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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.

January 22, 2013

Written by C.N.

Academic Research: Race/Ethnicity, Immigration, & Asian Americans #10

As many colleges and universities start their spring semester this week and as part of Asian-Nation’s goal of disseminating academic research related to real-world issues and topics, 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. Some abstracts were edited for length. As always, works included in this list are for informational purposes only and do not imply an endorsement of their contents.

© Radius Images/Corbis

Jain, Sonali. 2011. “The Rights of ‘Return’: Ethnic Identities in the Workplace among Second-Generation Indian-American Professionals in the Parental Homeland.” Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies 37(9):1313–1330.

  • Abstract: This article explores the salience of ethnicity for second-generation Indian-American professionals who ‘return’ from the US to their parental homeland, India. Drawing on in-depth interviews with 48 second-generation Indian-Americans in India, it examines when and how they adopt ethnic identities in the workplace. My findings suggest that, bolstered by their transnational experiences and backgrounds, returnees construct ethnic identities and utilise ethnic options that reflect the cultural and economic environments of their adopted homeland. At the same time, and often contemporaneously, work relationships, experiences and personal interactions with those they encounter in the parental homeland factor into their transnational identity constructions. Also proposed is a preliminary framework within which to explore the conditions that facilitate the construction and assertion of returnees’ ethnic identities in the workplace in India.

Shin, Hyoung-jin. 2011. “Intermarriage Patterns among the Children of Hispanic Immigrants.” Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies 37(9):1385–1402.

  • Abstract: Utilising data from the 2005–07 American Community Survey Public Use Micro Sample (ACS-PUMS), this study investigates the intermarriage patterns of Mexican, Cuban and Dominican Americans who were born in the United States or came to the country as immigrant children. Using intermarriage patterns as an indicator of social relations, I examine how cultural and structural assimilation factors affect the marital assimilation process among the children of Hispanic immigrants. One of the major contributions of this study is the examination of diversity within the US census categorisation of ‘Hispanic’. Results from multinomial logistic regression analyses suggest that the marital assimilation process of Mexicans, Cubans and Dominicans varies across and within the groups according to their different individual characteristics and metropolitan context. My study is novel because it recognises that broad-sweep analyses of intermarriage patterns are overly simplistic renderings of racial/ethnic assimilation because they fail to reveal distinctive and noteworthy within-group diversity.

Cohen-Marks, Mara A., and Christopher Stout. 2011. “Can the American Dream Survive the New Multiethnic America? Evidence from Los Angeles.” Sociological Forum 26(4):824–845.

  • Abstract: Drawing from a survey conducted in Los Angeles, we examine perceptions of achievement and optimism about reaching the American dream among racial, ethnic, and nativity groups. We find blacks and Asian Americans less likely than whites to believe they have reached the American dream. Latinos stand out for their upbeat assessments, with naturalized citizens possessing a stronger sense of achievement and noncitizens generally optimistic that they will eventually fulfill the American dream. We discuss patterns of variation between the racial and ethnic groups as well as variation within each group. Notwithstanding interesting differences along lines of race, ethnicity, and nativity, we find no evidence that the nation’s changing ethnic stew has diluted faith in the American dream.

Portes, Alejandro, Patricia Fernandez-Kelly, and Donald Light. 2011. “Life on the Edge: Immigrants Confront the American Health System.” Ethnic and Racial Studies 35(1):3–22.

  • Abstract: Drawing from a survey conducted in Los Angeles, we examine perceptions of achievement and optimism about reaching the American dream among racial, ethnic, and nativity groups. We find blacks and Asian Americans less likely than whites to believe they have reached the American dream. Latinos stand out for their upbeat assessments, with naturalized citizens possessing a stronger sense of achievement and noncitizens generally optimistic that they will eventually fulfill the American dream. We discuss patterns of variation between the racial and ethnic groups as well as variation within each group. Notwithstanding interesting differences along lines of race, ethnicity, and nativity, we find no evidence that the nation’s changing ethnic stew has diluted faith in the American dream.

Oh, Sookhee, and Pyong Gap Min. 2011. “Generation and Earnings Patterns Among Chinese, Filipino, and Korean Americans in New York.” International Migration Review 45(4):852–871.

  • Abstract: By treating the 1.5 generation as a distinctive analytic category, this paper compares the effects of generational status on earnings among men of Chinese, Filipinos, and Korean descents in the New York metropolitan area. Our analyses of the 5 percent Public Use Microdata Sample data of the 2000 U.S. census show that all other background characteristics held equal, 1.5-generation Chinese and Filipino American workers make significantly higher earnings than second-generation workers. However, Korean American workers do not exhibit this 1.5-generation advantage. These findings support a segmented assimilation theory, the view that immigrant assimilation paths are not uniform across ethnic groups or generation status. Other findings suggest that bilingual ability would increase earnings only for the Chinese group.

Davis, Mary Ann. 2011. “Intercountry Adoption Flows from Africa to the U.S.: A Fifth Wave of Intercountry Adoptions?” International Migration Review 45(4):784–811.

  • Abstract: This article addresses whether there is the beginning of a fifth wave of intercountry adoptions (ICAs) from Africa to the United States (U.S.). ICAs function as a “quiet migration” of children. U.S. Department of Justice Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) data from 1971 to 2009 indicate that there were 421,085 ICAs to the U.S. Tarmann reported that in 2000, U.S. parents completed one ICA for every 200 births. In the past, top sending countries have followed flows from Europe, South America, and Asia. INS data are used to analyze the increase in the intercountry adoptees from Africa from 1996 to 2009. Similar Hague Convention data are used for the comparison of the number of ICAs from Africa to other top recipient nations. Demographic and economic data are used to support the suggestion that ICAs, similar to other migratory flows, are from developing to developed countries.

Mark, Noah P., and Daniel R. Harris. 2012. “Roommate’s Race and the Racial Composition of White College Students’ Ego Networks.” Social Science Research 41(2):331–342.

  • Abstract: We develop and test a new hypothesis about how the race of a college freshman’s roommate affects the racial composition of the student’s ego network. Together, three principles of social structure—proximity, homophily, and transitivity—logically imply that college students assigned a roommate of a given race will have more friends (other than their roommate) of that race than will students assigned a roommate not of that race. A test with data collected from 195 white freshmen at Stanford University in the spring of 2002 supports this prediction. Our analysis advances earlier work by predicting and providing evidence of race-specific effects: While students assigned a different-race roommate of a given race have more friends (other than their roommate) of their roommate’s race, they do not have more different-race friends not of their roommate’s race.

Herman, Melissa R., and Mary E. Campbell. 2012. “I Wouldn’t, But You Can: Attitudes toward Interracial Relationships.” Social Science Research 41(2):343–358.

  • Abstract: Using the 2008 Cooperative Congressional Election Study (CCES), we study Whites’ attitudes towards dating, cohabiting with, marrying, and having children with African Americans and Asian Americans. We find that 29% of White respondents reject all types of relationships with both groups whereas 31% endorse all types. Second, Whites are somewhat less willing to marry and bear children interracially than to date interracially. These attitudes and behaviors are related to warmth toward racial outgroups, political conservatism, age, gender, education, and region. Third, White women are likely to approve of interracial relationships for others but not themselves, while White men express more willingness to engage in such relationships personally, particularly with Asians. However, neither White men nor White women are very likely to actually engage in interracial relationships. Thus, positive global attitudes toward interracial relationships do not translate into high rates of actual interracial cohabitation or marriage.

Benediktsson, Mike Owen. 2012. “Bridging and Bonding in the Academic Melting Pot: Cultural Resources and Network Diversity.” Sociological Forum 27(1):46–69.

  • Abstract: Understanding how cultural resources shape the formation of social networks is a methodological challenge as well as a theoretical objective, and both are yet to be met. In this study, sociability on college campuses is modeled as a process in which students’ prior cultural experiences and the current social structure of the student body work together, affecting the likelihood of friendships that take place within or across racial boundaries. Structural and cultural perspectives are surveyed to develop hypotheses concerning the determinants of interracial friendship, and these hypotheses are tested against a sample of 3,392 students from the National Longitudinal Study of Freshmen. The results suggest that religiosity, political activism, high arts participation, and athletic activities undertaken prior to college affect the diversity of social networks formed in the first year, but work in different directions. The effects of these cultural experiences may be explained by the racial organization of cultural activity on campus.

Shin, Jin Y., Emily D’Antonio, Haein Son, Seong-A Kim, and Yeddi Park. 2011. “Bullying and Discrimination Experiences Among Korean-American Adolescents.” Journal of Adolescence 34(5):873–883.

  • Abstract: The bullying experiences of Korean-American adolescents (N=295) were explored in relation to discrimination and mental health outcomes. Bullying experiences were assessed by the Bully Survey, discrimination by the Perceived Ethnic and Racial Discrimination Scale and depression by the Center for Epidemiological Studies — Depression Scale (CES-D). Those who reported being bullied (31.5%) as well as those who reported both being bullied and bullying others (15.9%) experienced a higher level of depression, which was elevated beyond the clinically significant level of CES-D. The results of a LISREL model suggest that the experiences of bullying among Korean/Asian-American adolescents and their related mental health issues need to be addressed in a comprehensive context of their discrimination experiences, acculturation, family and school environments.

Welburn, Jessica S., and Cassi L. Pittman. 2011. “Stop ‘Blaming the Man’: Perceptions of Inequality and Opportunities for Success in the Obama Era among Middle-Class African Americans.” Ethnic and Racial Studies 35(3):523–540.

  • Abstract: This paper builds upon work that has shown that African Americans exhibit a dual consciousness when explaining persistent inequality. We draw upon 45 in-depth interviews with middle-class African Americans following the 2008 election to explore how they explain persistent disadvantage for African Americans, the destigmatization strategies they employ, and the impact they believe the election of Barack Obama will have on opportunities for African Americans. Consistent with dual consciousness theory, we find that respondents explain persistent disadvantage for African Americans by citing structural and motivational factors. We also extend previous work to show that for the majority of respondents the use of individualistic de-stigmatization strategies reinforces their dual consciousness. These respondents are optimistic about Obama’s election because it supports their belief that African Americans should assume responsibility for improving their circumstances. A minority of respondents express more concern about the persistence of racial inequality, and consequentially are less optimistic about changes that Obama’s election may bring about.

Logan, John R., Sookhee Oh, and Jennifer Darrah. 2012. “The Political and Community Context of Immigrant Naturalisation in the United States.” Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies 38(4):535–554.

  • Abstract: Becoming a citizen is a component of a larger process of immigrant incorporation into US society. It is most often treated as an individual-level choice, associated with such personal characteristics as duration of residence in the US, age, education and language acquisition. This study uses microdata from Census 2000 in conjunction with other measures to examine aspects of the community and policy context that influence the choices made by individuals. The results confirm previous research on the effects of individual-level characteristics on attaining citizenship. There is also strong evidence of collective influences: both the varied political histories of immigrant groups in their home country and the political and community environment that they encounter in the US have significant impacts on their propensity for naturalisation.

Riosmena, Fernando, and Douglas S Massey. 2012. “Pathways to El Norte: Origins, Destinations, and Characteristics of Mexican Migrants to the United States.” International Migration Review 46(1):3–36.

  • Abstract: In this paper, we describe how old and new migrant networks have combined to fuel the well-documented geographic expansion of Mexican migration. We use data from the 2006 Mexican National Survey of Population Dynamics, a nationally representative survey that for the first time collected information on U.S. state of destination for all household members who had been to the U.S. during the 5 years prior to the survey. We find that the growth in immigration to southern and eastern states is disproportionately fueled by undocumented migration from non-traditional origin regions located in Central and Southeastern Mexico and from rural areas in particular. We argue that economic restructuring in the U.S. and Mexico had profound consequences not only for the magnitude but also for the geography of Mexican migration, opening up new region-to-region flows.

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.

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.

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.

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: 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.

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.

Crowder, Kyle, Jeremy Pais, and Scott J. South. 2012. “Neighborhood Diversity, Metropolitan Constraints, and Household Migration.” American Sociological Review 77(3):325–353.

  • Abstract: Focusing on micro-level processes of residential segregation, this analysis combines data from the Panel Study of Income Dynamics with contextual information from three censuses and several other sources to examine patterns of residential mobility between neighborhoods populated by different combinations of racial and ethnic groups. We find that despite the emergence of multiethnic neighborhoods, stratified mobility dynamics continue to dominate, with relatively few black or white households moving into neighborhoods that could be considered multiethnic. However, we also find that the tendency for white and black households to move between neighborhoods dominated by their own group varies significantly across metropolitan areas. Black and white households’ mobility into more integrated neighborhoods is shaped substantially by demographic, economic, political, and spatial features of the broader metropolitan area. Metropolitan-area racial composition, the stock of new housing, residential separation of black and white households, poverty rates, and functional specialization emerge as particularly important predictors. These macro-level effects reflect opportunities for intergroup residential contact as well as structural forces that maintain residential segregation.

June 25, 2012

Written by C.N.

Academic Research: Race/Ethnicity, Immigration, & Asian Americans #9

As another followup to my earlier “part one” and “part two” posts, the following is a list of recent academic journal articles and/or doctoral dissertations from scholars in the cognitive sciences 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. The dissertations records are compiled by Dissertation Abstracts International and copies can be obtained through your college’s library or by contacting ProQuest at 789 E. Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106-1346, telephone 800-521-3042, or

The research listed below focus on the cognitive sciences (parts one and two mentioned above focus on the social sciences and humanities), although many of the studies overlap with the social sciences. Some abstracts were edited for length. As always, works included in this list are for informational purposes only and do not imply an endorsement of their contents. Last but not least, congratulations to my new academic colleagues on being “Ph.inally”

Tran, Nellie. Using Color-Blindness to Understand the Effects of Discrimination on the Well-Being of Asian Americans. Dissertation Abstracts International: Sciences and Engineering, vol. 71, no. 12, pp. 7784, 2011.

© JGI/Jamie Grill/Blend Images/Corbis
  • Abstract: The purpose of this study was to bring awareness to the concept of color-blindness in the experiences of discrimination among Asian Americans. This study builds on literature pertaining to Asian American experiences of discrimination by considering the influence of color-blind racial beliefs on the relationship between discriminatory experiences and well-being for Asian Americans. Using web-based survey collection with 141 Asian American participants, results showed that high color-blind racial ideology exacerbates the effect of discrimination on both internalized racism and depression levels. High private regard protected Asian Americans from the negative effect of high exposure to discrimination on depression levels. Consequently, it appears that Asian Americans who believe that the U.S. has achieved a color-blind society may be protected against perceiving discrimination, but are paying the price through decreased psychological well-being. Color-blind individuals may not have the ability to externalize discriminatory experiences on the larger society in the same way that racially conscious individuals may. Therefore, they may internalize the discrimination and blame themselves for the negative experiences of discrimination.

Chan, Wing Yi. A Population-Specific Theory of Asian American College Students’ Civic Engagement. Dissertation Abstracts International: Sciences and Engineering, vol. 71, no. 12, pp. 7779, 2011.

  • Abstract: This is an exploratory study of Asian American college students’ civic engagement. Using grounded theory analysis and a population-specific approach, this study discovered the meanings of civic engagement from the perspective of Asian American college students and developed a theory to explain Asian American college students’ civic engagement. Semi-structured interviews were used to explore whether family, school, and community would influence participants’ decision to participate in civic activities and whether Asian Americans’ collective historical, cultural, social, and political experiences would have an impact on their civic engagement. Findings suggest that Asian American college students defined civic engagement as community involvement for two different purposes: 1) to help those who are in need and 2) to create social and systemic change. The theory that I developed includes four categories of facilitators and barriers to Asian American college students’ civic engagement. The four categories are 1) structural factors, 2) social capital factors, 3) acculturation gap factors, and 4) identity factors. The theory also identifies five categories of consequences of Asian American college students’ civic engagement: 1) career-related skills, 2) leadership skills, 3) social and emotional skills, 4) sense of belonging to school, and 5) knowledge of social issues/commitment to civic engagement. By identifying how contextual factors (i.e. family, peers, school and community) interact with cultural and sociopolitical factors to influence Asian American college students’ pathways to civic engagement, the present study sheds light on the complexity of Asian American college students’ civic development and suggests that research needs to examine Asian American college students’ civic engagement across multiple ecological contexts and consider the cultural and sociopolitical experiences of Asian American college students.

Nguyen, Kathy. Intergenerational Conflict between Emerging Adults and their Parents in Asian American Families. Dissertation Abstracts International: Sciences and Engineering, vol. 71, no. 12, pp. 7732, 2011.

  • Abstract: Due to a paucity of research, little is understood about the experiences of Asian American emerging adults as they navigate their relationship with their parents. The purpose of the current study was to investigate intergenerational conflict in Asian American families, specifically when emerging adults are living at home with their parents. Acculturation gap, generational status, birth order, gender, and language proficiency were examined as predictors or mediators of conflict. Participants consisted of 350 Asian American emerging adults who were currently living with their parents, who lived with their parents during certain times of the year (e.g., vacations), or who had once lived with their parents as adults. Intergenerational conflict was measured using the Asian American Family Conflicts Scale (Lee, Choe, Kim, & Ngo, 2000) and the Intergenerational Conflict Inventory (Chung, 2001). Acculturation was assessed using the Asian American Multidimensional Acculturation Scale (Chung, Kim, & Abreu, 2004). One-way between-subjects analysis of variance tests were performed to identify group differences in conflict across several demographic factors Correlational and hierarchical multiple regression analyses were performed to study the relationship between the predictors, proposed mediator, and intergenerational conflict. Exploratory statistical analyses were conducted to investigate factors that may predict level of conflict when emerging adults return home after living away for an extended period of time (i.e., boomerang children). A gap in acculturation to White mainstream culture between emerging adults and their parents was found to be the most powerful and consistent predictor of intergenerational conflict and to mediate fully the relationship between generational status and intergenerational conflict. Overall, the findings highlight the multi-faceted and variable nature of intergenerational conflict as it occurs in Asian American families between emerging adults and their parents.

Rivera, Amanda L.Y. Development and Initial Validation of the Biracial Experiences of Discrimination Inventory. Dissertation Abstracts International: Sciences and Engineering, vol. 71, no. 11, pp. 7146, 2012.

  • Abstract: The purpose of this dissertation was to develop and initially validate an instrument that measures multiracial individuals with Asian and White descent experiences of discrimination. Results from the principal components analysis using data from a web-based sample of 185 multiracial individuals with Asian and White descent yielded a five-factor simple structure of the Biracial Experiences of Discrimination Inventory (B-REDI): Biracial Response to Monoracial Context (6 items), Racial Microaggressions (6 items), Confusion of Interracial Family Relations (4 items), Assumptions of Marginality (3 items), and Internalized Multiracial Racism (3 items). Initial evidences of internal reliability, convergent validity and known-groups validity were found. An evaluation of internal consistency suggested that the B-REDI reflected dimensions of multiracial racism and supported initial evidence of the reliability of the five factors that emerged. In support of convergent validity, multiracial experiences of discrimination were positively correlated with perceived general ethnic discrimination, Asian American racism-related stress, a universal-diverse orientation, awareness and acceptance of others similarities and differences, as well as awareness, sensitivity, and receptivity towards racial diversity and multiculturalism. Also in support of convergent validity, multiracial experiences of racism were negatively correlated with colorblind racial attitudes. Evidence for known-groups validity was demonstrated through statistically significantly higher levels of multiracial experiences reported among multiracial individuals with Asian and White descent (n = 184) than monoracial individuals (n = 325). However, multiracial individuals with Asian and White descent (n = 184) did not report multiracial experiences of racism at a statistically significantly higher level when compared to multiracial individuals of other ethnic backgrounds (n = 263). This finding suggests that having a mixed race background may represent a factor that exerts an overall greater impact compared to the specific ethnic group make-up of an individual. Study limitations as well as research and clinical implications are discussed.

Regalado, Gabriella Ann. Implicit and Explicit Identity, Attitudes and Acculturation among U.S.-Born and First-Generation Latinos and East Asians. Dissertation Abstracts International: Sciences and Engineering, vol. 71, no. 11, pp. 7146, 2011.

  • Abstract: The purpose of this study was to compare the influence of place of birth upon implicit and explicit identity and ethnic attitudes of 119 U.S.-born and first-generation East Asians and Latinos. The relationships between acculturation, implicit and explicit identity, and attitudes as well as East Asians’ and Latinos’ explicit perceptions of how their ethnic group are regarded by others were also assessed. This study also analyzed whether first-generation groups, in comparison to U.S.-born groups, had positive implicit attitudes toward their ethnic groups which served as a protective factor against implicit out-group bias towards White Americans. Participants completed two timed Implicit Association Tasks: the Stereotype/Attitude IAT, which required participants to match positive and negative words with ethnic surnames as a measure of their ethnic attitudes, and the Identity IAT, which required participants to match American or ethnic cultural icons to personal pronouns as a measure of identity. Reaction times were measured to assess which pairing was more quickly associated. For identity, results indicated that first-generation and U.S.-born groups implicitly identified with their ethnic identity, but explicitly, first-generation groups significantly identified as more American than did U.S.-born groups. For implicit ethnic attitudes, first-generation groups had significantly more implicit positive attitudes toward their ethnic group than did U.S.-born groups. Acculturation showed no relationship to implicit identity or attitudes. Place of birth appeared to significantly affect one’s implicit attitudes and explicit American identity. Practical implications and direction for future research are discussed.

Tan, Edwin T. A Contextual Approach to Understanding Immigrant Asian Fathers’ Educational Involvement in their Children’s Lives. Dissertation Abstracts International: Sciences and Engineering, vol. 71, no. 11, pp. 7126, 2011.

  • Abstract: The present study examined work-family experiences of Asian immigrant fathers in relation to their personal well-being, their educational involvement, and their children’s school achievement and adaptation. Survey data was collected from 64 immigrant Asian fathers and from 25 teachers of the fathers’ 4th-6th grade children. Ten of the fathers also were interviewed. Fathers were predominately Korean, college-educated, and upper-middle class. Children were reported to perform well academically and be well-adjusted to school. Fathers perceived more work-family facilitation than conflict. Facilitation was related to fathers’ positive well-being and reports of children’s positive school achievement and adaptation. More conflict related to poorer well-being and reportedly poorer school adaptation. Fathers were moderately involved with their children. Greater homework and interpersonal involvement were related to more school enjoyment and better achievement, respectively. Greater direct school involvement was related to higher school anxiety for children. Less acculturated men were less likely to be involved with their children’s education and more likely to have less life satisfaction. Asian fathers are not homogenous in their attitudes or behaviors, and their specific cultural values and time in America should be considered when examining this population. Qualitative interviews revealed that, fathers’ wives were pivotal in facilitating or hindering their work-family balance by providing support. Fathers had desire to be involved and to mentor. However, they felt loss in the cultural pluralism that fails to provide them guidelines on fatherhood. Fathers’ sense of financial responsibility to their families motivated them to do well at work. Those that experienced work-family facilitation were likely to find fulfillment at their work, or learned to draw boundaries between work and family. Those that lacked boundaries often felt frustrated at their ineffective behaviors. Not all conflict was negative in nature, some was the result of intentional greater involvement with their families. Taken together, fathers that perceived work-family facilitation were more likely to be involved and have positive well-being, which were related to children’s achievement and adaptation to school. Additionally, less acculturated fathers may face challenges in defining their father role. Results have implications for educational and economic policies that address the lives of immigrant families.

Cale, Chris. A Case Study Examining the Impact of Adventure Based Counseling on High School Adolescent Self-Esteem, Empathy, and Racism. Dissertation Abstracts International: Sciences and Engineering, vol. 71, no. 11, pp. 7116, 2011.

  • Abstract: This study investigated the effectiveness of Adventure Based Counseling upon high school adolescents. The goals of this study were to (a) explore the effectiveness of ABC Counseling in increasing levels of self-esteem and empathy among adolescents; (b) study the efficacy of ABC counseling in reducing perceived racial discrimination, racist attitudes, or both; and (c) investigate the correlation between self-esteem, empathy, perceived racial discrimination, and racist attitudes as related to the effects of ABC counseling. In addition, the effects of ABC counseling on the school-related variables such as discipline, attendance, and academics, as well as possible outcome differences caused by demographic variables like gender and ethnicity were measured in relation to the effects of the ABC counseling treatment. Finally, this study also gathered descriptive data from participants through survey questionnaires regarding their prior knowledge and sensitivity to other races, their perception of racism occurring at the study site, and their experience in ABC counseling. . . . Results of the study found significant increases for the ABC counseling group in both self-esteem and empathy, and significant decreases in perceived racial discrimination and racist attitudes. In addition, a significant reduction in discipline referrals occurred from baseline to one-month follow-up. An ancillary analysis showed significance for the variables gender and ethnicity: males experienced a significantly greater increase in self-esteem and empathy as compared to females; Latina/os had the most significant decrease in racist attitudes and highest overall scores on the same measure; African Americans possessed significantly higher perceived racial discrimination scores than Caucasians or Latina/os. Limitations existed concerning the sample, instruments, and analysis. . . . Participating in the program also produced significant decreases in both perceived racism and racist attitudes. . . . In addition, the significant negative relationships found between self-esteem and perceived racism, and empathy and perceived racism verified the prediction that increases in self-esteem and empathy would correlate with decreases in racism.

Kanukollu, Shanta Nishi. Exploring Perceptions of Child Sexual Abuse and Attitudes towards Help-Seeking among South Asian College Students. Dissertation Abstracts International: Sciences and Engineering, vol. 71, no. 11, pp. 7091, 2011.

  • Abstract: In this dissertation study, I examined perceptions of child sexual abuse (CSA) and attitudes towards psychological help-seeking held by South Asian college students living in the U.S. I conducted an online community survey (N = 349) among South Asian college-aged students (age 18-25) who self-identified as South Asian, South Asian-American or with any subethnic group falling under the South Asian category. More specifically, I examined the effects of Asian American Model Minority (MM) endorsement, idealized gender ideology, and acculturation on perceptions of CSA and attitudes towards help-seeking in a sample of South Asian college students across the United States. I found that MM Ideology was a significant predictor of certain types of CSA myths. Higher endorsement of MM Ideology predicted less Blame Diffusion, greater belief in Culture as Protective Factor (for CSA), and greater belief in Lay Theories of Coping. . . . Idealized gender ideology (AMI & AFI) alone was a significant predictor of attitudes towards help-seeking. Thus, a majority of my hypotheses were supported. Overall, the present research findings point towards the importance of cultural context when conceptualizing CSA amongst immigrants in the U.S. The results of this study have important implications for clinicians working with South Asian CSA survivors and their families, community members and organizations addressing issues related to gender violence, colleges interested in developing culturally competent services, and researchers in the areas of clinical and gender psychology.

Chang, Rita. Interpersonal Factors and Suicidal Ideation in Asian American College Freshmen. Dissertation Abstracts International: Sciences and Engineering, vol. 71, no. 11, pp. 7080, 2012.

  • Abstract: Despite high rates of suicide among Asian American college students, few studies have examined risk factors for the population. The current study focused on suicidal ideation in Asian Americans at a time of transition: the first year of college. The interpersonal changes (social support, social connectedness and family conflict) associated with freshmen year were expected to predict current ideation as well as ideation one year later. Two-hundred and twenty-four college freshmen (149 women and 75 men) participated at Time 1, and 94 of them (62 women and 32 men) returned usable data at Time 2. Results showed that although all three interpersonal factors at Time 1 predicted current ideation, none of them predicted ideation at Time 2. However, once participants were stratified into groups by acculturation levels, different patterns emerged: The suicidal ideation of highly acculturated individuals was more closely tied to feelings of social disconnectedness. The implications are discussed, along with possible strategies for counseling centers to better identify suicidal students.

Cook, Chyneitha A. Experiences and Perceptions of Racism among Minority Students in Doctoral Psychology Training Programs. Dissertation Abstracts International: Sciences and Engineering, vol. 71, no. 11, pp. 7065, 2011.

  • Abstract: Research on minority students’ experiences of racism while completing their doctoral education in psychology is scant. This study explored the subjective experiences and perceptions of racism among racial and ethnic minority individuals currently enrolled in psychology doctoral programs in the United States (U.S.), as well as those of program graduates. A total of 14 participants who self-identified as racial and ethnic minority group members were selected for the study. . . . Through qualitative content analysis, themes emerged under the following seven categories: (1) general experiences of racism within everyday life, (2) experiences of racism within the education system, (3) general experiences within psychology doctoral programs, (4) aspects of psychology doctoral programs in which experiences of racism might possibly occur, (5) incidents of racism specific to psychology doctoral programs, (6) future and anticipated experiences within psychology doctoral programs, and (7) themes that transcend the categories of questioning. Findings indicated that racism does exist in psychology doctoral programs in the U.S., in several different forms. The results also suggest that incidents of racism in psychology doctoral programs may be related to participants’ experiences of everyday racism and their prior experiences with racism in the education system, prior to entering their doctoral programs. A discussion was offered, outlining possible ways to combat racism in psychology doctoral programs, to increase student and faculty awareness of the problem, and to create more of a supportive environment for students when completing their psychology doctoral degree programs.

Thikeo, Manivone. Cambodian and Laotian Americans’ Cultural Values and Attitudes Toward Seeking Professional Psychological Services. Dissertation Abstracts International: Social Sciences and Humanities, vol. 71, no. 11, pp. 6686, 2011.

  • Abstract: Several studies have reported that Asian Americans, including Cambodian and Laotian Americans, tend to under utilize mental health services, both inpatient and outpatient although they display high levels of psychological problems related to significant psychological trauma experienced in their native land or while living in refugee camps. Underutilization may not be related to the lack of need but it may relate to cultural factors such as shame and stigma as well as acculturation and lack of health insurance. Although some Asian American research about help seeking exists, no previous research has specifically addressed this question with a Cambodian and Laotian population. This study was designed to investigate demographic and acculturation variables that might help understand why. This study used data from 108 Cambodians and Laotians adults (18+) living in Rhode Island. Participants completed (1) a demographic questionnaire sheet; (2) the Sin-Lew Asian Self Identity Acculturation Scale (AS-ASIA); (3) the Attitude Toward Seeking Professional Psychological Help Scale (ATSPPHS). Results show that only one demographic variable, gender, demonstrated a robust relationship with help seeking, with females being significantly more likely than males to recognize the need for help, have less stigma about seeking help, be more open to discussing problems and more confident that professional services would be of assistance. In contrast, neither age, nor education having health insurance was significantly related to help seeking. Level of acculturation was strongly related to help seeking, contributing, in hierarchical regression analyses, unique variance over and above the set of demographic variables. Further, acculturation was related to two specific dimensions of help seeking (e.g., openness to discussing problems and confidence in professional help). A discussion of tailoring change efforts to these particular dimensions as well as females is offered as useful in engaging Laotian and Cambodian populations. Further, females are not only likely to seek help but they are also able to influence others, especially males, to seek help through their traditional role as a “wives and mother.” Limitations of this research are discussed and suggestions made for future research efforts.

Koresko, Heeyoung Jane. Korean American Cancer Narrative and Support Group Experience. Dissertation Abstracts International: Sciences and Engineering, vol. 71, no. 09, pp. 5777, 2011.

  • Abstract: This study explored the experience of first generation monolingual Korean- American breast cancer patients participating in a Korean-language cancer support group. The principal goals were to identify culture-specific themes in participants’ cancer narratives and examine the applicability of an existing service model, which was based primarily on studies of white, middle-class, English speaking, unmarried women. The data were generated through narrative accounts of a five-participant case study utilizing semi-structured interviews and two supplemental questionnaires. Findings from the study indicate that older Korean-born immigrant women often have difficulty exercising agency in a medical context, and often did not recognize a need for basic information about their diagnosis and treatment. The language-specific support group served to dispel despair and isolation among the Korean-American women, but failed to address deeper psychological issues including the women’s passive behavioral response to the medical setting. Finally, participants of this study had extensively utilized the spiritual resources that are widely available in Korean-American communities for coping with their cancer. These results illustrate the influence of a traditional culture mindset that discourages questioning medical authority, the impact of language barriers in medical settings, and cultural resources of spirituality in coping with cancer diagnosis and treatment.

Yamada, Rika. Spirituality and Psychological Well-Being among Asian American Breast Cancer Survivors. Dissertation Abstracts International: Sciences and Engineering, vol. 71, no. 09, pp. 5810, 2011.

  • Abstract: Breast cancer is the most common cancer and the second leading cause of cancer-related death in women across all races and ethnicities. Despite steady improvement of survival rates, disparity in survivorship persists in Asian American women, as does the understanding of their breast cancer experience. Although there is a growing body of literature showing positive associations between spirituality and psychological well-being, little is known of Asian Americans, particularly among its ethnocultural subgroups. In fact, studies involving Asian breast cancer survivors with sizable, distinctive ethnic subgroups for statistically meaningful comparative analysis are almost non-existent; and therefore, warranted. The present study examines the impact of spirituality, as well as its predictability on psychological well-being, among multiple ethnic subgroups of Asian breast cancer survivors in the United States. Two hundred and six women within 1-5 years of a breast cancer diagnosis and currently cancer free participated in a cross-sectional design utilizing mailed-in questionnaire or telephone survey in English, Korean or Mandarin. . . . Statistically significant between-group variation existed in almost all psychological well-being outcomes (p < .0001), and in relation to spirituality (p < .01). More importantly, Filipino Americans showed a statistical significance in the association between spirituality and psychological well-being (p < .05), which became insignificant when assessed in aggregate. The final model accounted for 42.0% of the total variance in psychological well-being, with acculturation, income, cancer stage, and number of comorbidities as statistically significant predictors (p < .05). Lastly, spirituality predicted psychological well-being, yet the probability was not statistically significant. The current study proffers significant clinical and research implications by demonstrating the importance of cultural and contextual distinction among Asian subgroups to ensure culturally congruent and sensitive efforts in increasing psychological well-being.

Kim, Chong Y. Examining the Influence of Relational Demography and Cultural Values on Leader Member Exchange in Asian American Employee and White Manager Dyads. Dissertation Abstracts International: Sciences and Engineering, vol. 71, no. 09, pp. 5833, 2011.

  • Abstract: To gain a clear understanding of the factors that predict the most important relationship Asian American employees can have in the workplace, this study tested a comprehensive model of race as relational demography and LMX, with actual and perceived similarity in collectivism as the explanatory variable. Collectivism was hypothesized to influence the “other-interest” dimension of reciprocity, which was expected to predict the LMX of Asian American employees. Due to non-independence in the employee and manager responses, four multilevel models were conducted to test the actor partner interdependence model (APIM) using data from 51 Asian American employee-White manager (same race) and 73 White employee-White manager (different race) dyads. For same and different race dyads, perceived similarity in collectivism had a positive actor effect on both employee and manager reported LMX. For Asian American employees, perceived collectivism of their manager had an actor effect on their LMX. Since Asian American employees were significantly more collectivistic than their White counterparts, this suggests that the manager’s collectivism a however perceived a is a salient factor in determining the quality of the relationship. Contrary to hypothesis, LMX of same race dyads was not significantly higher than those of different race dyads. On the whole, the relationship quality of the sample was high. As for reciprocity, for same and different race dyads, mutual-interest had a positive actor effect on employee and manager LMX. For White employees, self-interest had a negative actor and partner effects on their LMX, while for managers of Asian American employees, there was a partner effect of mutual-interest on their LMX. Other-interest did not predict the LMX of Asian American employees, raising the question of the role that organizational context plays in reciprocity between employees and managers.

Vindua, Kristine I. The Relationship between Acculturation and Adherence to Cultural Values and its Effect on the Mental Health of Philippine-Born and U.S.-Born Filipino Americans. Dissertation Abstracts International: Sciences and Engineering, vol. 71, no. 10, pp. 6455, 2011.

  • Abstract: This study examined the relationship between acculturation and adherence to cultural values and its effect on the mental health of Philippine-born and U.S.-born Filipino Americans. Socio-demographic information was gathered; and level of acculturation, adherence to Asian cultural values, and mental health were measured from a sample of 96 Philippine-born Filipino Americans (FAs) and 116 U.S.-born FAs. Pearson correlations were conducted to determine the relationship between selected socio-demographic variables, acculturation, adherence to cultural values, and mental health. A hierarchical regression was conducted to identify predictors of mental health. Results indicated that acculturation was not a predictor of mental health for both Philippine-born and U.S.-born FAs. However, adherence to cultural values of collectivism and emotional self-control were predictors of mental health for Philippine-born FAs, while educational level and adherence to the cultural value of conformity to norms were predictors for U.S.-born FAs. The clinical implications of this study’s findings are discussed along with suggestions for future research.

Grammas, Debbie L. Perfectionism, Societal Messages, Gender Role and Race as Correlates of Male Body Image. Dissertation Abstracts International: Sciences and Engineering, vol. 71, no. 10, pp. 6465, 2011.

  • Abstract: Many men experience psychological distress as they try to obtain the ideal body as constructed by society. . . . Research indicates that body dissatisfaction is increasing in males and even young boys are experiencing body image dissatisfaction. Men with body image concerns are at risk for low self esteem, eating disorders, use of steroids, anxiety and depression. Perfectionism and gender role socialization have been related to a drive for muscularity in men. In addition, viewing images of muscular men and reading fitness magazines have been linked to body dissatisfaction in men. While the relationships between perfectionism, internalization of ideal standards transmitted by the media, and gender role conflict have been examined with body image dissatisfaction in men, no studies have linked these variables together in a single model. . . . Results indicated that identifying as an Asian American, socially prescribed perfectionism, and internalization of societal messages were significant positive predictors of muscle dissatisfaction. Higher levels of socially prescribed perfectionism and internalization of societal messages were related to higher levels of dissatisfaction with the amount of one’s body fat. None of the variables examined served as a predictor for height dissatisfaction. Gender role conflict did not serve as a moderator in the relationship between the variables and male body image dissatisfaction

Zhang, Yanyan. A Cross-Cultural Study of Crime Judgment. Dissertation Abstracts International: Sciences and Engineering, vol. 72, no. 03, pp. 1843, 2011.

  • Abstract: The current research addressed three possible mechanisms through which culture shapes individuals’ crime judgments: beliefs about punishment functions (i.e., individuals’ motives in punishing), endorsement of moral foundations (i.e., individuals’ beliefs about what is morally right or wrong) and cognitive styles (i.e., individuals’ modes of thought and their social-cognitive tendencies). In two studies, the cultural effects on crime judgments were examined in four different ways: cultural priming, cross-ethnic comparisons, cross-country comparisons, and individual differences. In Study 1, bicultural Asian American (N=213) and European American (N=118) college students underwent cultural priming, performed computer-based cognitive tasks, read legal violation scenarios, and completed various surveys and questionnaires. Study 2 directly compared American college students (N=331) from Study 1 to Chinese (N=295) college students in China. . . . As hypothesized, Chinese held stronger negative attitudes toward the criminal if the victim was an ingroup member. American people, however, reacted more negatively if the victim was a stranger. The individual-differences approach also confirmed the above findings in that the interdependent self-construal was related to more negative attitudes toward crimes related to the “ingroup” moral foundation. In addition, as shown by moderated-mediation analysis, individual differences in crime judgments were explained by individual differences in endorsement of the “ingroup” moral foundations, especially when the crime involved an ingroup member. Finally, culture also influenced individuals’s crime judgments related to the “authority” moral foundation. Supporting my hypothesis, Chinese held stronger negative attitudes toward the criminal if the victim was an authority figure. Americans, however, reacted more negatively if the victim was a person sharing a similar social status.

Devdas, Neetha R. Child Sexual Abuse Myth Acceptance among South Asian American Men and Women. Dissertation Abstracts International: Sciences and Engineering, vol. 72, no. 04, pp. 2458, 2011.

  • Abstract: In the present study, an attempt was made to determine whether differences existed between South Asian American men and women in their acceptance of child sexual abuse myths. Differences were examined based on gender, levels of acculturation, and past histories of child sexual abuse. The Child Sexual Abuse Myth Scale (Collings, 1997), the Suinn-Lew Asian Acculturation Scale (Suinn, Rickard-Figueroa, Lew, & Vigil, 1987), and a demographic questionnaire were administered on an Internet survey website to participants recruited through advertising on a social networking website. One-hundred and forty-seven participants, including 93 women and 54 men, were included in the final results. An independent samples t-test showed significant differences between South Asian American men and women in their attitudes toward child sexual abuse. An independent samples t-test and a Pearson product-moment correlation coefficient with a scatterplot showed no significant differences in acculturation and past history of child sexual abuse on child sexual abuse myth acceptance.

Obata, Stanley. Organization and Power: How Japanese Americans were Affected by the Internment Camp Experience. Dissertation Abstracts International: Sciences and Engineering, vol. 72, no. 05, pp. 3101, 2011.

  • Abstract: The purpose of this study was to find answers to questions of how the internment experience affected the Japanese American participants in their lives socially, economically, and psychologically. A qualitative research methodologically was used in this study, utilizing an interview approach, with the reporting of the results presented by the repeating ideas and themes. The interview guide was constructed to support each participant’s sharing of specific, personal internment experience. Each participant was given a detailed explanation of the research project. The interviews were scheduled and conducted in the participant’s home or a comfortable place that he or she selected. In some cases, the interviews were conducted by telephone. Approximately 20 to 25 participants were used to conduct this study. The review of the literature described many instances where the participants had been adversely affected in negative manners. A historical account of the internment experience through the eyes of the participants was revealed to show that they had, in fact, been victims of racial discrimination. During the period in United States history of World War II, wartime hysteria, negative propaganda, and anti-Japanese sentiment most definitely resulted in the ill- mannered effect that the participants experienced. The results of this study were found to correspond to the findings in the review of the literature, and the themes and ideas expressed by the participants were similar in nature. Some of the limitations of this study were the number of participants interviewed, defense mechanisms such as repression used by the participants to protect their emotional well-being, and the unwillingness to talk genuinely about a subject that had been a tragic reminder of their past. Many of the Japanese Americans who were placed into internment camps have passed away as well, so it would be impossible to recover their stories, except through second-hand sources.

Olmos, Natasha Thapar. Public Stigma towards Mental Illness among South Asians in the United States and India. Dissertation Abstracts International: Sciences and Engineering, vol. 72, no. 05, pp. 3102, 2011.

  • Abstract: The aim of this study was to examine stigma towards depression and psychosis among South Asians in the U.S. and India (N=462). Two theoretical models were applied, the attribution model and a shame-based model. Univariate differences were examined for each variable in the models and path analysis was used to test model fit. Results indicated that in both countries, the models under study fit the data well. Additionally, shame may be a particularly salient construct among South Asians in the U.S. This study provides preliminary evidence of relevant stigma variables among South Asians.

Tiwari, Ashmi. A Comparison of the Parenting Perceptions of Indian Americans and Caucasian Americans. Dissertation Abstracts International: Sciences and Engineering, vol. 72, no. 05, pp. 3107, 2011.

  • Abstract: The Parent Development Theory (PDT) was developed as a means to conceptualize the parenting perceptions of both parents and non-parents. The PDT, and related assessment instruments, identify six core characteristics that delineate behaviors that parents believe are important and one set of behaviors which are negative or not important. They consist of Bonding, Discipline, Education, General Welfare and Protection, Responsivity, Sensitivity, and Negativity. The present study assessed the parenting perceptions of 119 Indian Americans from the New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania Metropolitan areas and compared them with a group of 99 Caucasian Americans. . . . Significant differences in parent ratings on the Negativity subscale were found between Indian Americans and Caucasian Americans generally, as well as when generation and acculturation level were accounted for. No significant differences in responses were found between Indian Americans and Caucasian Americans on the Bonding, Discipline, Education, General Welfare and Protection, Responsivity, and Sensitivity subscales. Overall significant differences in parent ratings, based on gender, were found on the Responsivity, Sensitivity, and Negativity subscales. No significant differences were found in parent ratings, based on gender, on the Bonding, Discipline, Education, General Welfare and Protection subscales. Significant differences were found in parenting perceptions of the Education subscale were found between males and females when culture was accounted for. However, no significant differences in parent ratings were found between males and females when gender was accounted for on the subscales of Bonding, Discipline, General Welfare and Protection, Responsivity, Sensitivity, and Negativity. Overall, the present study has a number of implications for the field of school-clinical psychology. For example, this study may aid clinicians in understanding the culture of their client, how parenting perceptions of others may differ from their own, and how Indian Americans may value parenting skills relative to Caucasian Americans. In the end, cultural differences among clients and between clients and clinicians need to be fully appreciated by the professional community in order for services to be effective.

Gong, Fang, Jun Xu, Kaori Fujishiro, David T. Takeuchi. 2011. “A Life Course Perspective on Migration and Mental Health among Asian Immigrants: The Role of Human Agency.” Social Science & Medicine 73:11:1618-1626.

  • Abstract: The relationship between human agency and health is an important yet under-researched topic. This study uses a life course perspective to examine how human agency (measured by voluntariness, migratory reasons, and planning) and timing (measured by age at immigration) affect mental health outcomes among Asian immigrants in the United States. Data from the National Latino and Asian American Study showed that Asian immigrants (n=1491) with multiple strong reasons to migrate were less likely to suffer from mental health problems (i.e., psychological distress and psychiatric disorders in the past 12 months) than those without clear goals. Moreover, Asian immigrants with adequate migratory planning had lower levels of distress and lower rates of 12-month psychiatric disorders than those with poorly planned migration. Compared with migrants of the youngest age category (six or younger), those who migrated during preteen and adolescent years without clear goals had higher levels of psychological distress, and those who migrated during adulthood (25 years or older) were less likely to suffer from recent depressive disorders (with the exception of those migrating for life-improving goals). Furthermore, we found that well-planned migration lowered acculturative stress, and multiple strong reasons for migration buffered the negative effect of acculturative stress upon mental health. Findings from this study advance research on immigrant health from the life course perspective by highlighting the effects of exercising human agency during the pre-migration stage upon post-migration mental health.

Liang, Juily Jung Chuang. The Process of Decentering: A Phenomenological Study of Asian American Buddhists from the Fo Guan Shan Temple Buddhist Order. Dissertation Abstracts International: Sciences and Engineering, vol. 72, no. 07, pp. 4323, 2012.

  • Abstract: The current study is an empirical exploration of the Buddhist phenomenon of decentering (letting go of the ego as described in the Four Noble Truths). The researcher explored decentering as a personal process of being open to change in one’s daily Buddhist practice, whereby a person learns to be less attached to worldly experiences, hence reducing suffering that comes with a conditioned mind. A psychological approach underscored by empirical and transcendental phenomenologies was utilized to describe the essence of decentering: 1) criterion sampling to select 6 members of a Buddhist temple in Southwestern United States, 2) in-depth interviewing, and 3) phenomenologically-grounded data analytic techniques. Results showed the process of decentering is a multifaceted experience. It paralleled millennia-old Buddhist training guidelines for achieving decentering: 3-fold training of morality, meditation and wisdom. Conation was an essential component that pervaded the entire process of decentering. Participants gradually reshaped their habitual schema to spiritual schema. Conation served to drive decentering’s mechanism of change, metacognition. Participants focused on changing the way they related to their thoughts over time rather than changing the contents of their thoughts. The pursuit of mental well-being through the use of decentering-related interventions has far-reaching implications for clinical research, training and practice.

Lee, Noelle. The Internalization of the Model Minority Stereotype in Asian American Adolescents and its Psychological Implications. Dissertation Abstracts International: Sciences and Engineering, vol. 72, no. 07, pp. 4351, 2012.

  • Abstract: The Model Minority image cast upon Asian Americans, specifically Asian American youth today can create psychological implications for them, in that there is a huge discrepancy in what may be their harsh reality and then with what is expected from
    them. Some psychological implications can include but may not be limited to: mental health disorders such as depression and anxiety and may affect decisions for choices such as drug use and gang involvement. Within looking at this issue, we may find that for some of the youth, the Model Minority in combination with their cultural values such as bringing honor and pride for family, or the importance of education, may have been
    internalized and could potentially manifest itself in a psychological disorder. In order to understand Asian American families, particularly Asian American adolescents, it is important to consider issues related to immigration, generational issues, acculturation, conflict of ideas and values, language, identity development and racism.

Der Bing, Clifton Michael. The Influences of General Perfectionism, Chinese Cultural Values and Acculturation on Depression among Chinese-American College Students. Dissertation Abstracts International: Sciences and Engineering, vol. 72, no. 10, pp. 6380, 2012.

  • Abstract: The present study investigated the influences of general perfectionism, Chinese cultural values and acculturation on depression among 122 Chinese-American college students at a state university located in the San Francisco Bay Area of California. The results from a linear multiple regression indicated that the three independent variables collectively and significantly explained 22% of depression. A step-wise regression revealed that general perfectionism was the strongest significant predictor for depression, while Chinese cultural values constituted the second highest significant predictor. Acculturation, by contrast, was not found to significantly predict depression. The current study contributed to cultural research by proposing that general perfectionism has a moderately strong significant influence on depression among Chinese-American college students, while Chinese cultural values has a significantly weak influence. The current research supports the importance of clinical psychologists being attentive to factors that may influence depression (e.g., perfectionism, Chinese cultural values) among this ethnic student population, while also respecting these students by providing culturally sensitive methods of counseling. The final section reviews the limitations to the current study as well as the future research possibilities.

Li, Robin. Assessing Racial Identity Attitudes in Asian American Adults: Exploring Factor Structure, Generational Differences, and Ethnic Differences. Dissertation Abstracts International: Sciences and Engineering, vol. 72, no. 10, pp. 6391, 2012.

  • Abstract: Current racial identity development theories assume similar responses to cultural oppression across all non-dominant racial groups. Considering the unique racialization experiences of Asian Americans in the United States, one would expect that there would be some differences between Asian American racial identity development processes and those of other People of Color. Furthermore, because of the great diversity within the designation “Asian American,” one would expect to find important differences in racial identity development processes based on variables such as generational status and ethnic background. In an effort to refine racial identity theory and assessment as it pertains to Asian Americans, an exploratory factor analysis was conducted on the People of Color Racial Identity Attitude Scale (PRIAS) responses of 673 Asian American adults between the ages of 18-61. . . . In the exploratory factor analysis, four factors emerged These factors were roughly equivalent to the racial identity statuses represented on the original PRIAS scoring key, which seems to support the assumption that racial identity development processes are similar for most non-dominant racial groups regardless of racial group membership. There were also some discrepancies between the two factor structures, however, which may illustrate unique aspects of Asian American racial identity development. Results of the MANOVA and its post-hoc tests indicated that Racial Discomfort and Re-Examination attitudes differentiate Asian American adults across generational status, with immigrant Asian Americans experiencing lower levels of Racial Discomfort and Re-Examination than both American-born Asian Americans and 1.5-generation Asian Americans. These results suggest that Asian American racial identity development theories may be enhanced through further research on how immigrants’ experience of oppression may differ from those of other Asian Americans. No differences based on ethnic background were found in the present study.

Brozyna, Angelica. The Association of Acculturation with Perceived Patient-Centered Cultural Sensitivity and Patient Satisfaction among a National Sample of Ethnic and Racial Minorities. Dissertation Abstracts International: Sciences and Engineering, vol. 72, no. 10, pp. 6411, 2012.

  • Abstract: The present study was designed to (a) explore the relationships among patient satisfaction, acculturation (i.e., level of identification with the dominant society and with one’s ethnic culture), and the three components of patient-centered culturally sensitive health care (i.e., patients’ perceived levels of patient-centered cultural sensitivity displayed by their health care providers, office staff, and the physical environment and policies at their health care site), and (b) examine whether these relationships differ in association with race/ethnicity, income, generation status, number of clinic visits in the past year, type of clinic utilized, and self-reported quality of health. Participants consisted of a low-income skewed sample of 1,036 health care patients who were part of a research project to assess patient-centered culturally sensitive health care at health care sites in different locations across the nation. This study provided evidence of significant positive relationships between patients’ level of identification with their ethnic culture and patient-centered culturally sensitive health care for Hispanic/Latino and non-Hispanic White American patient participants. Significant positive relationships were also found between patients’ level of identification with the dominant society and patient-centered culturally sensitive health care for Asian American/Pacific Islander and non-Hispanic White American patient participants. Findings also indicated racial/ethnic differences in the components of patient-centered culturally sensitive health care that predicted patient satisfaction. . . . Therefore, findings from this study provide support for the importance of assessing acculturation and considering racial and ethnic differences when conducting culturally sensitive health care research. Conducting such research in private practice and hospitals settings seems particularly needed.

Yee, Curtis Kenmun. How Minorities Perceive and React to Interracial Relationships: Qualitative, Survey and Experimental Evidence from Asian-American Men. Dissertation Abstracts International: Sciences and Engineering, vol. 72, no. 10, pp. 6443, 2012.

  • Abstract: Asian-American women date and marry Whites about 3 times the rate of Asian-American men. Given this imbalance, I am interested in the perceptions and reactions of Asian-American men, a group that is “left behind.” From previous studies, I suggest that Asian-American men experience three kinds of threat: 1) The threat of competition (scarcity in the dating pool), 2) a threat to their culture (that they are subordinate to Whites), and 3) a threat to their masculinity (that they are not as manly or attractive as Whites). In this dissertation, I conducted focus groups to see if Asian-American men perceive this imbalance in terms of the three threats. In the survey portion, I looked at how their attitudes related to measures of group identity, racism, self-esteem etc. Finally, in the experiment portion, I found that Asian-American men experienced stereotype threat to their masculinity, in the form of doing fewer push-ups, after being exposed to interracial couples. Qualitative and quantitative support for the three threats was found. While interracial romance is a positive thing, the gender asymmetry may be an extension of existing racial inequalities, and that may cause resentment from the minority ethnic group, as well as social marginalization.

June 18, 2012

Written by C.N.

Academic Research: Race/Ethnicity, Immigration, & Asian Americans #8

As a followup to my earlier “part one” post, the following is a list of recent academic journal articles and/or doctoral dissertations from scholars in the social/cognitive 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 dissertations records are compiled by Dissertation Abstracts International and copies can be obtained through your college’s library or by contacting ProQuest at 789 E. Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106-1346, telephone 800-521-3042, or

The research listed below focus on the social sciences and humanities (other research that will be presented separately focus on the cognitive sciences). Some abstracts were edited for length. Again, this list is “part two” of my earlier post. As always, works included in this list are for informational purposes only and do not imply an endorsement of their contents. Last but not least, congratulations to my new academic colleagues on being “Ph.inally”

Quintana, Isabella Seong-Leong. National Borders, Neighborhood Boundaries: Gender, Space and Border Formation in Chinese and Mexican Los Angeles, 1871-1938. Dissertation Abstracts International: Social Sciences and Humanities, vol. 72, no. 03, pp. 1058, 2011.

© Sigrid Olson/ZenShui/Corbis
  • Abstract: A study of the plaza area in the city of Los Angeles, this dissertation explores how national borders were mapped onto neighborhood geographies in the making of a racially segregated urban landscape. From the 1870s through the 1930s, the plaza area was home to Mexicans, Chinese and others who played varying roles in the formation of community. Places that came to be known as “Chinatown” and “Sonoratown” became not only sites of racial difference but also locations that were designated “foreign” districts; thus, they were located ideologically outside of the geopolitical borders of the U.S. nation-state despite their location within U.S. territory. I argue that the U.S. conquest of former Mexican territories, deportation campaigns, Mexican repatriation, and Chinese exclusion were simultaneous processes of border formation that affected the social relationships of Los Angeles residents. In the making of what I call the “urban borderlands,” multiracial social and spatial configurations of plaza area neighborhoods were shaped not only by the racialization of places known as “Chinatown” and “Sonoratown” but also by the shifting locations and meanings of U.S. nation-state borders, including at times immigration exclusion. Linking race, class, gender and nation, this study offers an understanding of community formation in the context of rapid industrialization and modernization. Plaza area residents made meaning of their local geography through conflicts over space, limited resources, exclusion and deportation movements, and industrialization. Through spatial and material culture analyses of public spaces, home spaces, and city geography, this thesis shows how architecture and street spaces might be used to understand the social relationships of Mexican and Chinese residents. In doing so, it examines the different and sometimes opposing spatial imaginaries of Mexican and Chinese residents, reformers, city officials, and city boosters. By examining both pivotal events in which Chinese and Mexican bodies were removed from urban space, and the everyday lives of these residents, this study contributes to a new understanding of not only working-class, immigrant and urban U.S. history, but also Chicana/o and Asian American Studies. In doing so, it illuminates how U.S. global imperialism took on local manifestations in places such as Los Angeles.

Moloney, Molly. Consuming Identities: Clubs, Drugs, and an Asian American Youth Culture. Dissertation Abstracts International: Social Sciences and Humanities, vol. 72, no. 03, pp. 1085, 2011.

  • Abstract: Asian American youth are important and active members of many dance scenes and club cultures, yet their involvement in these has generally gone unstudied. This dissertation examines the experiences of young Asian Americans in the dance scenes in the San Francisco Bay Area. This diverse group of young people varies by ethnicity, class, education, gender, and sexual identity. Examining 250 in-depth interviews with participants in this youth culture, I focus on consumption, identity, and symbolic boundaries. This is not a monolithic youth culture, but one comprised of multiple scenes, including raves, underground dance parties, multi-ethnic dance clubs, as well as predominantly Asian dance clubs. These young Asian Americans describe their negotiations and constructions of identities vis-a-vis pan-ethnic Asian American cultural formations, ethnonational cultures, social class, and competing femininities and masculinities. I analyze drug consumption as one case study of the relationship between consumption and the construction of ethnic identities. Drug consumption and participation in the dance scenes are drawn upon in self-narratives to discuss their understanding of what it means to be an Asian American young person today. Three sets of narratives emerged. One discusses drug consumption as a natural outgrowth of the “in-between” position of being an Asian American. The second, which echoes model minority representations of Asian Americans, sees a disjuncture between being Asian American and consuming illicit drugs; respondents telling this narrative cast their own drug consumption as unusual. The third group sees nothing extraordinary about the prominence of club drug use in the Asian American dance scene and instead indicate normalized drug use in the scene. Drug consumption was not the only important form of consumption in the scene, however. Thus I also analyze how music, style, and fashion are drawn upon in establishing, highlighting and maintaining symbolic boundaries between social groups within the dance scenes, focusing particularly on intra-ethnic boundaries that separate different Asian American groups, as the young people attempt to distance themselves from “other” groups of Asian Americans including “FOBs,” “whitewashed” Asian Americans, “thugs,” “squatters,” and more.

Feliciano, Shannon Marie. Understanding Infant Feeding Choices among Hmong-American Women in Saint Paul, MN. Dissertation Abstracts International: Social Sciences and Humanities, vol. 72, no. 04, pp. 1447, 2011.

  • Abstract: To understand infant-feeding patterns among Hmong women in St. Paul, MN, this qualitative study used a convenience sample of 21 Hmong mothers who had at least 1 child under the age of 2. Drawing on interviews and questionnaires, this researcher explored (a) how participants described their traditional and American cultural traditions, beliefs, and values, (b) their infant-feeding practices, and (c) how their infant-feeding practices are shaped by adaptations to traditional and American cultures. In this sample, those women who had recently immigrated to the United States were more likely to exclusively use formula. Interviews suggest that American norms of breastfeeding in public, hectic lifestyles in a new country, and lack of cultural knowledge about pumping and storing breast milk influenced 1st- and 1.5-generation participants to exclusively use formula. For 2nd-generation participants, the awkwardness of breastfeeding in public was also cited as an important influence on their decision to use formula. However, quite different from 1st- and 1.5-generation women, 2nd-generation women were more educated and more likely to be employed in less segregated and professional occupations, which exposed them to mothers of different backgrounds who were breastfeeding. This exposure to breastfeeding mothers appeared to influence breastfeeding initiation among 2nd-generation Hmong. This study also found that negative social support from participants’ mothers and mothers-in-law, and positive social support from sisters and sisters-in-law had a strong impact on their infant-feeding decisions. Unlike previous research among Hispanic immigrants, this study revealed that 2nd-generation Hmong immigrants were slightly more likely to include some form of breastfeeding in their infant-feeding method. This study also revealed the importance of social support and the role of the ethnic community in infant-feeding choices. More research is needed, however, to further clarify the relationship between acculturation and social support on breastfeeding initiation and duration among various immigrant populations.

Vengua, Jean. Migrant Scribes and Poet-Advocates: U.S. Filipino Literary History in West Coast Periodicals, 1905 to 1941. Dissertation Abstracts International: Social Sciences and Humanities, vol. 72, no. 05, pp. 1650, 2011.

  • Abstract: Much of the earliest prose and poetry published by Filipinos in the United States appeared in the many periodicals published and edited by Filipinos from 1905 through the end of the Great Depression. Today, these periodicals function as historical “archives.” However, they also document U.S. Filipino literary heritage from the first half of the twentieth century, especially in forms of persuasive writing such as editorials and feature essays, and also in poetry, short stories, reviews, and literary criticism. The periodicals nurtured Filipino writers as they struggled to find their voice in the foreign nation that employed them as non-citizen workers, and had colonized and exploited the material resources of their homeland, the Philippines. A study of these texts may help to add breadth and depth to our research and understanding of Filipino writing in the U.S., both its literary production and history, as well as its contemporary forms. This dissertation is a preliminary survey of writing found in eight U.S. Filipino periodicals in the Western U.S. during the early 20th century. It articulates several broad functions of these newspapers and magazines in relation to the production and support of U.S. Filipino writing. While U.S. Filipino periodicals constituted their own social spheres, providing venues and reading constituencies for writers, the work they published also narrated and thus reinforced the formation of Filipino communities — both migrating or localized — as well as group and individual identities, although the effects varied, in terms of the writer”s gender. This study examines the historical and material contexts for this writing, exploring the lives of the writers themselves, as well as specific examples of texts that they produced.

Ferrera, Maria Joy. The Intersection of Colonial Mentality, Family Socialization, and Ethnic Identity Formation among Second Generation Filipino American Youth. Dissertation Abstracts International: Social Sciences and Humanities, vol. 72, no. 05, pp. 1779, 2011.

  • Abstract: There is much evidence that profoundly challenges the Asian model minority myth that portrays Asians as problem free. One of them is the high incidence of depression among Filipino Americans, particularly second-generation Filipino American youth (Rumbaut, 1999). However, there is a dearth of information regarding the mental health of Filipino Americans and why the incidence of depression is so high (Araneta, 1993 & Uba, 1994). Literature on acculturation among ethnic minority youth asserts that a straight-line trajectory of assimilation is the most detrimental trajectory, while biculturalism, or integration, is the optimal trajectory (LaFramboise et al., 1993; Ward, 2001). With regard to ethnic identity, ethnic pride is found to have a positive effect on overall adjustment among immigrant youth within various ethnic groups (Phinney, 1993), and higher levels of Filipino ethnic identification is significantly associated with lower levels of depressive symptoms among Filipino Americans (Mossakowski, 2003). In line with an ecological systems perspective, this study considers what is a salient context for Filipinos living in America their history of colonization. Scholars suggest that colonial mentality is commonly adopted among Filipino Americans and this contributes to a loss of a sense of heritage, or weakened ethnic identity (David, 2006). The purpose of this study was to examine the processes that may illuminate why Filipino American youth may be depressed, namely to: (1) gain an understanding of the role colonial mentality plays in the family socialization or enculturation of second generation Filipino Americans (SGFAs); (2) gain an understanding of the role colonial mentality plays on their ethnic identity formation; (3) and examine how the enculturation and ethnic identity formulations may impact their bicultural competence and overall mental and emotional well being.

Hong, Eunice. Understanding Intergenerational Korean American Church Splits. Dissertation Abstracts International: Social Sciences and Humanities, vol. 72, no. 05, pp. 1788, 2011.

  • Abstract: Generational and cultural differences between the first and second generation Korean American church leaders have caused division, anxiety, and tension. Although much study has been dedicated to the immigrant church and to the second generation, little research has been done on the factors contributing to church splits in multigenerational Korean American churches. Though nearly all immigrant churches recognize the difficulties of embracing different generations and cultures, the lack of attention has resulted in frustration, bitterness, and ultimately, separation of the church. The purpose of the present study is to understand and explain key factors that contribute to church splits in multigenerational Korean American churches in the greater Los Angeles area. In order to explain the phenomenon of intergenerational church splits in the Korean American church, the present study has adopted qualitative methodology and the methodology of grounded theory in particular. Because the study aims to explain the factors contributing to church splits, it was necessary to look beyond a quantitative study and listen to the narratives of those involved in church splits. Seventeen second generation Korean American pastors were interviewed. These individuals were from the greater Los Angeles region. Though they were from different churches and various denominations, each participant experienced the same phenomenon of a church split. Characteristic of qualitative research, participants were asked open-ended questions about their experience with the church and more specifically about their experience with the church split. A careful analysis of the data yielded four themes (search for identity, power struggle, tension, and church split) that best reflected factors contributing to second generation Korean American pastors leaving the first generation Korean American church.

Thangaraj, Stanley Ilango. Playing Through Contradictions: Indo-Pak Basketball and Embodying South Asian American Masculinity. Dissertation Abstracts International: The Humanities and Social Sciences, vol. 72, no. 07, pp. 2462, 2012.

  • Abstract: This is a qualitative research project incorporating ethnographic methods alongside interviews. Through these qualitative research methods, I sought out how South Asian Americans attribute meaning to leisure activities of basketball and dance clubs. In particular, I examined the Indo-Pak Basketball North American circuit in general and the local Atlanta South Asian American basketball scene in particular. I looked at how South Asian Americans utilize the cultural practices in basketball, its respective pleasures and desires, to talk about belonging and citizenship at the nexus of masculinity, sexuality, race, class, and ethnicity. By examining these cultural practices of belonging, basketball presents a venue by which to provide a critique of US citizenship through South Asian American masculinity while inserting South Asian American-ness into the cultural logic of US citizenship. Sporting and leisure venues allow for such masculine pleasures and desires that contest hegemonic discourses of South Asian Americans as forever foreign — social interactions and consumptive practices of leisure allow for cultural citizenship. Yet, such counter-hegemonic practices exist in fields of power. Thus, this research project explores how South Asian American identity formation takes place in a dialectical relationship of power whereby acts of resistance and re-imagination of normativities does not do away with such fields of power. Rather, the moment of resistance also implicates other workings of power whereby these cultural parameters of South Asian American-ness, through leisure space, begin to exclude various Others — women and queer subjects. Therefore, contesting citizenship through South Asian American masculinity also leads to productions of various other normativities.

Park, Hien Ju. Twice Illegal: Ethnic Community, Identity and Social Networks among the North Korean Defectors in the U.S. Dissertation Abstracts International: The Humanities and Social Sciences, vol. 72, no. 08, pp. 2710, 2012.

  • Abstract: This study discusses the incorporation prospects of North Korean defectors in the U.S. by examining their survival toolkit which comes in two forms: Their precarious North Korean defector identity which elicits human rights concerns at the U.S. foreign policy level, and their North Korean identity which creates networking ties with Korean-Americans based on a common ethnicity. Hence, the main focus of this study is twofold: To provide contextual background against which policies for their refugee status can be discussed, and to describe and explain the social capital associated with their distinct Korean identity. Drawing from newspaper content analysis, five years of ethnographic research, and in-depth interviews with thirty-one North Korean defectors in the U.S., this study demonstrates how the Korean ethnicity, ethnic networks, and the Korean-American community and ethnic capital it shares, have been instrumental in North Korean incorporation. This study also ponders how such incorporation efforts — and the social capital they accumulated — would implicate policies of inclusion for North Korea.

Wong, Alina Siu. In Flux: Racial Identity Construction Among Chinese American and Filipina/o American Undergraduates. Dissertation Abstracts International: The Humanities and Social Sciences, vol. 72, no. 08, pp. 2710, 2012.

  • Abstract: This study examines the multiple understandings and meanings Chinese American and Filipina/o American students construct around their racial identities. Their dynamic and multilayered constructions of Asian American identities — as a political coalition; as shared experiences of racialization and racism; as unspoken bonds of community and comfort; and as simultaneous identities — created space for the myriad ways of being Asian American. Their narratives demonstrated the ways that identities are constantly in flux and in the process of being constructed, and how their identities are involved in simultaneous paradoxical dialogues between the individual-collective and the personal-social. That is, their identities internally formed through personal experiences while impacted by social relationships and politics. It is a constant process of negotiation, choice, and comfort while still holding on to some core sense of self. Students’ self-conceptions were constantly changing — often depending on immediate context, assumptions, comfort level, relationships, and interactions — even when they had a strong sense of their identities. What it meant, collectively and individually, to be Asian American (or Chinese American and Filipina/o American) was a dynamic process of constant re/negotiation and re/definition. The results of this study can be used to better inform policies, practice, and pedagogies in higher education, as well as to contribute to current understandings of race and identity. This study provides new perspectives to understand Asian American students as agents in educational contexts to negotiate, confront, and resist stereotypes and racism in higher education. This study also adds to the existing literature on Asian American undergraduate experiences by offering an alternative framework for understanding racial identities, and by centering their experiences in their own voices. I use a critical approach and a holistic framework for understanding Asian American racial identity are necessary to better illuminate the implicit assumptions of identity and race; as well as a social justice lens and framework grounded in critical theory that works within the intersections power, identity, and race. I hope to reframe the experiences of Asian Americans as another community of color struggling for power, agency, and place.

Solomon, Amanda Lee Albaniel. Managing the (Post)Colonial: Race, Gender and Sexuality in Literary Texts of the Philippine Commonwealth. Dissertation Abstracts International: The Humanities and Social Sciences, vol. 72, no. 08, pp. 2877, 2012.

  • Abstract: “Managing the (Post)Colonial” investigates a range of literary texts — from American newspaper articles to Philippine state-sponsored poetry — which circulated just before and during the Philippine Commonwealth period (1934-1946), when the islands were neither an official U.S. colony nor an independent nation. I argue therefore that the Commonwealth period was an ambiguous and contradictory political moment which I signify through the parenthetical use of “post” in “(post)colonial.” I thus call into question whether or not an entire nation and its subjects could be simultaneously colonial and yet not, for it is at the moment of seeming official separation from the U.S. that political, economic, cultural and social policies actually ensured U.S. hegemony under the guise of independence. Ultimately, I analyze cultural and literary texts of the period to show how sexualized and gendered representations of the Filipino subject were not only utilized in an attempt to reconcile this contradiction of the Commonwealth, but also to imagine alternative nationalisms and forms of social emancipation. Focusing on the queer moments in Bulosan and Villa’s texts, I trace how the relationships between race, gender and sexuality are not only inundated with power but are also productively contradictory, allowing one access to spaces and acts of freedom.

Love, Erik Robert. Confronting Islamophobia: Civil Rights Advocacy in the United States. Dissertation Abstracts International: The Humanities and Social Sciences, vol. 72, no. 08, pp. 2978, 2012.

  • Abstract: This dissertation integrates the history of Arab, Muslim, Sikh, and South Asian American civil rights advocacy organizations since 1980 into extant sociological knowledge about civil rights advocacy. Beginning with an introduction that reviews sociological thinking on race and racism, the dissertation then provides a background on so-called Islamophobia, racialized discrimination affecting a wide range of groups. This is followed by an analysis of current sociological theory on advocacy organizations and social movements. A chapter describing the multiple methodologies of the research follows, including details on the qualitative interviews, content analysis of documents produced by several nationally prominent advocacy organizations, and the creation of a custom database of information covering more than 400 advocacy organizations in places across the United States. Empirical data are presented in chapters five through seven. Chapter Five focuses on the important intersection between race and gender in efforts to confront Islamophobia. Among the findings presented is a surprisingly well-defined gendered division of labor — where one organization has a staff of almost exclusively women, and another organization has very few women — that appears in the Muslim, Sikh, and South Asian American organizations in the study. Chapter Six takes on the interplay between advocacy organizations and the state agencies toward which advocacy work is oriented. The chapter considers the roles of state agencies in the legislative, executive, and judicial branches. I find that many state agencies have effectively assigned a racial category to Arab, Muslim, Sikh, and South Asian Americans. The Department of Justice and other agencies tasked with fighting discrimination have convened “Middle Eastern American” meetings that pull together advocacy organizations from disparate communities unified by racial identity. Chapter Seven considers whether this joint, “Middle Eastern American” racial identity served as a catalyst for coalition building among advocacy organizations. I find very little panethnic coalition work along these broad lines of a racial or identity-based alliance, although there is a great deal of ad-hoc coalition work that centers on specific issues. The concluding chapter suggests pathways for future research and revisits the themes of the introduction in light of the dissertation’s findings.

Gill, Jungyun. Forming, Doing, and Governing Adoptive Motherhood of Asian Children. Dissertation Abstracts International: The Humanities and Social Sciences, vol. 72, no. 09, pp. 2710, 2012.

  • Abstract: This research journey began with the question concerning what can be revealed when we move from the bio-centric conception of motherhood to the perspective of non-biological motherhood. In exploring this question one of my goals was to increase understanding of the rich diversity of women’s experiences of motherhood. This study examined white adoptive mothers’ experiences of raising a child from an Asian country, China, South Korea, or the Philippines, hoping to gain new insights into the intricate relationship between the public and private spheres since becoming a mother through adoption is in part a product of institutionalized practices. The central methodology used to explore the multi-dimensionality of adoptive motherhood in this study is institutional ethnography. This methodology allows the researcher to develop a comprehensive understanding of adoptive mothers’ motherhood experiences and mothering activities in the everyday world and discover how mothering activities in private and local settings are coordinated with the activities of others in extra-local settings. I pursued my research goals at multiple sites and through the use of several research methods. I interviewed thirty eight white adoptive mothers residing in Connecticut and Massachusetts. The information and insights I obtained from the interviews with adoptive mothers led me to investigate adoptive parenting magazines and books, adopted children’s books, adoption agencies’ booklets and websites, and international adoption regulations and policies as well as to interview a U.S. adoption social worker. I extended my research sites globally by conducting field research at a Korean adoption agency and formally interviewing Korean adoption social workers and informally interviewing Korean birth and foster mothers. The findings of this research reveal the multi-dimensionality of motherhood: motherhood as an identity, motherhood as an activity, motherhood as institutionalized, and motherhood as experienced.

Sekimoto, Sachi. The Materiality of the Self: A Multimodal, Communicative Approach to Identity. Dissertation Abstracts International: The Humanities and Social Sciences, vol. 72, no. 09, pp. 3061, 2012.

  • Abstract: The purpose of this dissertation is to propose a multimodal approach as an alternative way of theorizing and researching identity. The multimodal approach utilizes four modes of interaction — multidirectional interpellation, spatiality, temporality, and corporeality — to explore the processes of interaction and engagement between an individual and his/her social worlds. The multimodal approach focuses on the materiality of lived experience and the process of interaction and engagement between an individual and his/her social worlds through which his or her identity materializes. I apply the multimodal approach to analyze two autobiographical texts in which the authors deal with Asian identity in different cultural and discursive contexts in Japan and Asian America. I focus on the idea of Asia and explore how it translates into and interacts with personal experiences of the autobiographical subjects to constitute not only their identities but also Asia itself. The primary focus of this dissertation is to shed light on the situated and embodied experiences of individual subjects whose identities and subjectivities materialize into existence through complex interactions among cultural significations, personal acts and interpretations, as well as multiple and competing ideological environments. With the emphasis on the lived and embodied experience, this study benefits from the philosophical tradition of phenomenology. Moreover, with the critique of totalizing social categories (race, gender, class, etc.) and the emphasis on the contested boundaries of discursively articulated differences, this study also takes a poststructuralist approach to identity theorizing. Combined together, what I propose as a multimodal approach takes into account both the subjectively lived experience (a living, thinking, acting, and intentional subject in the world) and the historically situated ideological and discursive environments (a subject as a contingent product of historical and discursive construction) in constituting one’s identity.

Goodman, Kathleen M. The Influence of the Campus Climate for Diversity on College Students’ Need for Cognition. Dissertation Abstracts International: The Humanities and Social Sciences, vol. 72, no. 09, pp. 3133, 2012.

  • Abstract: The purpose of this research was to examine the influence of the campus climate for diversity on learning within four racial groups of college students. I used multiple regression to analyze how structural diversity, the psychological climate for diversity, and behavior influence one facet of learning — the need for cognition — for African-American, Asian-American, Latino/a, and White college students in the first year of college. Three of the eight campus climate for diversity variables appeared to have no effect on need for cognition for any of the four samples: student heterogeneity, faculty heterogeneity, and discussion with faculty and staff whose opinions differ from the students. One variable, the student’s value of racial and cultural diversity, a psychological dimension of the campus climate for diversity, had an effect on need for cognition for all four samples. Four additional variables were significant within different samples. Believing the institution facilitates diverse interactions positively influenced need for cognition for Latino/a students. Taking a diversity course was positive for African-American students. Both interacting with diverse others and participating in a racial/cultural workshop were positive for White students. The findings also suggested that being a first-generation college student or coming from a low-income family moderates the influence of the campus climate for diversity on need for cognition. Suggestions for future research include creating research designs that ascertain how various racial and economic groups experience the influence of diversity on learning; seeking out new ways to distribute surveys and encourage survey-completion among students of color; looking for interaction effects among diversity experiences; and using hierarchical linear modeling, structural equation modeling, qualitative methods, and mixed methods. Suggestions for campus practice include maintaining programs designed specifically for students of individual racial groups, as well as low-income and first-generation college students; seeking ways to create a psychological climate that cultivates the belief that diversity is important to learning; providing more courses and workshops focused on racial and cultural diversity; and creating structured opportunities to introduce students to the varying political, religious, and social perspectives held by their peers.

Grice, Cheryl Denise-Roshell. Diversity Awareness Perceptions among Classified Support Staff Employed at a Large Midwestern Land Grant University. Dissertation Abstracts International: The Humanities and Social Sciences, vol. 72, no. 09, pp. 3133, 2012.

  • Abstract: Diversity is recognized by acknowledging individual differences. The term diversity can refer to an array of descriptors such as, race, religion, color, gender, national origin, disabilities, sexual orientation, age, level of education, geographic origin, economic status, family status, appearance/physical size and skill characteristics. Although there are multiple definitions of diversity, many include at least one or all of the attributes listed above. This qualitative study examined perceptions of classified employees regarding the level of diversity awareness among their workforce at a large Midwestern land grant university. . . . Findings included a difference in perceptions about diversity awareness between Whites and People of Color. Whites fell into the following categories; 1) Many employees felt the current status of diversity awareness was sufficient, 2) an equal number of others felt that their needed to be an increase in diversity awareness initiatives among employees, 3) others felt as though diversity awareness was problematic or 4) the need did not exist for diversity awareness initiatives. The participants in the interviews disagreed, all claimed to have been the victim of discriminatory behavior.

Nissen, Jennifer Garrett. Exploring the College Experiences of Students Adopted from South Korea. Dissertation Abstracts International: The Humanities and Social Sciences, vol. 72, no. 09, pp. 3138, 2012.

  • Abstract: This phenomenological study focused on the college experiences of students adopted from South Korea. The purpose of this qualitative study was to better understand the college experiences of Korean adoptees related to their personal development and Korean cultural awareness while at a mid-sized Midwestern university. Eleven students at a land-grant institution in the Midwestern United States participated in this study. Data were collected using the three interview structure that Seidman (2006) outlined. The first interview focused on life history, the second meeting on details of their college experience, and the final interview on the meaning made of these experiences. . . . The themes that emerged in the youth and background experiences include strong connection to family, religion as an important part of childhood, and connection to Korean culture as a child. The majority of the text focused on the themes that emerged from the college experiences portion of the interviews. The major themes included interacting with others while in college, experiencing life as an Asian person, and exploring racial and ethnic identity while in college. In the final section, the theme focused on future plans and meaning making. The theme in this section was interest in learning about Korean culture. The findings reflected that, although the students did develop and change while in college, they did not necessarily explore their Korean culture or interact with Koreans and Korean Americans. Typically, they did not use campus support services or the campus environment to explore the Korean culture. The findings of this study have implications for parents of transracially adopted children, student affairs professionals, adopted individuals, and people who interact with these students. Recommendations for future research include studying students who were adopted from countries other than South Korea, interviewing students in different regions of the United States, and identifying a pool of students from urban areas to interview. It would be interesting to learn more about the college experiences of Korean adoptees as well.

Blackwell, Deanna Maria. Students of Color in White-Dominated College Classrooms: An Examination of Racialized Roles, Safety and Empowerment. Dissertation Abstracts International: The Humanities and Social Sciences, vol. 72, no. 09, pp. 3214, 2012.

  • Abstract: This dissertation reports data I collected using qualitative research methods to investigate the racial dynamics that students of color experienced in predominantly White college classrooms. I used Black Feminist Standpoint Theory to analyze interviews I conducted with twelve students of color from diverse racial ethnic minority backgrounds including African American, Asian American, Chicana/o, Mixed Race, Native American, and Pacific Islander. Their testimonies revealed how racial tensions unfolded around exchanges between students, professors, pedagogy, and the curriculum in ways that often left students of color not only outnumbered, but outpowered in what can be more accurately referred to as White-dominated classrooms. Participants entered college classrooms hoping to experience an education that addressed people of color and race-related issues in humanized ways. Not only did they find that race-related topics were addressed in decontextualized and stereotypical ways, but also came to an understanding as to how they were often silenced, marginalized, and stigmatized from the academic process. In my study students of color discussed the strategies they used in college classrooms to create safety for themselves and other students. In several cases students of color debunked the idea that a White-dominated classroom could ever be safe for students of color. Also, research participants challenged the term “empowerment’ as used by radical educational theorists. They charged that they rarely if ever felt empowered, and questioned whether or not it was possible under the given circumstances of White-dominated college classrooms. Students redefined what counted as empowerment and instead described what I refer to as powerful experiences. These experiences spurred them on to achieve their educational and social justice oriented goals.

Ko, Jen-Li. Cultural representations and museums: The construction of ethnic identity in Chicago’s Chinatown. Dissertation Abstracts International: The Humanities and Social Sciences, vol. 72, no. 09, pp. 3351, 2012.

  • Abstract: This study examines the cultural representation and ethnic identity of Chinese Americans in Chicago’s Chinatown through an analysis of ethnic exhibits in museums, issues related to the invention of traditions, and the politics of ethnic identity. Chicago’s Chinatown resembles a living museum in which Chinatown members negotiate their identity through cultural representations, interactions with outsiders, ethnic celebrations, and community museums. Case studies on Chinatown museums not only reflect the changing concept of Chinese ethnicity in social and historical contexts, but also indicate the current contradictions of transnational migration. While the Ling Long Museum (1933-1970s) featured ancient Chinese culture and history related to China, the Chinese-American Museum of Chicago (2005 — present) displays an ethnic Chinese American culture that has become part of the diverse American culture. This change in the portrayal of Chinese ethnicity in Chinatown museums mirrors the cultural practices in the community, including identity construction, immigrant trajectory, language change, ethnic boundaries, and community politics. It is these contesting social forces that shape the cultural representations of the Chinatown museums. Both Chinatown and the Chinese-American Museum of Chicago represent Chinese immigrants’ responses and resistance to mainstream society’s portrayal of the Chinese American. Chinatown museums function as a cultural symbol and increase the visibility of the Chinese community in a multicultural society. In order to demonstrate cultural uniqueness, Chinatown has maintained its classic Chinese characteristics and recreated an “Oriental” atmosphere. The traditional Chinese culture and nostalgia for early immigrants preserved in Chinatown are detached from the views of contemporary Chinatown residents. However, this representation of Chineseness has helped generate an exotic and Oriental ethnic image that satisfies the expectations of outside visitors.

Sinha, Cynthia Brown. Dynamic Parenting: Ethnic Identity Construction in the Second-Generation Indian American Family. Dissertation Abstracts International: The Humanities and Social Sciences, vol. 72, no. 09, pp. 3528, 2012.

  • Abstract: This study explores Indian culture in second-generation Indian American families. For the most part, this generation was not socialized to Indian culture in India, which raises the question, how do parents maintain and teach culture to their third-generation children? To answer this question, I interviewed 18 second-generation Indian American couples who had at least one child. Rather than focus on how assimilated or Americanized the families were, I examine the maintenance of Indian culture. Instead of envisioning culture as a binary between “Indian” and “American,” second-generation parents often experience “Indianness” and “Americanness” as interwoven in ways that were not always easily articulated. I also explore the co-ethnic matrimonial process of my participants to reveal the salience of Indian-American identity in their lives. A common experience among my participants was the tendency of mainstream American non- Indians to question Indian-Americans about India and Indian culture. My participants frequently were called upon to be “cultural ambassadors” to curious non-Indians. Religion served as a primary conduit for teaching Indian culture to third-generation children. Moreover, religion and ethnic identity were often conflated. Mothers and fathers share the responsibility of teaching religion to third-generation children. However, mothers tend to be the cultural keepers of the more visible cultural objects and experiences, such as, food, clothing, and language. Fathers were more likely to contribute to childcare than housework. The fathers in my study believe they father in a different social context than their fathers did. By negotiating Indian and American culture, fathers parent in a way that capitalizes on what they perceive as the “best of both worlds.” Links to the local and transnational community were critical to maintaining ties to other co-ethnics and raising children within the culture. Furthermore, most of the parents in my study said they would prefer that their children eventually marry co-ethnics in order to maintain the link to the Indian-American community. Ultimately, I found that Indian culture endures across first- and second-generation Indian Americans. However, “culture” is not a fixed or monolithic object; families continue to modify traditions to meet their emotional and cultural needs.

Hoffman, Joy L. S. How Lived Experiences Affect Ethnic Identity Development for Transracial Korean American Adoptees: Implications for Higher Education Practice. Dissertation Abstracts International: The Humanities and Social Sciences, vol. 72, no. 09, pp. 3634, 2012.

  • Abstract: The purpose of this grounded theory study was to explore how lived experiences affect ethnic identity development of transracial Korean American adoptees raised by White parents with the intent of informing higher education practice. Participants included 12 recently college-graduated transracial Korean American adoptees who were raised in the Midwest, rural south, and on the west coast. An explanatory model that surfaced from data collection is presented, demonstrating the complexity of transracial Korean adoptee identity. Exploring identity emerged as the central phenomenon of the model, which included personal examination of adoptee identity, ethnic self-discovery, and Whiteness. Four themes interacted with the central phenomenon, illustrating life experiences that promote or hinder ethnic identity development: (a) environmental context; (b) systems of support; (c) missing pieces; and (d) healing.

Manning, Amy Lillian. Raping the Raced Body: Trauma in Asian North American Women’s Literature. Dissertation Abstracts International: The Humanities and Social Sciences, vol. 72, no. 09, pp. 3746, 2012.

  • Abstract: This dissertation examines the representation of racial and sexual traumas in short fiction and novels by Asian American women writing post-WWII to the present. The central focus of this project is on Asian American literary representations of the lingering effects of physical, racial, and sexual traumas to Asian American women, specifically the nuances of narrating traumatic experiences. Each chapter explores various literary representations of post-traumatic psychological states of unrest, instability, and incoherence. Most importantly, this study examines the frequently simultaneous narrations of sexual trauma and racial awareness, of how personal narratives of trauma against the physical body become entangled with narratives about racial awareness, social status, and political identity. Through analysis of Hisaye Yamamoto’s “The High-heeled Shoes: A Memoir,” and “The Legend of Miss Sasagawara,” Joy Kogawa’s Obasan and The Rain Ascends, Lois-Ann Yamanaka’s Behold the Many, and Patricia Chao’s Monkey King, I examine a common trope within Asian American literature: the simultaneous narration of racial and sexual traumas.

Page, Amanda M. The Prisms of Passing: Reading beyond the Racial Binary in Twentieth-Century U.S. Passing Narratives. Dissertation Abstracts International: The Humanities and Social Sciences, vol. 72, no. 09, pp. 3747, 2012.

  • Abstract: In “The Prisms of Passing: Reading beyond the Racial Binary in Twentieth-Century U.S. Passing Narratives,” I examine a subset of racial passing narratives written between 1890 and 1930 by African American activist-authors, some directly affiliated with the NAACP, who use the form to challenge racial hierarchies through the figure of the mulatta/o and his or her interactions with other racial and ethnic groups. I position texts by Frances E.W. Harper, James Weldon Johnson, and Walter White in dialogue with racial classification laws of the period — including Supreme Court decisions, such as Plessy v. Ferguson (1896), and immigration law, such as the Johnson-Reed Act of 1924 — to show how these rulings and laws were designed to consolidate white identity while preventing coalition-building among African Americans and other subordinate groups. In contrast to white-authored passing narratives of the time, I argue that these early African American passing narratives frequently gesture toward interracial solidarity with Native American, European immigrant, Latina/o, or Asian American characters as a means of challenging white supremacy. Yet, these authors often sacrifice the potential for antiracist coalitions because of the limitations inherent in working within the dominant racial and nativist discourses. . . . This study concludes with an examination of a contemporary passing narrative by an Asian American author. Brian Ascalon Roley’s American Son (2001) revises the form to challenge the continued marginalization of Latina/os and Asian Americans and thus suggests the need for a reconsideration of how we approach civil rights activism to accommodate new racial dynamics in the post-civil rights era.

Son, Elizabeth Won-Kyung. Performing Redress: Military Sexual Slavery and the Transpacific Politics of Memory. Dissertation Abstracts International: The Humanities and Social Sciences, vol. 72, no. 09, pp. 3797, 2012.

  • Abstract: Performing Redress: Military Sexual Slavery and the Transpacific Politics of Memory is a transnational cultural study of political and artistic work relating to the social movement for redress among survivors of Japanese military sexual slavery. This institutionalized system of sexual slavery forever transformed the lives of an estimated 200,000 Asian girls and young women who were coerced into servicing Japanese troops (1932-1945). For fifty years, survivors kept their wartime experience a secret, but since the early 1990s activists have begun advocating on their behalf and shedding light on their history. From violence and silencing, a vibrant culture of activism and artistic intervention has emerged. This dissertation looks at how survivors, activists and artists utilize performances — embodied practices ranging from protests, tribunals, theatre and dance to testimonial acts — to stage their claims for redress in response to a marginalized and state-suppressed history. . . . The dissertation follows international collaboration among activists alongside the global movement of performance practices. . . . At the nexus of American studies, Asian American studies, performance studies, and gender and sexuality studies, this dissertation offers ways of re-imagining predominantly legal and political understandings of redress and cultural transmission in relation to Asian diasporic communities. It also investigates the relationship between memory and history, particularly how women’s performances attend to gaps in historical archives and national narratives.

Moon, Christina Harriet. Material Intimacies: The Labor of Creativity in the Global Fashion Industry. Dissertation Abstracts International: The Humanities and Social Sciences, vol. 72, no. 09, pp. 3804, 2012.

  • Abstract: This dissertation explores the global fashion industry through Material Intimacies, the social relationships and intimate encounters of new classes of fashion workers in the material and immaterial making of fashion. Countering the impersonal forces of economics and anonymity that often characterize the global fashion industry, this dissertation illuminates the intimacies involved in the everyday work of fashion among new classes of fashion workers. While scholars continue to describe the emergence of the global fashion industry through its global commodity chains and circuits of consumption, this dissertation argues instead for the intimate realms of fashion production: in the affectations for fashion worlds and imaginaries, in the formation of new social relationships and practices which have connected vast garment industries with fashion worlds, and the socialization processes which have inspired new workers into fashion. These fashion workers have refigured the meaning of labor and creativity in their everyday work, the meaning of value in the things they make, and have powerfully shaped new material realities in their forming of new social and cultural worlds. In search of “the global fashion industry,” Material Intimacies locates it in the intimate encounters and social relationships which are the global connections that enact and drive the industry. Based on three years of ethnographic field research in New York, Los Angeles, Paris, Guangzhou, and Seoul, and drawn from participant observation, interviews, and social and oral histories, this dissertation explores design studios, corporations, showrooms, factories, and schools to connect the experiences of fashion workers with new forms of creative practice and labor emerging from the global fashion industry. . . . Countering the impersonal forces of economics that reduce the global fashion industry to a world of buyers, sellers, producers and consumers, these fashion workers paint an intimate landscape of ongoing transnational social ties and cultural exchange, challenging the anonymity of how global capitalism operates.

Saysay, Karen-Lyn. A Qualitative Study on Pilipino American Students Relative to their High School Success and Career Choices. Dissertation Abstracts International: The Humanities and Social Sciences, vol. 72, no. 09, pp. 3809, 2012.

  • Abstract: This research examines the pattern of career choices among first, 1.5, and second generation Pilipino students of immigrant heritage at a high school about eight miles from Downtown Los Angeles, California. This study reveals significant patterns that reflect their parents’ immigrant heritage, Ogbu’s cultural model of success and other folk theories of success that are shared between the same ethnic background and culture. The influence of the cultural model of success combined with literary works about Asian American students brings forth a better idea of how these immigrant-heritage Pilipino students view and shape their post-secondary plans. The purpose of the study was to examine the pattern of career choices among Pilipino high school students and demonstrate how that pattern reflects the following: 1) The cultural model of their immigrant parents about what success means will be marked through their children’s mindset; 2) How the school (environment and peers) is an identifier of academic engagement among and between Pilipino-heritage immigrant and non-immigrants; 3) How family values impact their career decision-making. . . . There was a recurring theme that examined the pattern of career choices among Pilipino high school students. First, the cultural model of their immigrant parents about what success means will be marked through their children’s mindset. Second, how the school (environment and peers) is an identifier of academic engagement among and between Pilipino-heritage immigrant and non-immigrants. Lastly, how family values impact their career decision-making. Through this research study, I found that participant rely heavily on their family’s decision. Students coped by following their parents’ advice. They also have to cope with an expectation of financially supporting the family upon completing their education.

Honma, Todd. Cartographies of Skin: Asian American Adornment and the Aesthetics of Race. Dissertation Abstracts International: The Humanities and Social Sciences, vol. 72, no. 09, pp. 3809, 2012.

  • Abstract: Cartographies of Skin: Asian American Adornment and the Aesthetics of Race” examines the construction and performance of tattooed bodies as sites of circulating materialities: where art, labor, culture, and ideology converge to “color” our understanding of race and the politics of visuality. Focusing on Asian and Asian American tattoo practices in California and their relationship to the larger Asia-Pacific region, I incorporate interdisciplinary research methods, including archival research, ethnographic field work, visual and discursive analysis, and critical theory, to investigate three case studies: the transnational movement of labor and aesthetics between tattoo shops in San Francisco and Japan; the meanings of diaspora, temporality, masculinity, and post-coloniality within the context of tribal tattooing among Filipinos in the suburbs of Orange County; and the embodied ontologies and performative epistemologies of a Korean American tattooed drag queen and her queer aesthetics of adornment. Some of the key questions that my research addresses include: What are the intersections and transnational dimensions of race and tattooing, particularly when complicated by issues of class, gender, sexuality, and nationality? What type of (real or imagined) cultural heritage do Americans of Asian ancestry try to reclaim through the modification of the body? How do these meanings and symbols transform through the geographic, cultural, technological, and temporal displacement of these customs? By analyzing the body in relation to convergent ideologies and aesthetics of race, space, and place, I locate skin as the site in which to rethink how knowledge of the racial is constructed and transformed through corporeal perception. Ultimately, my project asks us to consider how all bodies are modified in some form or another, thereby destabilizing normativized notions of what is considered “natural” and “normal” forms of cultural and national belonging.

June 4, 2012

Written by C.N.

Academic Research: Race/Ethnicity, Immigration, & Asian Americans #7

The following is a list of recent academic journal articles and/or doctoral dissertations from scholars in the social/cognitive 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. Last but not least, congratulations to my new academic colleagues on being “Ph.inally”

The academic journal articles are generally available in the libraries of most colleges and universities and/or through online research databases. The dissertations records are compiled by Dissertation Abstracts International and copies can be obtained through your college’s library or by contacting ProQuest at 789 E. Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106-1346, telephone 800-521-3042, or

The research listed below focus on the social sciences and humanities (other research that will be presented separately focus on the cognitive sciences). As always, works included in this list are for informational purposes only and do not imply an endorsement of their contents.

Tao, Yu. The Earnings of Asian Computer Scientists and Engineers in the United States. Dissertation Abstracts International: Social Sciences and Humanities, vol. 70, no. 10, pp. 3919, 2010.

  • Abstract: While Asians are overrepresented in science and engineering (S&E), they receive limited scholarly attention in sociology of science. To fill the knowledge gap about this understudied group, this study examines the effects of race, nativity, degree origin, gender, field, employment sector, and national origin on the annualized earnings of Asian computer scientists and engineers working in the U.S. To understand the above effects, this study uses descriptive analyses and quantile regressions. Data are derived from the National Survey of College Graduates (NSCG) conducted by the National Science Foundation. Overall, the findings partly confirm the structural arguments that some groups, notably women, racial/ethnic minorities, and immigrants, are disadvantaged in the U.S. workplace. The degree origin effect in 1993 could be due to the lower quality of degrees obtained from Asian higher education institutions and to the marginalized structural positions of Asian-educated immigrants in the American society. The disappearance of such an effect in 2003 could be due to the interactions between structural forces and human capital. The change of the effect of human capital has to be placed in a context of globalization and the resulting structural changes in various aspects, such as the improvement in higher education in Asia and changes in immigration policies in the U.S.
© Lisa Zador and

Hua, Linh Uyen. Reading Love: Race and the Political Economy of Affect. Dissertation Abstracts International: Social Sciences and Humanities, vol. 70, no. 11, pp. 4211, 2010.

  • Abstract: Adjoining a history of love to a history of racial violence, Reading Love begins at the height of the transatlantic slave trade when the nature of intimate exchange becomes irreparably sutured to the economic value of racial blackness. Employing the five senses as the analytic structure of its literary analysis, the dissertation investigates the ramifications of this global restructuring of love as accumulation for post-1914 American social and political culture. Focused on African American and Asian American texts from Nella Larsen’s Passing (1929) to Chang-rae Lee’s Native Speaker (1995), Reading Love reformulates the terms of call-and-response from the perspective of the Unlovable, an ideological and material orientation that disrupts compulsory participation in affective speculation by evidencing an ethics of anti-accumulation. Collectively, the chapters examine narrative and narrative interpretation, individual practice, and disciplinary formulation as crucial sights for reading love. The concerns of Reading Love are current to American Studies, which has seen exponential growth in scholarship on affect and intimacy in the last quarter century owing largely to the emergent institutional authority of queer theory, psychoanalysis, and gender and feminist studies. Reading Love contributes to this academic archive by reading love in twentieth-century texts through the transformative cash nexus of the transatlantic slave trade and liberal philosophy. The analytic framework of political economy — which includes the emergence of modern structures of public and private, liberty and love, and capital investments in citizenship — sustains the critical race and feminist interventions that characterize Reading Love’s agenda. The dissertation forces intra-racial (rather than inter-racial) accountability into the lexicon of American Studies and, in doing so, underscores its claim that critical investigations of assimilation and gentrification conventionally relegated to race and ethnic studies are symptomatic of a history of affective reformulation that is personal, national, global, and historic in its ramifications. The theoretical concerns of Reading Love remain faithful to the question of subjugated identities taken up in feminist scholarship and ethnic studies. The chapters telescope intra-community paralyses of ambivalence, sentimental intention, and assimilative distantiation symptomatic of a cultural logic that treats affect as a tacit form of economic and political speculation. The sum of this dissertation develops initial parameters for a theory of the Unlovable, a theory that emphasizes anti-speculative practice and anti-accumulative investment. It reformulates the call-and-response dynamic by turning responses into first order calls and diverges, in this way, from Gayatri Spivak’s caution against hegemonic appropriation of subaltern voices. Argued throughout Reading Love, an anti-speculative, anti-accumulative posture — a posture of Unlove — is possible and serves well as an element of radical reading and practice.

Park Nelson, Kim Ja. Korean Looks, American Eyes: Korean American Adoptees, Race, Culture and Nation. Dissertation Abstracts International: Social Sciences and Humanities, vol. 71, no. 01, pp. 0236, 2010.

  • Abstract: This project positions Korean adoptees as transnational citizens at intersections within race relations in the United States, as emblems of international geopolitical relationships between the United States and South Korea, and as empowered actors, organizing to take control of racial and cultural discourses about Korean adoption. I make connections between transnational exchanges, American race relations, and Asian American experiences. I argue that though the contradictory experience of Korean adoptees, at once inside and outside bounded racial and national categories of “Asian,” “White,” “Korean,” and “American,” the limits of these categories may be explored and critiqued. In understanding Korean adoptees as transnational subjects, single-axis racial and national identity are challenged, where individuals have access to membership and/or face exclusion in more than one political or cultural nation. In addition, this work demonstrates the effects of American political and cultural imperialism both abroad and domestically, by elucidating how the acts of empire-building nations are mapped onto individuals though the regulation of immigration and family formation. My methods are interdisciplinary, drawing from traditions that include ethnography, primary historical sources, and literature. My dissertation work uses Korean adoptees’ own life stories that I have collected and recorded in three locations: (1) Minnesota, home to the largest concentration of Korean adoptees in the U.S.; (2) the Pacific Northwest, home to the many of the “first wave” of the oldest living Korean adoptees now in their 40s and 50s; and, (3) Seoul, Korea, home to hundreds of adult Korean adoptees who have traveled back to South Korea to live and work. In addition, I use Korean adoptee published narratives, archive materials documenting the early history of transnational adoption, and secondary sources in sociology, social work, psychology and cultural studies to uncover the many layers of national, racial and cultural belonging and significance for and of Korean adoptees.

Nguyen, Thanh-Nghi Bao. Vietnamese Manicurists: The Making of an Ethnic Niche. Dissertation Abstracts International: Social Sciences and Humanities, vol. 71, no. 03, pp. 0992, 2010.

  • Abstract: The study provides a sociological analysis of the overrepresentation of Vietnamese immigrants in the manicuring business, and of the mechanisms through which the ethnic nail niche is sustained. The geographical focus is Boston, and elsewhere in New England. It is the most comprehensive study to date of the manicure sector and the role of Vietnamese in it. Vietnamese immigrants are shown to have been in a favored position to work in the niche, at a time when technological changes in the nail industry made manicuring more affordable and allowed for an expansion of service offerings. Vietnamese fitted the racial profile for low-skill manual service work in America, and were seen as deft in performing nail care. Also, they settled mainly in urban areas, where demand for nail services was greatest. Furthermore, they had extensive ethnic resources on which to draw. Through ethnic networks they acquired the necessary skills to perform the work, they secured employment, they pooled capital to go into business for themselves, and they found reliable workers in turn. Meanwhile, as poor immigrants, they were impressed with the earnings they could make as manicurists. The study makes use of historical and statistical sources, participant observation and key informants, and secondary sources. The data show Vietnamese domination of employment and ownership in an expanding manicure industry, and conflict and competition as well as cooperation among Vietnamese employed in the sector. Yet, Vietnamese prove to get disillusioned with work in the sector over the years, as a recession reduces demand for their services, as the growing supply of Vietnamese manicurists drives down earnings that can be made for their services, and as they are increasingly exposed to unhealthy chemicals in the course of their work. The findings have policy implications. With improved understanding of conditions in the sector government agencies can upgrade labor and health conditions in salons.

Almandrez, Mary Grace A. History in the Making: Narratives of Selected Asian Pacific American Women in Leadership. Dissertation Abstracts International: Social Sciences and Humanities, vol. 71, no. 08, pp. 2943, 2011.

  • Abstract: The commitment of Asian Pacific American (APA) women to communities of color is not unique. However, their passions, experiences, and narratives have not been widely shared and are rarely considered in the study of leadership. Conventional notions of leadership as gendered, racialized, hierarchical, and individual-focused experiences do not necessarily reflect Asian Pacific American women’s leadership. This research inquiry calls for a paradigm shift where leadership is grounded in identity and being. This study employed a participatory inquiry protocol with an orientation in critical hermeneutics (Herda 1999) to account for the sociocultural complexity involved with Asian Pacific American women’s experiences. The data was created in a collaborative partnership between the participants and researcher. Data analysis drew upon the works of Ricoeur (1984, 1992), Kearney (1998, 2002), and Herda (1999) with specific focus on narrative identity, mimesis, and imagination. Through the exchange of stories and ideas, self-reflection, and continuous re-interpretation, both the participants and the researcher reached new understandings. The narratives of select Asian Pacific American women revealed four key findings. First, identity and being cannot be separated from leadership. Research participants revealed that founding events, cultural traditions, and relationships with others influenced the ways they led and served their communities. Second, Asian Pacific American women feel an ethical responsibility to carry on their legacies of leadership. They expressed a sense of responsibility to both honor the past and develop future leaders. Third, images of leadership can and do change over time. As Asian Pacific American women continue to share their stories, they provide educators, scholars, and communities with diverse images of leadership. Fourth, Asian Pacific American women place solicitude at the heart of ethical action. Participants considered recognition, reciprocity, and solicitude in their leadership. The appropriation of identity through the medium of leadership is rarely, if ever, considered by scholars. Understanding how identity informs leadership and leadership influences identity may provide insight on the varied ways that Asian Pacific American women lead and inspire their communities.

Yamauchi, Elyse M. Counterstories: Uncovering History within the Stories of Faculty of Color. Dissertation Abstracts International: Social Sciences and Humanities, vol. 71, no. 09, pp. 3169, 2011.

  • Abstract: Through counterstorytelling (Solrzano & Yosso, 2002b), the methodological approach that is informed by critical race theory (CRT), an elegant platform and enlightening lens allows for the amplification of the narratives of faculty of color in predominantly White institutions of higher education (PWIs). Eight faculty of color, four women and four men, who identify as Chicano /a, Native American, Asian, and African American, were interviewed. They represented two institutions of higher education in a western state. Five of the counterstorytellers were tenured full professors, and the other three were non-tenured or tenure-track assistant professors. Their counterstories challenge the dominant master narrative that argues that in a post-racial and post-civil rights nation, issues of discrimination, racism, oppression, and White privilege have essentially been neutralized. However, their counterstories revealed painful historical experiences, legal decisions, and laws that have profoundly impacted their lives and scholarly pursuits. Their counterstories spoke to the racism that they have experienced where racism may not have been apparent to their White counterparts. From the powerful counterstories, the faculty of color revealed their perspectives and lived experiences of existing in divergent cultural worlds (Sadao, 2003), the cultures of their ethnic world and of the university. Their counterstories further reveal that faculty of color not only live in the borderlands between cultures, but often they face a separate reality in terms of mentoring, tenure, white privilege, and institutional racism. Finally, master narratives have an extensive and overarching historical and systemic impact upon their experiences at multiple levels.

Domingo, Ligaya Rene. Building a Movement: Filipino American Union and Community Organizing in Seattle in the 1970s. Dissertation Abstracts International: Social Sciences and Humanities, vol. 71, no. 09, pp. 3324, 2011.

  • Abstract: The Asian American Movement emerged in the late 1960s and early 1970s inspired by the Civil Rights Movement, Antiwar Movement, Black Liberation Movement, and struggles for liberation in Asia, Africa, Latin America, and the Middle East. Activists, including college students and community members throughout the United States, used amass linea tactics to raise political awareness, build organizations, address community concerns, and ultimately to serve their communities. While the history of the Asian American Movement has been chronicled, the scholarship has been analytically and theoretically insufficient -and in some cases nonexistent- in terms of local struggles, how the movement unfolded, and the role of Filipino Americans. This dissertation focuses on one, untold story of the Asian American Movement: the role of activists in Seattle, Washington who were concerned with regional injustices affecting Filipino Americans. I argue that this local struggle in the Pacific Northwest not only demonstrates the diversity of action and strategy within the Asian American Movement but also deepens our understanding of the broader movement as both local and transnational a unique in its local strategies yet closely aligned with the goals of the eraas social movements. Based on both historical and qualitative data, this dissertation uses a Gramscian framework to explore the possibilities and limitations of using civil society as instruments for social change. Specifically, I examine the efforts by a group of local activists in the 1970s to seek redress for the exclusion, discrimination and social dislocation experienced by Filipino Americans. I explore two local Asian American Movement case studies in which activists worked within two preexisting organizational formations of civil society, the Alaska Cannery Workeras Union and the Filipino Community of Seattle, to achieve their goals. Ultimately, the findings of this study challenge previous claims that the Asian American Movement was either reformist or radical. In this case study of Filipino American activists in Seattle, the data demonstrates that they were agents for social reform and also revolutionaries, not one or the other. The findings of this study point to the need for more nuanced and complex frameworks for understanding social change processes and organizing strategies.

Chunyu, Miao. A Comparative Study of Chinese and Mexican Immigrants’ Economic Incorporation in the United States. Dissertation Abstracts International: Social Sciences and Humanities, vol. 71, no. 10, pp. 3809, 2011.

  • Abstract: This dissertation research is a comparative study of the economic incorporation of the unskilled Chinese and Mexican immigrants in the United States. This comparative approach is justified by the fact that these two groups share striking similarities in human capital, social networks, and immigrant flow patterns, whereas they also differ significantly in their migration cost, transnational practice, and reception in the U.S. labor market. This research investigates three specific aspects of their labor market experience: participation in self-employment, job transition, and earnings growth. Essentially I hope to find out whether these immigrants can achieve economic mobility over time and in what forms. To explain the variation in immigrants’ labor market performance, I examine the effects of a series of factors, including assimilation, transnationalism, and other factors pertaining to the contexts of exit and reception. One particular point of inquiry is immigrants’ job placement in nontraditional destination areas and the economic consequences associated with that movement. This is mainly a quantitative study, using data from the Mexican Migration Project (MMP) and the China International Migration Project (CIMP). Besides descriptive statistics I employ a series of multivariate methods in my analyses, including logistic regression, discrete-time logit model, event history proportional hazard model, and fixed-effects and random-effects models. In addition, I utilize the qualitative information collected from the in-depth interviews with select Chinese immigrants in New York City in order to corroborate and complement the quantitative results. This study finds many similarities between the two groups’ labor market experience. These include their occupational status, patterns of job transitions within the U.S., and the influence of pre-migration endowment on their entrepreneurial attainment in the host society. Furthermore, both groups show an increasing trend of working in their nontraditional destination areas, very likely due to the reduced job competition and higher wages there. But they differ vastly in their labor market niches, including participation in self-employment and employment by coethnics, which lead to important differences in their economic well-being. In addition, intensive transnational practice and exorbitant migration cost constitute unique forces in affecting the incorporation experiences of Mexican and Chinese immigrants respectively.

Fino, Michelle. Fruit and Vegetable Intake and Exercise Practices of College Students of Color. Dissertation Abstracts International: Social Sciences and Humanities, vol. 71, no. 11, pp. 3916, 2011.

  • Abstract: Chronic diseases like heart disease, diabetes, and cancer are the leading causes of death in the United States, with people of color experiencing higher rates than the general population. Like most adults, college students typically do not adhere to nutrition and exercise recommendations that are in place to reduce the risks of chronic illnesses and promote good health. With increasing numbers of students of color attending college today, colleges must address their health and wellness needs. The purpose of this dissertation was to study the exercise behaviors and fruit and vegetable intake of college students of color by determining if relationships exist between various characteristics of students of color and their health habits. This study used a subsample of 5,587 African American, Asian American, Latina/o and Native American college students of color from the American College Health Association’s National College Health Assessment fall 2008 nationwide college health survey. The results of this study indicate African American, Asian American, Latina/o and Native American college students do not meet current exercise or fruit and vegetable intake recommendations, with female students in all groups exercising less than their male counterparts. The results also indicated that distinct factors predicted fruit and vegetable intake and exercise practices for African American, Asian American, Latina/o and Native American college students. This study proposes a research-based Healthy Campus Committee model designed to improve the nutrition practices and increase exercise activity among African American, Asian American, Latina/o and Native American college students.

Kamimura, Mark Allen. Multiracial College Students: Understanding Interpersonal Self-Concept in the First Year. Dissertation Abstracts International: Social Sciences and Humanities, vol. 71, no. 11, pp. 3923, 2011.

  • Abstract: This purpose of this study was to explore the differences between mixed and single race students in the factors that contribute to an interpersonal self-concept. The data in this study are drawn from a national longitudinal survey, Your First College Year (YFCY), from 2004-2005 and includes mixed race Black and Asian students in comparison to their single race Black and Asian single race peers to explore interpersonal self-concept. The results suggest that mixed and single race Asian and Black students have different pre-college and first year experiences. Only mixed race Black students were found to develop a significantly higher interpersonal self-concept after their first-year than their single race peers. However, most importantly for mixed and single race students are their interactions with diverse peers. For all groups, both negative and positive interactions based on race within the college environment directly impact interpersonal self-concept. First-year college experiences (Positive Ethnic/Racial Relations, Racial Interactions of a Negative Quality, Leadership Orientation, Sense of Belonging, Campus Racial Climate, Self-Assessed Cognitive Development) were the most significant contributors to the development of an interpersonal self-concept in comparison to pre-college experiences. The slight differences between Black and Asian interpersonal self-concept are discussed. The findings in this study expand the literature on multiracial college students and provide empirical evidence to support institutional practices that aim to promote a positive interpersonal self-concept in the first college year.

Samura, Michelle A. Architecture of Diversity: Dilemmas of Race and Space for Asian American Students in Higher Education. Dissertation Abstracts International: Social Sciences and Humanities, vol. 71, no. 11, pp. 3927, 2011.

  • Abstract: This mixed methods study examines the contradictory experiences of Asian American college students who are simultaneously experiencing the benefits of academic success, including socioeconomic mobility and, to a certain extent, social inclusion, yet are unable to escape racialization. Conceptually, this study both incorporates and challenges recent work on Asian American identity and racial politics. Empirically, this investigation examines the uncertainties and varying experiences of Asian American college students “from below.” That is, rather than assuming that Asian Americans students, and Asian Americans more generally, are already located within the contemporary US racial order, my perspective emphasizes their efforts to position themselves. Asian American college students’ experiences are examined in depth by using a unique combination of qualitative and quantitative methods, spatial theory, and visual sociology. A symbolic interactionist approach is employed to understand how they situate themselves within the rapidly changing dynamics of Asian American racialization today. Qualitative analysis of interviews and quantitative analysis of data from a large scale longitudinal survey of undergraduate students’ experiences, combined with analysis of student-created photographs reveal that many Asian American college students are grappling with a series of dilemmas and tensions. These dilemmas are a result of the conflicting messages they are receiving about the role of higher education in their lives and the fluctuating levels of salience of Asian American racial identity. Furthermore, membership within the pan-ethnic racial category of “Asian American” is not assumed for many of these students. In fact, a number of the participants in this study are unsure about the importance of their Asian American racial identity and frequently contesting, negotiate, and, in some cases, ignore (or at least attempt to ignore) their racial identifications.

Lim, Jeehyun. Between foreigners and citizens: Bilinguals in Asian American and Latino literature, 1960–2000. Dissertation Abstracts International: Social Sciences and Humanities, vol. 71, no. 11, pp. 4024, 2011.

  • Abstract: The immigration reform of 1965 ushered in a tide of multiculturalism in the U.S. The new immigration changed the demographics of the U.S. as Asians and Latinos came to form the two largest groups of immigrants in the post-1965 era. The social debates on bilingualism between 1967, when bilingual education was first debated in Congress, and 1998, when Proposition 227 banned bilingual education from public schools in California, illustrate the negotiations around the incorporation of Asian Americans and Latinos into the national body. While the popular understanding of bilingualism in the 1960s viewed it as a disadvantage — a euphemism for linguistic handicap — the liberal approach to bilingualism tried to turn the liability of bilingualism into an asset. The two faces of bilingualism as liability and asset correspond to the oscillating position of Asian Americans and Latinos as racialized subjects and exemplary multicultural subjects in multiculturalism. In this dissertation, I place a number of well-known Asian American literary texts in dialogue with the debates on bilingualism to examine what the social discourse of bilingualism can offer for understanding of these texts and to see what the literary representations of bilinguals can show about the psychology and affective landscape of bilingualism that often go unnoted in the social discourse of bilingualism. I argue that the representation of bilinguals in Asian American and Latino literature shows the social negotiations around bilingualism that either result in the bilingual’s becoming an exemplary citizen-subject or her perpetual relegation to a realm outside the social norms. The writers I examine, including Maxine Hong Kingston, Helena Maria Viramontes, Richard Rodriguez, Chang-rae Lee, Julia Alvarez, and Ha Jin, show the depth and breadth of a literary imagination that reaches into the heart of the psychological and social experiences of bilinguals. In their writings, the bilingual characters ruminate on the meaning of language and belonging, negotiate their state of racialization in and between two languages, and configure the place of language between identity and commodity. The literary bilingual’s navigation of the various social values accorded bilingualism demonstrates the place of the Asian American and Latino subject within a managerial multiculturalism.

Schiff, Sarah Eden. Word of Myth: Critical Stories in Minority American Literature. Dissertation Abstracts International: Social Sciences and Humanities, vol. 71, no. 11, pp. 4026, 2011.

  • Abstract: Since the 1960s, African American, Native American, Asian American, and Chicano/a literatures have captivated the national imagination. “Word of Myth” contends that minority authors’ pervasive use of myth has been foundational to this boom in literary production. Because it imposes order on the unknown and makes what is historically specific seem natural and timeless, myth has proven invaluable for minority authors to challenge master narratives while simultaneously reconstructing marginalized ones. Though myth is conventionally understood as a politically conservative narrative form, I argue that it can both conserve and liberate, sanction and qualify. In myth, minority writers found the means to transmit cultural values, intellectual traditions, and silenced histories while retaining an oppositional political stance. To map the ways crosscultural US literatures deploy myth, I draw on a broad spectrum of myth theory, from mid-century structuralists Carl Jung and Mircea Eliade to more recent scholars of religion and philosophy such as Paul Ricoeur and Wendy Doniger. Considering texts by contemporaneous authors across cultural divides, each chapter of my dissertation identifies formal dynamics by which US literatures of race and ethnicity forge symbolic space for alternate mythologies in order to confront the leviathan of American exceptionalism. Because myth appears in all cultures but demands cultural context to be understood, it proves to be an especially useful theoretical lens for comparative American literary studies. By making myth a central critical category, “Word of Myth” identifies literary strategies used in common by authors of disparate racial backgrounds, explains the significance of these connections in the context of national politics, and thereby revises the prevailing narrative of American literary history. Rather than a series of unconnected movements or an assortment of multicultural tokens, post-1960s US minority literature, through its emplotment of alternate origin stories, has fundamentally changed the imagination of Americans — both how we imagine and who we imagine Americans to be.

Li, Shijian. When Does Social Capital Matter for Health? The Moderating Roles of Ethnicity, Income and Gender. Dissertation Abstracts International: Social Sciences and Humanities, vol. 71, no. 11, pp. 4181, 2011.

  • Abstract: Many empirical studies have suggested that social capital is positively related to health. However, little research has been conducted into how social capital is distributed and whether social capital matters for health uniformly or differentially across socio-economic statuses or racial/ethnic groups in the United States. This research seeks to address the gaps by examining the distribution of social capital across racial/ethnic, income, education and gender groups in the general population as well as among three Asian American subpopulations. It investigates whether social capital is associated with Asian Americans’ health, and, if so, whether such associations are moderated by ethnicity, income or gender. The research draws data from two nationally representative surveys: the National Comorbidity Survey Replication (NCS-R), and the National Latino and Asian American Study (NLAAS). Exploratory factor analysis is used to generate social capital indicators from respondents’ social networks and their subjective evaluations of family and neighborhood life. Dependent variables include both physical and mental health outcomes as well as health behavior. Findings reveal that Whites, females and individuals with higher incomes and more education have higher levels of social capital. Logistic regression analysis shows that while social capital, in particular structural social capital, is generally associated with better health outcomes, some dimensions of social capital are associated with an increased risk of smoking. More importantly, the study finds that social capital and health associations are moderated by ethnicity, income and gender, with Vietnamese and low-income individuals receiving higher returns from social capital. Additionally, the negative effect of social capital on smoking is much stronger for women than for men. The findings of this study provide empirical evidence for a new line of reasoning which views the value of social capital for health as contingent on social context. Future research should take social context into account when examining the health effects of social capital. Additionally, social work practitioners should consider tailored interventions for targeted populations in order to maximize the benefits of social capital while minimizing its negative effects. As empirical investigations in this field are relatively new, additional research is needed to advance theory, research and practice.

Lee, Sharon S. (Un)seen and (Un)heard: The Struggle for Asian American “Minority” Recognition at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1968-1997. Dissertation Abstracts International: Social Sciences and Humanities, vol. 71, no. 12, pp. 4305, 2011.

  • Abstract: Are Asian American college students “minorities”? Using a measure of statistical parity of a student body compared to a state’s demographics, Asian Americans have often been excluded from minority student status because they are “overrepresented.” As a result, universities overlook their need for culturally and racially relevant curricula and support services. Unable to argue that they are underrepresented and depicted as the “model minority,” Asian American students have struggled to have their educational needs seen and heard. This dissertation examines the historical development of academic and support services for Asian American students at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) from 1968 to 1997. UIUC is home to the largest Asian American Studies program and Asian American cultural center in the Midwest, products of years of activism by Asian American students who challenged university discourses that they were not minorities. By investigating archival and oral evidence, the complex and nuanced experiences of Asian American students are revealed, beyond misperceptions of their seamless integration in predominantly white universities and beyond model minority stereotypes. This study of Asian American students offers a broader concept of “minority status” that is currently limited by a statistical focus and a black/white racial lens.

Fung, Catherine Minyee. Perpetual Refugee: Memory of the Vietnam War in Asian American Literature. Dissertation Abstracts International: Social Sciences and Humanities, vol. 71, no. 12, pp. 4392, 2011.

  • Abstract: This dissertation investigates the ways in which the refugee provides a counternarrative to models of citizenship that privilege immigration and assimilation. I treat the refugee as a figure that is suspended between citizen and alien, and that is at once constructed by state apparatuses and deployed in order to reify or contest what the nation supposedly stands for. Refugee status is granted with adherence to specific laws and regulations set by the US and the international community. At the same time, the “success” or “failure” of refugees’ resettlement is often used to both rewrite the US’s involvement in past wars and justify its involvement in current ones. For example, the narrative of the “good refugee,” which valorizes capitalism and equates “freedom” with upward mobility, is now often used to fold the Vietnam War into the United States’ list of “good wars.” Rather than view the refugee as a mere byproduct of war, I argue for a method of treating the refugee as a rubric upon which the United States constructs its collective history. Thus Perpetual Refugee offers a critical examination of how the Vietnam War serves as a condition that allows for refugees to be represented, as well as of the terms of citizenship that the war negotiates. Chapter One examines Vietnamese American cultural production, focusing on the ways in which memoirs written by second-generation Vietnamese Americans channel memory of the war, and the loss that it produced, through tropes of wounding, which become the condition that grants visibility for refugees in the United States. Chapter Two expands upon this issue of nationalism and visibility through an examination of a refugee group that is “nation-less” and largely invisible: the Hmong who fought as allies to the U.S. during the “Secret War” in Laos and Cambodia. Chapter Three unpacks the category of the refugee as it is mediated through literary, psychological and legal discourses. Chapter Four challenges the genre of “Vietnam War literature” by reading Monique Truong’s The Book of Salt as a novel that relies on memory of the war in producing its meaning.

Zhou, Chao. Three Essays on the Economics of Racial and Ethnic Differences. Dissertation Abstracts International: Social Sciences and Humanities, vol. 71, no. 12, pp. 4497, 2011.

  • Abstract: The United States contains an enormous variety of racial and ethnic groups, many of which have faced discrimination, both historically and today. My dissertation studies how minority races and ethnic groups were (and are) treated differently and how these treatments affect economic outcomes from different angles, including income, education, employment and health. Historically, blacks were denied access to many hospitals because of their race. Chapter One uses a historical natural experiment — federally-mandated hospital desegregation — to study the impact of access on racial differences in deaths from motor vehicle accidents. Focusing primarily on Mississippi, I use detailed micro-data from the US Vital Statistics matched with race-specific hospital survey information. Combining this data set with a race-specific distance to the nearest hospital before and after integration, I find that, on average, distance to nearest hospital fell by 50 miles for blacks after integration. I also show that distance and accident mortality were positively correlated: increases in distance to the nearest hospital were associated with higher mortality. Chapter Two focuses on a contemporary issue — Racial and ethnic differences in medical utilization. I focus on the heart failure because it is the leading noncancerous diagnosis for patients in hospice care and the leading cause of hospitalization among Medicare beneficiaries. In a national sample of Medicare beneficiaries with heart failure, I find that blacks and Hispanics used hospice care for heart failure less than whites after adjustment for individual and market factors. Blending both historical and contemporary analysis, Chapter 3 studies a previously unnoticed trend — a secular decline from 1960 to 2000 in the relative likelihood that Asian-Americans worked in the public sector. In 1960 Asian Americans were nearly ten percentage points more likely to work in the public sector than were Whites, but by 2000 the gap had declined to two percentage points. I argue that this relative decline in public employment reflects relative improvement over time in labor market outcomes in the private sector for Asian Americans.

Carlisle, Shauna K. From Healthy to Unhealthy: Disaggregating the Relationship between Race, Nativity, Perceived Discrimination, and Chronic Health. Dissertation Abstracts International: Social Sciences and Humanities, vol. 71, no. 12, pp. 4565, 2011.

  • Abstract: There is a clear association between race and health outcomes in the United States. Needed is a systematic examination of the relationship between chronic health and race, ethnicity, nativity, and length of residency. Further, the role of perceived discrimination and health decline must be explored beyond broad racial categories with the inclusion of Caribbean ethnic subgroups. Utilizing the linked data from the Collaborative Psychiatric Epidemiology Surveys (CPES), this dissertation addresses the gap in literature by examining differences in reports of chronic cardiovascular, chronic respiratory, and chronic pain conditions across three samples of Asian American (n=1,628), Latino Americans (n=1,940), and Afro-Caribbean American (n=978) respondents. Chapter 2 examines the ethnic subgroup variation in chronic health by comparing self-reports of chronic conditions across diverse subgroups of Asian American (Vietnamese, Filipino, Chinese), Latino American (Cuban, Portuguese, Mexican), and Afro-Caribbean (Haitian, Jamaican, Trinidadian/Tobagonian) respondents. Chi square analysis reveals significant differences by race for chronic cardiovascular [c2 (2, n=4969) 16.77, p< .00001, respiratory [c2 (2, n=4975) 10.23, p<.0001], and pain conditions [c2 (2, n=4973) .22, p>.8]. Logistic regression revealed significant differences in reports of chronic conditions across nine ethnic subgroups Chapter 3 examines the nativity differences in reports of chronic cardiovascular, respiratory, and pain conditions between foreign-born (n=3,579) and native-born (n=1,409) respondents. Results reveal that native-born respondents were significantly more likely to report chronic respiratory [c2(1, n=4958) 30.78, p^,.05] and pain [c2(1, n-4958) 3.77, p^,.05] conditions than were their foreign-born counterparts. Logistic regression models reveal significant associations between chronic conditions, and other demographic factors known to influence immigrant health. Chapter 4 explores the relationship between chronic conditions, nativity, perceived discrimination, and length of residency among the three racial and nine ethnic subgroups. Afro-Caribbean subgroups were more likely to report perceived discrimination than Asian and Latino American subgroups were. However, a significant positive association with perceived discrimination was found only for Latino American respondents (b=.60; P^,01). An interaction term called “exposure” was created to estimate the effects of long-term exposure to perceived discrimination among foreign-born respondents in this study. Logistic regression analysis was conducted to determine which groups within the model were more likely to report exposure effects.

Jain, Sonali. For Love and Money: Second-Generation Indian American Professionals in the Emerging Indian Economy. Dissertation Abstracts International: Social Sciences and Humanities, vol. 71, no. 12, pp. 4579, 2011.

  • Abstract: Against a background of shifting global economic dynamics, this dissertation explores questions raised when an emergent migration stream — that of high-skilled, second-generation Indian American professionals — “returns” to India, even as their parents continue to reside in the US. My analysis draws from qualitative interviews with 48 second-generation Indian Americans working in the Indian cities of New Delhi, Mumbai and Hyderabad, and I supplement the interviews with ethnographic data. I find that second-generation Indian Americans “return” to take advantage of economic opportunities in the emerging Indian economy and also to emotionally connect or reconnect to the ancestral homeland. Drawing on sociological frameworks of globalization and transnationalism, I examine the lived experiences of second-generation Indian Americans in three spheres in India: home, work and community. My analysis reveals that in the home sphere, even as respondents realize a deepening of their attachments to India, they struggle with the social and cultural realities of living in a “new” and globalized India. Their experiences are shaped in part by their location in a transnational social field spanning the US and India, which affords them the opportunity to constantly juxtapose and compare their lives in both countries. In the work sphere, I find that they strategically emphasize both Indian and American ethnicities. Ethnicity then becomes a powerful tool that respondents selectively deploy in order to accrue advantages in the workplace. As they adapt to life in India, many connect to the country on a more personal level, as manifested by their engagement in the civic sphere. Animated by a desire to contribute to “India”, respondents get involved in civic life in India in a variety of ways, facilitated in part by their embeddedness in transnational networks spanning the US and India. The findings from this dissertation point to the emergence of an important but under-recognized phenomenon in the transnational migration literature. At least for some second-generation immigrant groups, “return” to the ancestral homeland may be a growing phenomenon, with important implications for questions of transnational mobility, belonging and ethnicity.

Kang, Hyeyoung. Exploring Sense of Indebtedness toward Parents among Korean American Youth. Dissertation Abstracts International: Social Sciences and Humanities, vol. 71, no. 12, pp. 4582, 2011.

  • Abstract: Korean American youth experience immigration-related parent-child challenges including language barriers, generational cultural divides, and parental unavailability. Despite these challenges, studies suggest their lack of negative effects on these youth’s global perception of their parents and an indication of positive relationships in Korean immigrant families. Evidence suggests the important role of Korean American youth’s positive meaning-making in their perceptions of their parents and past family challenges, as well as the salience of their perception of parental sacrifice in the process of positive meaning making. Thus this study proposed Korean American youth’s sense of indebtedness toward parents as an important concept that may be useful to understand the gap between parent-child challenges and their outcome among Korean immigrant families. Using symbolic interactionism theory and grounded theory methods, this exploratory qualitative study examined the role of Korean American youth’s sense of indebtedness toward their parents in understanding the process of positive meaning-making. The findings show that the majority of these youth developed their narrative sense of indebtedness toward parents, in which they incorporated SIP-related perceptions into their own narratives. However, only some youth internalized sense of indebtedness toward parents, making these perceptions integral part of their own beliefs by attributing personal and significant meaning to these perceptions. The findings suggest that Korean American youth’s internalization of sense of indebtedness toward parents may play a role as a protective factor against parent-child challenges by positively affecting the youth in cognitive, affective, and behavioural domain, through which it appeared to help youth overcome parent-child challenges and promote more positive parent-child relationships.

Chatterji, Miabi. The Hierarchies of Help: South Asian Service Workers in New York City. Dissertation Abstracts International: Social Sciences and Humanities, vol. 72, no. 01, pp. 0248, 2011.

  • Abstract: Services are the fastest-growing sector of the U.S. economy and are sold to the working class as a source of sustainable employment that will replace manufacturing jobs. Drawing on ethnographic research with South Asian low-wage immigrant workers in three South Asian American commercial enclaves in New York City as well as their managers and Mexican and Central American coworkers, I challenge this vision of the service sector as a new haven of working-class stability. In-person service jobs are chronically contingent, insecure, and idiosyncratically managed, and contemporary urban services are largely unregulated, with weak enforcement of laws for worker protection. This environment leaves low-wage immigrant employees — the backbone of the industry — open to a wide range of abuses. Through analyzing my participants’ everyday conflicts with one another, their narrations of their dating and love lives, and their fraught interactions with their managers, this study shows how recent immigrants run a gauntlet of racialization, gendering, and the molding of class consciousness. In response, they fashion their own informal rules in order to make sense of their work world and define their positions within it. My analysis of their predicament, while extending the scholarship on urban immigrant communities, has critical implications for the politics of multiracial labor in the modern workplace.

Hall, Matthew S. From a World Away to Living Next Door: The Residential Segregation and Attainment of America’s Newest Immigrants. Dissertation Abstracts International: Social Sciences and Humanities, vol. 72, no. 01, pp. 0379, 2011.

  • Abstract: As the immigrant population in the U.S. swells in size and expands across the geographic landscape, virtually every aspect of contemporary social life is being transformed, influencing natives’ job prospects, the challenges faced by local schools, and America’s ethnic mix and cultural identity. These and other issues are closely related to immigrant settlement patterns across U.S. neighborhoods. Understanding immigrants’ imprint on the residential landscape is thus central to broader debates over how immigration impacts American life and how immigrants fare in their new home. This dissertation seeks to address this important topic by providing a detailed, yet comprehensive account of new immigrants’ residential circumstances. Specifically, I use neighborhood-level data from Census 2000 and household-level data from the American Housing Survey to explore patterns and correlates of residential segregation and attainment for ten new immigrant groups. In sum, I find that the assimilation of new immigrants is clearly underway: Greater socioeconomic resources and acculturation are associated with greater proximity to native-born whites, lower residential isolation, higher-quality housing, and better neighborhoods. On the other hand, my research also points to a rigid racial/ethnic pattern with Asian immigrants being less segregated and occupying superior housing and neighborhood environments than Latin American and Caribbean immigrants. The extraordinarily high levels of segregation for black immigrants are especially disturbing and indicate the continued relevance of the principle of black exceptionalism. I also show that the fairly high levels of immigrant group segregation in established metropolitan areas are being reproduced in new and nongateway metropolitan destinations. Despite some of these troubling patterns, my analysis generally suggests that immigrant segregation does not translate into poor housing and neighborhood outcomes. While I do find that the odds of homeownership are lower for immigrants in segregated contexts, and that segregation is consistently detrimental for Mexican immigrants’ residential attainment, segregation tends to have no effect or exerts positive ones on other measures of housing and neighborhood quality. All in all, this research points not just to the challenges faced by new arrivals in American residential life, but also to the clear signs that new immigrants are participating in the American Dream.

Narui, Mitsu. A Foucauldian analysis of Asian/American Gay, Lesbian, and Bisexual Students’ Process of Disclosing their Sexual Orientation and Its Impact on Identity Construction. Dissertation Abstracts International: Social Sciences and Humanities, vol. 72, no. 02, pp. 0554, 2011.

  • Abstract: In recent years, the number of traditional-aged Asian/American gay, lesbian and bisexual (GLB) college students has steadily increased. Despite this trend, this population has largely been neglected within the research literature. As a group, Asian/American GLB students are distinctively positioned within society, facing pressures from the Asian/American, White, heterosexual, and GLB communities. The purpose of this study was to better understand how and why Asian/American GLB students disclosed their sexual orientation to others during college and the impact of that disclosure on their construction of identity. Methodologically, a Fouaculdian analysis (particularly situational analysis) was conducted with the primary data sources being semi-structured interviews; secondary sources included documents (including blogs, Facebook posts, and personal essays), participant observations, and fieldwork. Overall, the goal of this study was to find out how disclosing one’s sexual orientation affected the study’s participants’ experiences in college.

Guerrero, Perla M. Impacting Arkansas: Vietnamese and Cuban Refugees and Latina/o Immigrants, 1975-2005. Dissertation Abstracts International: Social Sciences and Humanities, vol. 72, no. 02, pp. 0636, 2011.

  • Abstract: This research considers the effects of the arrival of refugees from Vietnam and Cuba and Latina/o immigrants (mainly ethnic Mexicans) to the U.S. South. I use newspaper articles and state and federal archives to analyze how refugees and immigrants were racialized in the state. I examine each group’s racialization with attention to the historical moment in which they entered homogenously White, Protestant, and Republican northwest Arkansas and I find that contextual forces such as local history, U.S. foreign policy, national political context, social class status, and dominant racial discourses articulated in ways that drew on long-standing ideologies. The racialization of Vietnamese refugees in 1975 was affected by their placement in Arkansas at the end of the Vietnam War, in a moment when the nation was dealing with having lost an exceptionally contentious episode within the ongoing Cold War. Vietnamese were cautiously welcomed with a rhetoric of American values which opposed communism and had to make good on promises to help the United States’ former allies. Their reception was further shaped by their status as largely professionals, college-educated, and English-proficient, nonetheless, fear of “yellow peril” promulgated. In contrast to the Vietnamese, Cuban refugees arrived in 1980 amidst national and international accusations that Fidel Castro’s government had unleashed criminals, prostitutes, and the mentally ill. Given these circumstances, and that this cohort of Cuban refugees was largely working-class, gay, and of African descent, they were constructed as criminal and deviant and Arkansans and their politicians mobilized to remove them from the state. Latinas/os (immigrants and U.S.-born), particularly ethnic Mexicans, began arriving in the early 1990s during a significant economic regional reorganization which provided many of them with low-wage work. They were all quickly constructed as “illegal aliens,” with their behaviors in public and private spaces severely condemned and policed. The history and relationship between the State of Arkansas and the federal government also shaped the reception of the groups in important ways as local (city and state) versus extra-local (federal agencies) control became central to the debates over the changes occurring in northwest Arkansas. Generally, there were hostile reactions toward Vietnamese, Cubans, and ethnic Mexicans because Arkansans deemed the new groups a threat to their community, their way of life, and their country.

Willms, Nicole A. Japanese-American Basketball: Constructing Gender, Ethnicity, and Community. Dissertation Abstracts International: Social Sciences and Humanities, vol. 72, no. 03, pp. 0997, 2011.

  • Abstract: This study explores the ways that an ethnic-based sports league organizes and understands itself in the context of larger racial /ethnic and gender hegemonies in sport. Using primarily qualitative data drawn from observations and interviews, augmented by archival and survey research, I analyze the social construction of gender, ethnicity, and community within Japanese-American basketball leagues and tournaments (“J-Leagues”) in the Los Angeles area using a three-level theoretical framework that examines social interactions, structural contexts, and cultural symbols. Japanese-American Basketball is an institution with a unique gender regime that provides a space for and is supported by cultural symbols and social interactions that differ from those typically found in mainstream sports. The core reason for this alternate pattern in gender relations is the importance of community-building for Japanese Americans. Girls and women in the leagues are a necessary component of community-building — their active participation is an important element for maintaining the expansiveness of the leagues. Successful women connected to the J-Leagues also provide symbolic resources for the Japanese-American community that help build ethnic solidarity and that are seen as comparable, if not superior, to those offered by male counterparts. Within this milieu, female athleticism is normalized, encouraged, supported and respected. Outside of the community, however, girls and women often face different reactions. The gender regime in the J-Leagues exists in the context of larger sociohistorical circumstances. Early discriminatory laws and practices punctuated by the mass incarceration of Japanese Americans during World War II created the settings, necessity, and desire for a strong ethnic community. These same circumstances also served to erode elements of patriarchy within the Japanese-American family. These structures influenced Japanese Americans to place a high value on institutions that promote community and to be open to active participation by women (particularly when it serves the goals of maintaining community). Furthermore, the enduring racialization of Japanese Americans in the United States as “Asian” involves controlling images that often portray women as small, weak, and feminine while also regarding them as foreign and unassimilable. This study reveals the ways in which engagement with a physical and all-American sport such as basketball contests both types of images. Participation by either sex — and especially successful participation in mainstream environments — feeds this counter-hegemonic project.

October 3, 2011

Written by C.N.

Academic Research: Articles on Race/Ethnicity & Immigration #5

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. As always, works included in this list are for informational purposes only and do not imply an endorsement of their contents.

Eckstein, Susan, and Thanh-Nghi Nguyen. 2011. “The Making and Transnationalization of an Ethnic Niche: Vietnamese Manicurists.” International Migration Review 45(3):639-674.

  • Abstract: The article addresses how Vietnamese immigrant women developed an urban employment niche in the beauty industry, in manicuring. They are shown to have done so by creating a market for professional nail care, through the transformation of nailwork into what might be called McNails, entailing inexpensive, walk-in, impersonal service, in stand-alone salons, nationwide, and by making manicures and pedicures de riguer across class and racial strata.

    Vietnamese are shown to have simultaneously gained access to institutional means to surmount professional manicure credentializing barriers, and to have developed formal and informal ethnic networks that fueled their growing monopolization of jobs in the sector, to the exclusion of non-Vietnamese. The article also elucidates conditions contributing to the Vietnamese build-up and transformation of the niche, to the nation-wide formation of the niche and, most recently, to the transnationalization of the niche. It also extrapolates from the Vietnamese manicure experience propositions concerning the development, expansion, maintenance, and transnationalization of immigrant-formed labor market niches.

© Lisa Zador and

Cort, David. 2011. “Reexamining the Ethnic Hierarchy of Locational Attainment: Evidence from Los Angeles.” Social Science Research 40(6):1521-1533.

  • Abstract: Because of a lack of data, the locational attainment literature has not incorporated documentation status into models examining group differences in neighborhood quality. I fill this void by using the Los Angeles Family and Neighborhood Survey, which permits the identification of undocumented respondents, allowing a reexamination of the ethnic structure of locational attainment in this important immigrant-receiving city.

    Results first suggest that while undocumented Latinos live in the poorest quality communities, blacks live in neighborhoods that are similar to native-born Latinos and better than foreign-born Asians and Latinos. Second, the effects of education are strongest for blacks, allowing the highly educated an opportunity to reside in communities that are of better quality than educated Latinos and Asians.

    Thus, undocumented Latinos replace blacks at the bottom of the locational attainment hierarchy, allowing educated blacks in Los Angeles to reside in better neighborhoods than blacks in the nation at large.

Emeka, Amon. 2011. “Non-Hispanics with Latin American Ancestry: Assimilation, Race, and Identity among Latin American Descendants in the U.S.” Social Science Research 40(6):1547-1563.

  • Abstract: In the 2006 American Community Survey (ACS), 6% of respondents with Latin American ancestry answered ‘no’ when asked whether they were Hispanic themselves. Conventional definitions of the Hispanic population exclude such respondents as ‘not Spanish/Hispanic/Latino’ even though they are self-identified Latin American descendants. Since their exclusion may bias our assessments of Hispanic social mobility, it is important to know more about them.

    Non-Hispanic identification is most common among Latin American descendants who (1) list both Latin American and non-Latin American ancestries, (2) speak only English, and (3) identify as White, Black, or Asian when asked about their ‘race.’ Ancestry and racial identity are considerably more influential than respondents’ education, income, place of birth, or place of residence. These findings support both traditional straight-line assimilation and a more recent “racialized assimilation” theory in explaining discrepant responses to the ethnicity and ancestry questions among Latin American descendants.

Conger, Dylan, Amy E. Schwar, and Leanna Stiefel. 2011. “The Effect of Immigrant Communities on Foreign-Born Student Achievement.” International Migration Review 45(3):675-701.

  • Abstract: This paper explores the effect of the human capital characteristics of co-ethnic immigrant communities on foreign-born students’ math achievement. We use data on New York City public school foreign-born students from 39 countries merged with census data on the characteristics of the immigrant household heads in the city from each nation of origin and estimate regressions of student achievement on co-ethnic immigrant community characteristics, controlling for student and school attributes.

    We find that the income and size of the co-ethnic immigrant community has no effect on immigrant student achievement, while the percent of college graduates may have a small positive effect. In addition, children in highly English proficient immigrant communities test slightly lower than children from less proficient communities. The results suggest that there may be some protective factors associated with immigrant community members’ education levels and use of native languages.

Lee, Sharon M., and Barry Edmonston. 2011. “Age-at-Arrival’s Effects on Asian Immigrants’ Socioeconomic Outcomes in Canada and the U.S.” International Migration Review 45(3):527–561.

  • Abstract: Age-at-arrival is a key predictor of many immigrant outcomes, but discussion continues over how to best measure and study its effects. This research replicates and extends a pioneering study by Myers, Gao, and Emeka [International Migration Review (2009) 43:205–229] on age-at-arrival effects among Mexican immigrants in the U.S. to see if similar results hold for other immigrant groups and in other countries. We examine data from the 2000 U.S. census and 2006 American Community Survey, and 1991, 2001, and 2006 Canadian censuses to assess several measures of age-at-arrival effects on Asian immigrants’ socioeconomic outcomes.

    We confirm several of Myers et al.’s key findings, including the absence of clear breakpoints in age-at-arrival effects for all outcomes and the superiority of continuous measures of age-at-arrival. Additional analysis reveals different age-at-arrival effects by gender and Asian ethnicity. We suggest guidelines, supplementing those offered by Myers et al., for measuring and studying age-at-arrival’s effects on immigrant outcomes.

August 31, 2011

Written by C.N.

Links, Jobs, & Announcements #49

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

Position: Sociology, Urban Inequality, Univ. of Cincinnati

University of Cincinnati. The Department of Sociology invites applicants for three tenure-track positions in urban inequality to begin September 1, 2011. Two positions will be at the Assistant Professor level and one at the Associate Professor level. Assistant Professor candidates should have the potential for becoming leading scholars and generating external research funding. A PhD in Sociology by July 30, 2012 is required. Associate Professor candidates should have substantial scholarly reputations and a record of garnering external funding. For all positions,
excellence in teaching is expected.

Along with current faculty, these positions will comprise a cluster of faculty with interests in urban inequality. Hence, preference will be given
to candidates with a primary scholarly focus in urban inequality. Secondary scholarly interests in family, gender, health/medicine, immigration, race/ethnicity, social movements, or work are desirable. The Department of Sociology is interested in increasing racial and ethnic diversity, so candidates of color are especially encouraged.

Position: Sociology (Race/Ethnicity) U.C. San Diego

The Department of Sociology within the Division of Social Sciences at the University of California, San Diego is committed to academic excellence and diversity within the faculty, staff, and student body. In that commitment, we seek candidates for a faculty position in the Sociology of Race and Ethnicity whose research, teaching, or service has prepared them to contribute to our commitment to diversity and inclusion in higher education. We are open to a wide variety of theoretical and methodological approaches. Preference will be given to scholars at the Assistant Professor level, but excellent candidates in other areas or at other levels will also be seriously considered.

Applicants are asked to submit a CV and samples of their written work, and should ask three referees to send letters of reference. Because a primary consideration for this position will be strong demonstrated accomplishments and a desire to play a leadership role contributing to diversity, equity, and inclusion, applicants are asked to summarize in a personal statement their past experiences and leadership in equity and diversity, or their plans to make contributions in the field. For applicants interested in spousal/partner employment, please visit the UCSD Partner Opportunities Program website.

Application deadline is September 30, 2011.

Applicants should submit all application materials electronically via UCSD’s Academic Personnel On-Line RECRUIT (Preferred method). Please select the following recruitment: SOCIOLOGY Assistant Professor (10-175) JPF00021. If you wish to send hard copies of original publications, please mail to: John Evans, Chair, Department of Sociology-MC 0533, University of California, San Diego, 9500 Gilman Drive, La Jolla, CA 92093-0533.

Position: Sociology, Immigration, U.C. Merced

The University of California is creating a dynamic new university campus and campus community in Merced, California, which opened in September 2005 as the tenth campus of the University of California and the first American research university built in the 21st century. In keeping with the mission of the University to provide teaching, research and public service of the highest quality, UC Merced will be providing new educational opportunities at the undergraduate, masters and doctoral levels through three academic schools: Engineering, Natural Sciences and Social Sciences/Humanities/Arts.

The School of Social Sciences, Humanities and Arts invites applications from exceptional scholars for one position at either the Full/Associate or Assistant Professor level in Sociology. Preference will be given to scholars who specialize in the study of Race and Ethnicity, with a substantive focus on immigration and immigrant experiences, economic inequality, labor markets, health and well-being, or education. We are seeking an individual with demonstrated excellence in both research and teaching. We currently have an undergraduate program in sociology and will be starting a graduate program soon. Applications must be submitted online by October 1, 2011, and must include the following: cover letter, cv, statement of research, teaching statement, 3 writing samples, and a list of 3 references. Assistant candidates (only) should have references send letters to

For more information about the position, contact Nella Van Dyke: To apply, please visit the UC Merced employment website.

Position: Sociology, Diversity, U.C. Berkeley

The University of California, Berkeley invites applications for a position as an Assistant Professor (tenure-track) in any of the following three areas: (1) Diversity and Identity; (2) Legal or Philosophical Frameworks for Diverse Democracies; and (3) Diversity, Civil Society and Political Action, or some combination thereof. The anticipated starting date is July 1, 2012. The search is part of the interdisciplinary Haas Diversity Research Center and will be conducted under the auspices of the Diversity and Democracy cluster of this Center.

Candidates are expected to have a Ph.D. or J.D. degree (preferably by July 1, 2012) in one of the following disciplines: law, philosophy, political science, or sociology; they should have a research and teaching portfolio that examines how our legal, political, and social institutions and practices adapt (or fail to adapt) to an increasingly multi-racial, multi-ethnic population. Special consideration will be given to candidates who work in any of the following areas: (1) the content and contestation of group identities; (2) the normative and legal implications of racial and ethnic diversity within democratic societies; (3) the civic and political engagement of diverse electorates within local, national, and transnational contexts.

This search will be conducted with the participation of the Departments of Sociology, Political Science, and Philosophy, and the School of Law (including its Jurisprudence and Social Policy Program). The successful candidate will hold a faculty appointment in a department to be determined by the candidate’s preferences, disciplinary training, and departmental fit. Applications must include a letter of interest, a CV, three letters of reference, and up to three significant writing samples. Please direct referees to the University’s statement on confidentiality. Qualified women and members of underrepresented minority groups are strongly encouraged to apply.

All documents should be submitted on-line to the Diversity and Democracy Search Committee. Review of applications will begin on September 30, 2011; applications must be received by October 14, 2011 to assure it will receive full consideration.

Position: Sociology, Race, Univ. of Pennsylvania

The Department of Sociology at the University of Pennsylvania invites applications for a tenure-track Assistant Professor position in the sociology of race. We seek candidates with exceptionally strong research skills, who are also committed to undergraduate and graduate teaching.

Applications should be submitted online. Applications should include a curriculum vitae, a statement of research and teaching, and contact information for three individuals who have agreed to provide a letter of reference. Candidates are encouraged to apply by October 31, 2011.

Post Doc: African American Studies, Northwestern

The Department of African American Studies in the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences at Northwestern University invites applications for a two year Postdoctoral Fellowship. PhD must be completed by September 1, 2012. Recent Ph.D.s (degree granted during or after 2010) with a commitment to the field of African American and/or African Diaspora studies are encouraged to apply.

This two year fellowship is residential and provides a competitive stipend and benefits, a visiting appointment in the Department of African American Studies (including teaching of one or two classes in the Department), and participation in the intellectual life of the Department and University.

Applicants should submit one copy (postmarked no later than December 30, 2011) of:

  1. a current curriculum vitae
  2. a letter of application detailing the research project to be undertaken during the fellowship years
  3. a sample of scholarly writing
  4. evidence relating to the quality of teaching (syllabi and teaching evaluations)
  5. three letters of recommendation (including one letter from the dissertation advisor) to

Department of African American Studies
Northwestern University
1860 Campus Drive, Crowe 5-128
Evanston, IL 60208-2210
Attn: Postdoctoral Fellowship Search

All inquiries should be addressed to Suzette Denose at 847-491-5122 or

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: 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

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: 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

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

June 30, 2010

Written by C.N.

New Books: Race/Ethnicity in Contemporary America

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

It’s been kind of a quiet start of the summer in terms of pressing issues or current events related to race/ethnicity, so perhaps it’s useful to take a step back and look at the general state of race/ethnicity in contemporary American society.

Searching for Whitopia: An Improbable Journey to the Heart of White America, by Rich Benjamin (Hyperion Press)

Searching for Whitopia, by Rich Benjamin

Between 2007 and 2009, Rich Benjamin, a journalist-adventurer, packed his bags and embarked on a 26,909-mile journey throughout the heart of white America, to some of the fastest-growing and whitest locales in our nation.

By 2042, whites will no longer be the American majority. As immigrant populations–largely people of color–increase in cities and suburbs, more and more whites are moving to small towns and exurban areas that are predominately, even extremely, white. Rich Benjamin calls these enclaves “Whitopias” (pronounced: “White-o-pias”).

His journey to unlock the mysteries of Whitopias took him from a three-day white separatist retreat with links to Aryan Nations in North Idaho to the inner sanctum of George W. Bush’s White House–and many points in between. And to learn what makes Whitopias tick, and why and how they are growing, he lived in three of them (in Georgia, Idaho, and Utah) for several months apiece. A compelling raconteur, bon vivant, and scholar, Benjamin reveals what Whitopias are like and explores the urgent social and political implications of this startling phenomenon.

The glow of Barack Obama’s historic election cannot obscure the racial and economic segregation still vexing America. Obama’s presidency has actually raised the stakes in a battle royale between two versions of America: one that is broadly comfortable with diversity yet residentially segregated (ObamaNation) and one that does not mind a little ethnic food or a few mariachi dancers–as long as these trends do not overwhelm a white dominant culture.

Colorblind: The Rise of Post-Racial Politics and the Retreat from Racial Equity, by Tim Wise (City Lights Publishers)

Colorblind, by Tim Wise

In this powerful follow-up to Between Barack and a Hard Place, Tim Wise argues against “colorblindness” and for a deeper color-consciousness in both public and private practice. We can only begin to move toward authentic social and economic equity through what Wise calls “illuminated individualism”—acknowledging the diverse identities that have shaped our perceptions, and the role that race continues to play in the maintenance of disparities between whites and people of color in the United States today. This is the first book to discuss the pitfalls of “colorblindness” in the Obama era.

Uncommon Common Ground: Race and America’s Future, by Angela Glover Blackwell, Stewart Kwoh, and Manuel Pastor (W.W. Norton & Co.)

Uncommon Ground, by Blackwell, Kwoh, & Pastor

With a mixed-race president, a Latino population that is now the largest minority, and steadily growing Asian and Pacific Islander populations, race is both the most dynamic facet of American identity and the defining point of American disunity.

By broadening the racial dialogue, Blackwell, founder of PolicyLink; Kwoh, president of the Asian Pacific American Legal Center; and Pastor, professor of American Studies and Ethnicity at USC, bring new perspective to this essential American issue.

Doing Race: 21 Essays for the 21st Century, edited by Hazel Rose Markus and Paula M. L. Moya (W.W. Norton & Co.)

Doing Race, by Markus and Moya

Doing Race focuses on race and ethnicity in everyday life: what they are, how they work, and why they matter. Going to school and work, renting an apartment or buying a house, watching television, voting, listening to music, reading books and newspapers, attending religious services, and going to the doctor are all everyday activities that are influenced by assumptions about who counts, whom to trust, whom to care about, whom to include, and why. Race and ethnicity are powerful precisely because they organize modern society and play a large role in fueling violence around the globe.

Drawing on the latest science and scholarship, the collected essays emphasize that race and ethnicity are not things that people or groups have or are, but rather sets of actions that people do. Doing Race provides compelling evidence that we are not yet in a “post-race” world and that race and ethnicity matter for everyone. Since race and ethnicity are the products of human actions, we can do them differently. Like studying the human genome or the laws of economics, understanding race and ethnicity is a necessary part of a twenty first century education.

Erasing Racism: The Survival of the American Nation, by Molefi Kete Asante (Prometheus Books)

Erasing Racism, by Molefi Kete Asante

Did the election of Barack Obama as President of the United States signal real progress in bridging America’s long-standing racial divide? In this profound study of systemic racism, Molefi Kete Asante, a leading scholar of African American history and culture, discusses the greatest source of frustration and anger among African Americans in recent decades: what he calls “the wall of ignorance” that attempts to hide the long history of racial injustice from public consciousness.

This is most evident in each race’s differing perspectives on racial matters. Though most whites view racism as a thing of the past, a social problem largely solved by the civil rights movement, blacks continue to experience racism in many areas of social life: encounters with the police; the practice of redlining in housing; difficulties in getting bank loans, mortgages, and insurance policies; and glaring disparities in health care, educational opportunities, unemployment levels, and incarceration rates.

Though such problems are not expressions of the overt racism of legal segregation and lynch mobs – what most whites probably think of when they hear the word ‘racism’ – their negative effect on black Americans is almost as pernicious. Such daily experiences create a lingering feeling of resentment that percolates in a slow boil till some event triggers an outburst of rage. Asante argues that America cannot long continue as a cohesive society under these conditions.

As we embark upon new leadership under America’s first African American president, he urges more public focus on redressing the wrongs of the past and their continuing legacy. Above all, he thinks that Americans must seriously consider some system of reparations to deal with both past and present injustices, an apology, and our own truth-and-reconciliation committee that addresses both the history of slavery and present-day racism. Only in this way, he feels, can we ever hope to heal the racial divide that never seems to be erased.

November 6, 2009

Written by C.N.

Posts from Years Past: November

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

  • 2008: 14 Exit Poll Statistics About Obama’s Victory
    Analyzing exit poll data and voting patterns about Barack Obama’s election victory by race, ethnicity, and other social factors.
  • 2007: New Research on Race and Genetics
    New scientific research on genetics may challenge some long-held beliefs about whether there are distinct and inherent biological differences between members of particular racial groups.
  • 2006: Health Care Costs an Issue in China Too
    A recent incident illustrating the tragic consequences of the high cost of healthcare in China highlights some potential similarities with the U.S.
  • 2005: Daniel Dae Kim: One of the Sexiest Men Alive
    People Magazine names actor Daniel Dae Kim of the ABC series Lost as one of the sexiest men alive.
  • 2004: Tragedy in Wisconsin
    The murder of several Whites by a Hmong American leads to shock, grief, tensions, and questions over whether racism on both sides played a part in the incident.

June 16, 2008

Written by C.N.

Racial Equality: Military vs. Civilian Life

For most academics who study racial/ethnic relations, we almost exclusively focus on civilian society. But what are such relations like in the military? You might recall that the military was one of the first American institutions to desegregate, occurring in 1948 through Executive Order 9981.

To help us compare racial/ethnic relations in the military versus civilian life, as Newsweek magazine reports, University of Massachusetts at Amherst sociologist Jennifer Lundquist recently published a comprehensive study that contains some interesting findings:

The study of over 30,000 active duty personnel suggests that the armed forces’ social hierarchy—explicitly based on rank—overrides many of the racial or gender biases in civil society, which tend to act as barriers for women and minorities in career advancement. . . .

In civilian society African-Americans generally express higher dissatisfaction with their jobs than their white counterparts and are less committed. But Lundquist’s study of 30,000 active-duty personnel found that those norms are largely flipped in the military.

She looked at five measurements of career satisfaction, including overall quality of life and opportunities for advancement, and found African-American women to be the most positive and satisfied with their jobs, followed by African-American men, Latinas, Latinos and white women. White men are the least satisfied with their military careers, rating their satisfaction and overall happiness with their jobs much lower.

“It’s not that the military environment treats white males less fairly; it’s simply that, compared to their peers in civilian society, white males lose many of the advantages that they had,” Lundquist says. “There’s a relative deprivation when you compare to satisfaction of peers outside of the military.”

I should provide the disclaimer that Prof. Lundquist is a colleague and also a good friend of mine. Nonetheless, her research findings are quite compelling in their own right.

To summarize, those findings are that within the military, there is a much more stringent set of regulations regarding how personnel are judged and promoted. Based on this structure, outcomes do not differ nearly as much by race/ethnicity as they do in civilian society, where such criteria is much less standardized.

Therefore, Whites in the military generally do not enjoy the same privileges of being White that their counterparts enjoy in civilian life and conversely, people of color fare better and have higher levels of life satisfaction than their counterparts in civilian life.

Prof. Lundquist’s results also show that women report higher levels of satisfaction inside the military than do men, although the specific details are a little more complicated. In the end, as the Newsweek article sums up, “There’s a very clear contrast in job satisfaction between civilian and military society, and it seems to come down to the military’s meritocractic structure.”

Of course, Americans continue to debate the institutional morality of the military’s existence and the role it plays in international affairs, but that’s a separate question. The take-home message here seems to be, in regard to fostering racial/ethnic equality, apparently American civilian society can learn a few lessons from its military.