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The views and opinions expressed on this site and blog posts (excluding comments on blog posts left by others) are entirely my own and do not represent those of any employer or organization with whom I am currently or previously have been associated.

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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.

September 22, 2009

Written by C.N.

Demographic Profiles of U.S. Latino Groups

The Pew Research Group has just released reports based on Census data that describe the demographic and socioeconomic characteristics of the five largest Latino groups in the U.S. (Mexican, Puerto Rican, Cuban, Salvadoran, and Dominican).

More than eight-in-ten Hispanics self-identify themselves as being either of Mexican, Puerto Rican, Cuban, Salvadoran or Dominican origin. Hispanics of Mexican origin are by far the largest group, accounting for nearly two-thirds of the Hispanic population in the U.S.

The five population groups differ along several dimensions — for example, in the share of each group that is foreign born, citizen (by birth or naturalization) and proficient in English. The groups vary by average age and tend to live in different areas within the United States. Likewise, the groups display varying levels of education, homeownership rates, and poverty rates.

These and other characteristics are explored in five fact sheets, one for each country-of-origin group. Each population is also compared to all Hispanics and the U.S. population overall.

As we all know, issues directly related to the Latino population such as immigration continue to be highly controversial and hotly debated. Hopefully these fact sheets will provide a valid and sound statistical foundation upon which we can all better understand their characteristics as we proceed with such discussions.


April 22, 2009

Written by C.N.

Kimchi Quesadillas and Korean BBQ Tacos

A common theme in many of my posts on this blog is how Asian American identities are evolving in the 21st century and how Asian Americans will fit into the American racial landscape as our society continues to become increasingly diverse, globalized, and transnational. I’ve also noted that alongside the evolution of the Asian American identity, a new and more inclusive “American” identity is inevitably taking place as well.

To illustrate one example of these emerging identities and racial dynamics, earlier this week, ABC News’s NightLine program had a segment on the fusion of Korean and Mexican food in Los Angeles, in the form of kimchi quesadillas and Korean barbecue tacos and burritos, served by a taco truck run by Korean Americans:

These particular menu items may or may not be a fad or temporary trend, but they nonetheless illustrate the inevitable fusion of different cultures and in this case, cuisine traditions. As such, represent another microcosm of what’s taking place in American society in general. And like the video shows, these new cultural combinations may be an acquired taste, but for those willing to be adventurous and who have the personal initiative, they can be quite satisfying.