters endured at the hands of the police was far worse than the violence that the students perpetrated against innocent bystanders. With that in mind and paraphrasing Malcolm X, protecting yourself against brutality is not being extremist — it’s basic common sense.

And ultimately, I do agree with Professor Chew’s sentiments that there comes a time when enough is enough — when you or your community endure so much systematic discrimination, inequality, and injustice that everything reaches a boiling point, at which time you must stand up and assert your basic human rights as an American.

Suffice it to say that I probably would not have the job I have now if it weren’t for this strike at SFSU 40 years ago and other student-led movements that paved the way for the creation of Ethnic Studies and Asian American Studies programs around the country.

But even beyond that, the SFSU strike stands as an inspiring example and reminder to all who are marginalized that learning about justice and equality is just the first step — the point is to turn that knowledge into action.


July 24, 2008

Written by C.N.

Congratulations to Evelyn Nakano Glenn

I would like to pass along an enthusiastic congratulations to Professor Evenlyn Nakano Glenn (Ethnic Studies at UC Berkeley), who has just been elected as President-Elect of the American Sociological Association.

Prof. Evelyn Nakano Glenn, UC Berkeley Ethnic Studies and new President of the American Sociological Assn.

Professor Nakano Glenn has been a true pioneer in the fields of Sociology, Ethnic Studies, and Asian American Studies. She has written numerous articles and well-respected and often-referenced books, such as Issei, Nisei, Warbride: Three Generations of Japanese American Women in Domestic Service and Unequal Freedom: How Race and Gender Shaped American Citizenship and Labor.

Professor Nakano Glenn becomes the first Asian American to be elected President of the American Sociological Association. This is a very big deal and a well-earned achievement on her part. Even though I do not know Professor Nakano Glenn well personally, I certainly have used and referenced her work in my research and respect her immensely for her distinguished career and long list of accomplishments.

While it’s nice to have Asian Americans serving as role models in very public and high-profile occupations as entertainers, politicians, and professional athletes, on an everyday basis, it’s people like Professor Nakano Glenn who do the same kind of work that I do that have the most direct influence and inspiration for me as an Asian American sociologist.

Congratulations, Professor Nakano Glenn!