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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.

May 16, 2012

Written by C.N.

Academic Research: Asian Americans

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. The academic journal articles are generally available in the libraries of most colleges and universities and/or through online research databases. As always, works included in this list are for informational purposes only and do not imply an endorsement of their contents.

Special Issue: “Generations.” Asian American Literary Review. (Volume 3, Issue 1, Spring 2012).

“Are there any continuities,” wonders scholar Min Hyoung Song, “between the earlier generation of writers which first raised the banner of an Asian American literature and a later generation of writers which inherited it?”

This is the question AALR’s Spring 2012 issue on “Generations” poses to 29 writers, poets, playwrights, spoken word performers, scholars, and publishers of various generations, regions, and ethnic and artistic communities. What emerges is a vital survey of generational continuities and divergences-not to mention some necessary reevaluation of how “generations,” “Asian American,” and “Asian American literature” might be understood. Respondents include Genny Lim, David Mura, Velina Hasu Houston, Giles Li, Gary Pak, Neelanjana Banerjee, Fred Wah, Anna Kazumi Stahl, Sunyoung Lee of Kaya Press, and Allan Kornblum of Coffee House Press, among others.

Other issue features include: Maxine Hong Kingston interviewed by Min Hyoung Song; Miguel Syjuco interviewed by Brian Ascalon Roley; Afaa Michael Weaver interviewed by Gerald Maa; a dialogue on “Asian American form” between Karen Tei Yamashita, Sesshu Foster, R. Zamora Linmark, Ray Hsu, Timothy Yu, Larissa Lai, Lawrence-Minh Bùi Davis, and Srikanth Reddy; new poetry by Dilruba Ahmed, Ed Bok Lee, R. Zamora Linmark, Wing Tek Lum, and Afaa Michael Weaver; an email to Monique Truong from The New York Times; new writing by Ed Park; translations of work by Hiromi Itō and Carlos Yushimito del Valle; reviews of Tao Lin’s Shoplifting from American Apparel and Richard Yates, the new edition of Sui Sin Far’s Mrs. Spring Fragrance, Srikanth Reddy’s Voyager, and Monique Truong’s Bitter in the Mouth.

Asian American woman © Hero/Corbis

Special Issue: “Asian Americans in Global Cities: Los Angeles – New York Connections and Comparisons.” AAPI Nexus: Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders — Policy, Practice and Community. (Volume 10, Number 2, Fall 2012).

This special AAPI Nexus issue examines Asian American experiences in global cities through comparative studies of Los Angeles and New York. The demographic facts are astonishing — more than a quarter of the sixteen million Asian Americans reside in either of the two greater metropolises where they comprise more than a tenth of the total population in each region. Consequently, it is difficult to fully understand and appreciate Asian American experiences without studying these two global cities.

The comparative approach offers great analytical potential because it can generate insights into what phenomena transcend regions and patterns that are produced by factors and forces common to Asian Americans regardless of location and fundamental global-city processes. The comparative approach can also identify phenomena that are unique to each region, such as outcomes of specific local and regional structures and dynamics. . . .

Our hope is that this issue will be a stimulus to further theorizing and empirical analyses of Asian Americans in global cities including those beyond Los Angeles and New York. . . . Scholarly research, however, is not sufficient. Our goal was to compile a set of articles that contributes to engaged practices. . . . We believe that this principle should be integral to future comparative work.

List of articles:

  • Shih, Howard and Melany De La Cruz-Viesca. “A Tale of Two Global Cities: The State of Asian Americans in Los Angeles and New York.”
  • Nakaoka, Susan. “Cultivating a Cultural Home Space: The Case of Little Tokyo’s Budokan of Los Angeles Project.”
  • Sze, Lena. “This is Part of Our History: Preserving Garment Manufacturing and a Sense of Home in Manhattan’s Chinatown.”
  • Le, C.N. “New Dimensions of Self-Employment among Asian Americans in Los Angeles and New York.”
  • Rotramel, Ariella. “We Make the Spring Rolls, They Make Their Own Rules: Filipina Domestic Workers’ Fight for Labor Rights in New York City and Los Angeles.”
  • Chang, Benji and Juhyung Harold Lee. “Community-Based? Asian American Students, Parents, and Teachers in Shifting Chinatowns of New York and Los Angeles.”

Yep, Kathleen S. 2012. “Peddling Sport: Liberal Multiculturalism and the Racial Triangulation of Blackness, Chineseness and Native American-ness in Professional Basketball.” Ethnic and Racial Studies. 35(6):971–987.

  • Abstract: Abstract Deploying liberal multiculturalist discourse, the media depicts professional basketball as a post-racial space where all talented players, regardless of their race, can thrive if they work hard. An analysis of the construction of non-white players in the 1930s and in 2010 demonstrates sport as modulated by racially charged discourse. As part of a liberal multiculturalist frame, the coding of basketball players as hero, threat and novelty serve to privilege whiteness and replicate racialized and gendered images that can be traced to the 1930s. In doing so, the article highlights how liberal multiculturalism involves racial triangulation and the simultaneous processes of hyper-racialization and de-racialization.

Kiang, Lisa, Jamie Lee Peterson, and Taylor L Thompson. 2011. “Ethnic Peer Preferences Among Asian American Adolescents in Emerging Immigrant Communities.” Journal of Research on Adolescence. 21(4):754–761.

  • Abstract: Growing diversity and evidence that diverse friendships enhance psychosocial success highlight the importance of understanding adolescents’ ethnic peer preferences. Using social identity and social contact frameworks, the ethnic preferences of 169 Asian American adolescents (60% female) were examined in relation to ethnic identity, perceived discrimination, and language proficiency. Adolescents with same- and mixed-ethnic friends reported significantly greater ethnic centrality than those with mostly different-ethnic friends. Adolescents with same-ethnic friends reported significantly higher perceived discrimination and lower English proficiency than those with mixed- and different-ethnic friends. Open-ended responses were linked to quantitative data and provided further insight into specific influences on peer preferences (e.g., shared traditions, homophily). Results speak to the importance of cultural experiences in structuring the friendships and everyday lives of adolescents.

Narui, Mitsu. 2011. “Understanding Asian/American Gay, Lesbian, and Bisexual Experiences from a Poststructural Perspective.” Journal of Homosexuality. 58(9):1211–1234.

  • Abstract: This study explores the college experiences of nine Asian/American gay, lesbian, and bisexual students and, specifically, the impact of concealing or revealing their sexual orientation on their emerging sense of self. By utilizing a Foucauldian, poststructural theoretical perspective, the researcher found that the students navigated multiple discourses, and their decisions about revealing their sexual orientation were based on relationships formed within those discourses. These decisions, in turn, helped many of the students grasp their emerging agency within the dominant discourse. To conclude, the researcher discusses the implications of these findings for higher education as a whole.

Diaz, Maria-elena D. 2012. “Asian Embeddedness and Political Participation: Social Integration and Asian-American Voting Behavior in the 2000 Presidential Election.” Sociological Perspectives. 55(1):141–166.

  • Abstract: Despite the abundance of electoral research, a recurring finding is that Asian-Americans in multivariate analyses are less likely to vote compared to all other Americans. Yet Asians have high levels of education and income, the strongest predictors of voting behavior. This article goes beyond individual-level characteristics and examines how the ways in which Asian-Americans are connected to communities moderate individual-level characteristics and influence their electoral participation. Using hierarchical generalized linear modeling, variability in Asian-American voting behavior is studied with 2000 Current Population Survey voting data and county data primarily from the 2000 U.S. Census. The main findings are that social integration, either by highly assimilating communities or through ethnic organizing, facilitates political incorporation and electoral participation. Where neither condition exists, Asian-Americans are less likely to vote.

Pih, Kay Kei‐ho, Akihiko Hirose, and KuoRay Mao. 2012. “The Invisible Unattended: Low‐wage Chinese Immigrant Workers, Health Care, and Social Capital in Southern California’s San Gabriel Valley.” Sociological Inquiry. 82(2):236–256.

  • Abstract: This study investigates the factors affecting the availability of health insurance, the accessibility of health care, and the dissemination of the relevant information among low-wage Chinese immigrants in Southern California by relying on the concepts of social and cultural capital. Using community-based research and in-depth interviews, our study suggests that a severe shortage in health care coverage among low-wage Chinese immigrants is influenced by the lack of employment with employer-provided health insurance within the Chinese “ethnoburb” community. Although the valuable social capital generated by Chinese immigrant networks seems to be sufficient enough to provide them with certain practical resources, the lack of cultural capital renders the social network rather ineffective in providing critical health care information from mainstream American society.

Zonta, Michela M. 2012. “The Continuing Significance of Ethnic Resources: Korean-Owned Banks in Los Angeles, New York and Washington DC.” Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies. 38(3):463–484.

  • Abstract: Mirroring the geographic expansion of the Korean population and Korean-owned businesses beyond long-established enclaves, Korean-owned banks can increasingly be found in areas where the presence of mainstream banks is more visible and competition is potentially stronger. Yet, despite competition, Korean banks continue to expand and thrive. By focusing on the recent development of Korean banking in Los Angeles, New York and Washington DC, this article explores the role of ethnic resources in the expansion of Korean banking outside their protected market. Findings suggest that ethnic resources and ties to ethnic enclaves are still important in supporting the ethnic economy in environments characterised by weaker ties and increasing competition by mainstream businesses.

Spencer, James H., Petrice R. Flowers, and Jungmin Seo. 2012. “Post-1980s Multicultural Immigrant Neighbourhoods: Koreatowns, Spatial Identities and Host Regions in the Pacific Rim.” Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies. 38(3):437–461.

  • Abstract: Recent trends in migration across the Pacific Rim have suggested that neighbourhoods have become important sources of community identity, requiring a re-evaluation of the relationship between urban places and immigrants. Specifically, we argue that the notion of ethnic enclaves may not fit well with some of the newer, post-1980s immigrant populations in Pacific Rim cities. Using data from the cases of Los Angeles, Tokyo and Beijing, we argue that Korean settlement in these cities represents a new kind of immigrant neighbourhood that links Korean migrants with other migrant communities, consumers in the broader region and local government interests to produce places that mitigate increasingly multicultural and multi-ethnic urban hierarchies in their localities. This role has become particularly important regarding real estate and economic development strategies.

Yoon, In-Jin. 2012. “Migration and the Korean Diaspora: A Comparative Description of Five Cases.” Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies. 38(3):413–435.

  • Abstract: The international migration and settlement of Koreans began in 1860 and there are now about 6.8 million overseas Koreans in 170 countries. Each wave of Korean migration was driven by different historical factors in the homeland and the host countries, and hence the motivations and characteristics of Korean immigrants in each period were different. The diverse conditions in and government policies of the host countries also affected the mode of entry and incorporation of Koreans. A contrast is drawn between the ?old? and the ?new? Korean migrations. The former consists of those who migrated to Russia, China, America and Japan from the mid-nineteenth to the early twentieth century. They were from the lower classes, pushed out by poverty, war and oppression in the homeland. Few returned to the homeland but preserved their collective identities and ethnic cultures in their host societies. The new migrants to America, Europe and Latin America since the 1960s, however, come from middle-class backgrounds, are pulled by better opportunities in the host countries, travel freely between the homeland and host countries, and maintain transnational families and communities. Despite these differences, overseas Koreans share common experiences and patterns of immigration, settlement and adaptation.

February 5, 2010

Written by C.N.

Posts from Years Past: February

You might be interested to read the following posts from Februarys of years past:

  • 2009: New University of California Admissions Rules
    Changes to University of California’s admissions rules are predicted to lead to declines in the number of Asian Americans admitted.
  • 2008: The Good and Bad at College Campuses
    Two incidents involving Asian Americans on college campuses highlight the “two steps forward, one step back” process of achieving racial equality.
  • 2007: Ten Things to Know About Asian American Youth
    A group of Asian American performers list 10 interesting things to understand young Asian Americans better.
  • 2006: The Rise of India
    A Newsweek article describes some of the opportunities and challenges facing India as it strives to become a global superpower in the 21st century.
  • 2005: Report on Asian American LGBT
    A new comprehensive report on Asian American LGBT highlights how many face multiple challenges based on their race/ethnicity, gender, and sexual identity.

December 16, 2009

Written by C.N.

Online Surveys: Marital Status and Same-Sex Parenting

Below are two announcements about online surveys in need of Asian American respondents.

Our names are Mindy Markham, Jessica Troilo, Marilyn Coleman, and Lawrence Ganong and we are graduate students and faculty members at the University of Missouri – Columbia. We are inviting you to participate in a research study about how mothers and fathers with different marital statuses are viewed. Participation is voluntary and completely confidential.

The survey is available online and can be accessed at any time that is convenient for you. We would appreciate it if you would take the time to answer this survey in the next two weeks.

If you are uncomfortable with online technology or are experiencing technological difficulties, we would be happy to assist you at any time by talking you through the process. If you have any questions or concerns at any point, please contact us directly by e-mail, umcheshdfs@missouri.edu

Thank you for your participation,
Mindy Markham, M.S.
Jessica Troilo, M.S.
Marilyn Coleman, Ed.D.
Lawrence Ganong, Ph.D.

University of Missouri Institutional Review Board Approval #1061098

The University of Memphis’ Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender (GLBT) Research Team is conducting a GLBT-affirmative study on Same-Sex Parenting, and we are looking for participants. The purpose of this study is to learn about the experiences of same-sex parents in relationship to legal parenting rights. We believe this research is important in advocating for parents to be fully recognized in their family role and to not be discriminated against in family concerns.

Participants must be 18 years or older, currently be in a relationship with the same-sex partner with whom they have planned and created a family, and have at least one child under the age of 18 living in their home. The study should take approximately 20 minutes to complete online and meets human subjects approval by our university Institutional Review Board (E10-43).

https://www.surveymonkey.com/s.aspx?sm=jVp53YOXI6tNs1dgubIk_2bg_3d_3d

If you wish to see our past work, please read about our research on the effects of anti-GLBT amendments on GLBT individuals and their families, which is available on the American Psychological Association’s website. An overview of our research areas can be found on our school webpage.

Thank you for your consideration in supporting our advocacy for same-sex parents and their families.

Sharon G. Horne, Ph.D. & Heidi Levitt, Ph.D., Directors
GLBT Research Team
Counseling, Educational Psychology & Research
The University of Memphis
glbtresearch.uofm@gmail.com


February 23, 2009

Written by C.N.

Religious Portrait of African Americans

As we continue to commemorate February as Black/African American History Month, we should recognize that throughout American history, religion has played a very powerful and important role in the Black community. More recently, the issue of religion among African Americans became prominent news in this past election, evidenced by the controversy regarding Barack Obama’s association with Reverend Jeremiah Wright and how many gay/lesbians expressed resentment and anger toward the Black community for their overwhelming support of Proposition 8 that led to the reversal of same sex marriage in California.

Since these two events seem to be located at different ends of the political spectrum, this should prompt us to understand in more detail the characteristics and complexities of religion among African Americans. Toward that end, the Pew Research Center, Forum on Religion and Public Life, has released a new study entitled, “A Religious Portrait of African Americans.” Some excerpts:

African-Americans are markedly more religious on a variety of measures than the U.S. population as a whole, including level of affiliation with a religion, attendance at religious services, frequency of prayer and religion’s importance in life. . . . [N]early eight-in-ten African-Americans (79%) say religion is very important in their lives, compared with 56% among all U.S. adults. . . .

Compared with other groups, African-Americans express a high degree of comfort with religion’s role in politics. In fact, . . . African-Americans tend to closely resemble white evangelical Protestants on that score, with roughly six-in-ten among both groups saying that churches should express their views on social and political topics, and roughly half saying that there has been too little expression of faith and prayer by political leaders. . . .

According to Pew Research Center surveys conducted in the summer of 2008, nearly two-thirds of African-Americans (64%) say they oppose allowing gays and lesbians to marry legally, a significantly higher level of opposition than among whites (51%). . . .

Regardless of their religious background, African-Americans overwhelmingly support the Democratic Party. . . . Three-quarters of all African-Americans (76%) describe themselves as Democrats or say they lean toward the Democratic Party, while just 10% favor the Republicans. . . . This unity of partisanship among African-Americans carries over into the voting booth, where they have voted overwhelmingly for Democratic presidential candidates in recent elections (95% for Barack Obama in 2008 and 88% for John Kerry in 2004).

So on the surface, these findings about religion among African Americans may seem rather contradictory, at least from a political point of view. Specifically, it is understandable that African Americans tend to be more religious than the general population and as a direct result of that, they overwhelmingly oppose same sex marriage.

But with that in mind, how can it be that African Americans are also consistently and overwhelmingly Democratic in terms of political identification? In other words, how can a group be so strongly opposed to same sex marriage but at the same time, so strongly support the political party that tends to favor same sex marriage?

There is likely a variety of reasons for this apparent paradox, but my purpose here is not to delve into them in great detail, nor to explore the morality of the opinion among many African Americans in opposition to same sex marriage — other academics and commentators have much more expertise than me in that regard.

Instead, I would just point out that this phenomenon shows us that the African American community is not simplistic and unidimensional. Rather, it is quite complex and even at times, contradictory. In this sense, it is much like the White population, the Asian American population, the Latino population, and pretty much all kinds of human social groups.

That is, much of American society can be accurately categorized and predictable but on the other hand, much can also be quite contradictory and confusing at times as well. In either case, studies like this should prompt us to look beyond simple generalizations and instead, to recognize and examine the multiple dimensions of characteristics, experiences, and attitudes among African Americans or any other racial, ethnic, or cultural group in contemporary American society.


December 1, 2008

Written by C.N.

Today is World AIDS Day

Every December 1st, we commemorate World AIDS Day. HIV/AIDS is a disease that affects millions of people around the world, from all races, ethnicities, nationalities, social classes, genders, and sexualities.

If you would like to learn more about HIV/AIDS and Asian Americans, please visit the sites of organizations such as the Asian Pacific Islander Coalition on HIV/AIDS (where I worked as its Director of Education from 1998-2000). Another excellent resource is the Asian Pacific Islander Wellness Center, which has created the following public service announcement, in conjunction with its latest program, The Banyan Tree Project:

The Banyan Tree Project (a national campaign to reduce HIV-related stigma in Asian & Pacific Islander communities) features high profile male-to-female transgender women and community activists. The PSA seeks to educate the community by openly discussing safe-sex and harm-reduction practices, particularly for transgender women and their primary partners. The silence in our communities is deadly; our PSA is one way to reach people and begin a dialogue.


November 21, 2008

Written by C.N.

Online Survey: LGB Asian Americans

Below is another announcement about an online survey in need of Asian American respondents:

Hello,

I wanted to share with you, and maybe your network about a new research project entitled: Negotiating the Complexities of Being Self-Identified as both Asian American and Lesbian, Gay or Bisexual (LGB). This project has two parts: (1) a web-based survey that will be distributed widely through listservs and Facebook sites like this one, and (2) about 10-12 open-ended telephone interviews about students experiences.

We need your help finding as many participants as possible across the United States! If you know people or groups that might be interested in participating in this study, could you forward this on?

The survey is located at:
http://www.zoomerang.com/Survey/?p=WEB228DCWHVQVY

Thank you,
Sean
pepin101@gmail.com