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Behind the Headlines: APA News Blog

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

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

May 30, 2011

Written by C.N.

Academic Research: Articles & Dissertations on Asian Americans #2

To highlight the continuing growth and vitality of Asian American Studies, the following is a list of recent journal articles and doctoral dissertations from scholars in the social sciences and humanities that focus on Asian Americans. As you can see, the diversity of research topics is a direct reflection of the dynamic and multidimensional nature of the Asian American population.

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

Farrell, Chad R. and Barrett A. Lee. 2011. “Racial Diversity and Change in Metropolitan Neighborhoods.” Social Science Research 40:1108-1123.

  • Abstract: This study investigates the changing racial diversity and structure of metropolitan neighborhoods. We consider three alternative perspectives about localized racial change: that neighborhoods are bifurcating along a white/nonwhite color line, fragmenting into homogeneous enclaves, or integrating white, black, Latino, and Asian residents into diverse residential environments. To assess hypotheses drawn from these perspectives, we develop a hybrid methodology (incorporating the entropy index and majority-rule criteria) that offers advantages over previous typological efforts.

    Our analysis of 1990–2000 census tract data for the 100 largest US metropolitan areas finds that most neighborhoods are becoming more diverse and that members of all groups have experienced increasing exposure to neighborhood diversity. However, white populations tend to diminish rapidly in the presence of multiple minority groups and there has been concomitant white growth in low-diversity neighborhoods. Latino population dynamics have emerged as a primary force driving neighborhood change in a multi-group context.

© Lisa Zador and Images.com/Corbis

Reitz, Jeffrey G., Heather Zhang, and Naoko Hawkins. 2011. “Comparisons of the Success of Racial Minority Immigrant Offspring in the United States, Canada and Australia.” Social Science Research 40:1051-1066.

  • Abstract: The educational, occupational and income success of the racial minority immigrant offspring is very similar for many immigrant origins groups in the United States, Canada and Australia. An analysis based on merged files of Current Population Surveys for the United States for the period 1995–2007, and the 2001 Censuses of Canada and Australia, and taking account of urban areas of immigrant settlement, reveals common patterns of high achievement for the Chinese and South Asian second generation, less for other Asian origins, and still less for those of Afro-Caribbean black origins.

    Relatively lower entry statuses for these immigrant groups in the US are eliminated for the second generation, indicating they experience stronger upward inter-generational mobility. As well, ‘segmented assimilation’ suggesting downward assimilation of Afro-Caribbean immigrants into an urban underclass in the US, also receives little support.

Robnetta, Belinda and Cynthia Feliciano. 2011. “Patterns of Racial-Ethnic Exclusion by Internet Daters.” Social Forces 89:807-828.

  • Abstract: Using data from 6070 U.S. heterosexual internet dating profiles, this study examines how racial and gender exclusions are revealed in the preferences of black, Latino, Asian and white online daters. Consistent with social exchange and group positions theories, the study finds that whites are least open to out-dating and that, unlike blacks, Asians and Latinos have patterns of racial exclusion similar to those of whites.

    Like blacks, higher earning groups including Asian Indians, Middle Easterners and Asian men are highly excluded, suggesting that economic incorporation may not mirror acceptance in intimate settings. Finally, racial exclusion in dating is gendered; Asian males and black females are more highly excluded than their opposite-sex counterparts, suggesting that existing theories of race relations need to be expanded to account for gendered racial acceptance.

Haller, William, Alejandro Portes, and Scott M. Lynch. 2011. “Dreams Fulfilled, Dreams Shattered: Determinants of Segmented Assimilation in the Second Generation.” Social Forces 89:733-762.

  • Abstract: We summarize prior theories on the adaptation process of the contemporary immigrant second generation as a prelude to presenting additive and interactive models showing the impact of family variables, school contexts and academic outcomes on the process. For this purpose, we regress indicators of educational and occupational achievement in early adulthood on predictors measured three and six years earlier. The Children of Immigrants Longitudinal Study, used for the analysis, allows us to establish a clear temporal order among exogenous predictors and the two dependent variables.

    We also construct a Downward Assimilation Index, based on six indicators and regress it on the same set of predictors. Results confirm a pattern of segmented assimilation in the second generation, with a significant proportion of the sample experiencing downward assimilation. Predictors of the latter are the obverse of those of educational and occupational achievement. Significant interaction effects emerge between these predictors and early school contexts, defined by different class and racial compositions. Implications of these results for theory and policy are examined.

Tran, Nellie and Dina Birman. 2010. “Questioning the Model Minority: Studies of Asian American Academic Performance.” Asian American Journal of Psychology 1:106-118.

  • Abstract: The current paper reviews literature on the academic performance of Asian Americans with a critical eye toward understanding the influence of discrimination on this process. Specifically, this study seeks to understand the extent to which researchers have gathered sufficient knowledge to dispel “conventional knowledge” of Asian Americans as model minorities. We questioned the extent to which studies explicitly measured student performance as a product of individual effort and Asian cultural influences, while simultaneously measuring the impact of exposure to discrimination.

    We present a review of studies on Asian American academic performance published 1990–2008. Our analysis suggests that social science research has continued to perpetuate the stereotype of Asian Americans as a “model minority.” The majority of the reviewed studies did not differentiate among Asian American ethnic and generational groups. These studies also tended to infer culture as an explanation for the high achievement of Asian Americans without examining the impact of sociopolitical factors, such as racial discrimination.

    In fact, many of the reviewed studies reported that Asian Americans were deficient relative to Whites on attributes thought to be related to culture (e.g., personality characteristics, parenting behaviors) while finding that they achieved academically at levels similar to or higher than Whites. Finally, the majority of these studies have not used culturally appropriate methods to test their hypotheses and research questions. Thus, we recommend that studies embrace emic/population-specific and sociopolitical (Sasao & Sue, 1993) approaches to understand and explore factors that contribute to academic achievement in this group.

Dissertation: Relation of Depression to Substance Use, Chronic Illnesses and Asian American and Pacific Islander Adults in Hawaii

Aczon-Armstrong, Marife Celebre (University of Hawai’i at Manoa)

  • Abstract: Asian Americans (AA) are often portrayed as the model minority but it is also known that both AA and Pacific Islanders (PI) are least likely to seek help for mental disorders. Few studies have focused on AAPI, and even fewer have reported findings for each AAPI subgroup separately despite the unique characteristics of each subgroup. Using the aggregate group makes identifying actual differences in health and mental health of these subgroups difficult. As a result, little is known about the specific characteristics of APPI subgroups.

    To fill this gap in knowledge, the purpose of this study was to (a) identify the prevalence of current depression, substance use (smoking and alcohol use) and chronic illnesses (diabetes, cardiovascular disease and asthma) among AAPI adults in Hawaii; (b) determine if there are significant differences in the prevalence of current depression, substance use, and chronic illnesses between AA and PI adults in Hawaii, and (c) determine if there is a relationship between current depression, substance use, chronic illnesses and individual characteristics (such as age, gender, employment status, educational level, frequency of emotional support, life satisfaction and healthcare access) among AAPI adults in Hawaii.

    Using the 2008 data from Hawaii Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (HBRFSS), significant differences in prevalence of current depression between AA and PI were found. PIs in Hawaii were two times more likely to have severe/moderately severe depression compared to AAs. The prevalence of moderate and mild depression, among AA and PI did not differ significantly. Several factors affect these prevalence rates. The results of the multiple logistic regression cumulative model indicated that smoking, chronic illness, gender, level of education completed, employment status, frequency of emotional support, life satisfaction, health care coverage and age were strongly associated with current depression.

Dissertation: Asian American Sexual Politics: The Construction of Race, Gender, and Sexuality

Chou, Rosalind Sue (Texas A&M University)

  • Abstract: Why study Asian American sexual politics? There is a major lack of critical analysis of Asian Americans and their issues surrounding their place in the United States as racialized, gendered, and sexualized bodies. There are three key elements to my methodological approach for this project: standpoint epistemology, extended case method, and narrative analysis. In my research, fifty-five Asian American respondents detail how Asian American masculinity and femininity are constructed and how they operate in a racial hierarchy. These accounts will explicitly illuminate the gendered and sexualized racism faced by Asian Americans.

    The male respondents share experiences that highlight how “racial castration” occurs in the socialization of Asian American men. Asian American women are met with an exotification and Orientalization as sexual bodies. This gendering and sexualizing process plays a specific role in maintaining the racial status quo. There are short and long term consequences from the gendered and sexualized racist treatment. The intersected racial and gender identities of the respondents affect their self-image and self-esteem. For the women, femininity has been shaped specifically by their racial identity. “Orientalization” as a colonial concept plays a role in these racialized and gendered stereotypes of Asian American Women. The gendered and sexualized racialization process and “racial castration” has impacted Asian American men in a different way than their female counterparts. Violence is a prevalent theme in their gendered and racial formation.

    Asian American men begin as targets of violence and sometimes become perpetrators. I also analyze how romantic and sexual partners are chosen and examine the dynamics of Asian American intraracial and interracial relationships. While Asian American “success” as “model minorities” is challenging white supremacy, gender and sexuality become “regulating” forces to maintain both the racial and gendered order. Finally, I offer and discuss the resistance strategies against gender and racial hierarchy utilized by my respondents. Asian Americans must be creative in measures that they take for group and individual survival. Respondents resist in intimately personal ways against ideologies.

Dissertation: The Warrior Women of Transnational Cinema Gender and Race in Hollywood and Hong Kong Action Films

Funnell, Lisa (Wilfrid Laurier University, Canada)

  • Abstract: In The Warrior Women of Transnational Cinema, I consider the significance of transnational Asian action women in the post-1997 Hong Kong cinema; more specifically, I explore how Pan-Asian (e.g. Michelle Yeoh, Pei Pei Cheng, Ziyi Zhang), Asian American (Lucy Liu, Maggie Q, Marsha Yuen), and Asian Canadian (e.g. Francoise Yip, Charlene Choi, Kristy Yang) warrior women function as a source of transnational female identity for local, Pan-Asian (Le. East and Southeast Asian), and diasporic Asian audiences. I argue that the post-1997 Hong Kong cinema — and not Hollywood — has offered space for the development of Pan-Asian and Asian North American screen identities which challenge the racial stereotypes historically associated with the Asian female body in the West.

    In the new millennium, Hollywood has redefined its representation of transnational Asian action women by incorporating Hong Kong choreographers, action aesthetics, and/or female stars into its blockbusters. In these films, however, the representation of Pan-Asian and Asian North American action women caters to the tastes of American/Western audiences and relates American/Western ideals of gender, race, and heroism. Furthermore, I argue that Hollywood’s recent investment in Hong Kong and/or Mainland Chinese co-productions reflects America’s attempt to tap into the burgeoning Asian film market and wield significant political, economic, and social power particularly in Mainland China.

Dissertation: Performance of Japanese Americans on Selected Cognitive Instruments

Kemmotsu, Nobuko (University of California, San Diego and San Diego State University)

  • Abstract: There is ample evidence that African Americans and Hispanic Americans demonstrate lower scores on widely used neurocognitive tests, compared to non-Hispanic Caucasians. However, there is a scarcity of empirical data for Asian Americans. This study aimed to examine cognitive test performance of one of the Asian American subgroups: Japanese Americans. Seventy-one Japanese Americans (JAs) and 71 Caucasian Americans (CAs), ages between 45-91, participated in the study. The Boston Naming Test-2 (BNT), San Diego Odor Identification Test (SDOIT), Controlled Oral Word Association test (COWA-FAS), category fluency test (Animal Fluency), California Verbal Learning Test (CVLT), California Odor Learning Test (COLT), and Brief Visuospatial Memory Test-Revised (BVMT-R) were administered. We collected data on levels of acculturation, quality of educational attainment (Wide Range Achievement Test-4 Reading and Math Computation subtests), bilingual status, and generation status in the U.S.

    There were no significant differences between the two ethnic groups on the battery of neuropsychological tests. However, the two groups showed somewhat different patterns in the associations between the test performance, and age and gender. JAs tended to show a stronger age-score relationship on the BNT, SDOIT, BVMT-R total recall, and COLT total recall. With regard to gender, JA men tended to score lower than JA women and than CA men on CVLT Trial 5. Additionally JA men tended to score lower than JA women on the CVLT Long Delay Cued Recall. When the raw scores of the JAs were converted into demographically corrected scores using the Caucasian norm, JAs had more measures that yielded larger “impairment” rate compared to theoretically driven rate (15.6%) compared to Caucasian Americans. The second-generation JAs showed a much larger proportion of “impaired” compared to the third-generations, on the BVMT-R Total Recall and BVMT-R Delayed Recall.

    The results indicated that some neuropsychological test results need to be interpreted with caution in the older JAs, at least until culturally appropriate norms become available. Future studies are needed to investigate if this pattern would persist in the succeeding generations, and in the descendants of the post-war immigrants from Japan.


April 25, 2011

Written by C.N.

Academic Research: Asian Americans and Mental Health

As part of this blog’s ongoing mission of making academic research and data more easily accessible, understandable, and applicable to a wider audience, and for readers who like to keep on top of the latest academic research, I highlight new research and studies in academic journals about Asian Americans and other racial/ethnic groups as I hear about them. An article’s inclusion is for informational purposes only and does not necessarily mean an endorsement of its contents.

The widely-respected Asian American Pacific Islander Nexis journal has just released a special issue that focuses on various dimensions of mental health among Asian Americans:

AAPI Nexus: Asian Americans and Mental Health

Happy Buddha © Marcus Mok/Asia Images/Corbis

The UCLA Asian American Studies Center announces the publication of Asian American Pacific Islander Nexus Journal: Policy, Practice and Community, Special Issue on Mental Health. This issue features select papers presented at the first “State of AAPI Mental Health” conference held in 2010, which was a transdisciplinary gathering on mental health research, treatment, and practice among Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPIs). The release of the Special Issue on Mental Health is in conjunction with the second conference on Friday, April 22, 2011.

The goals of the two conferences and this special issue are to increase the understanding about mental health and service needs of AAPIs. Research has shown that AAPIs have unique economic, linguistic, and cultural characteristics that require specific mental health services that can adequately address their needs. This issue on Mental Health highlights some of the emerging research for AAPIs with topics ranging from current policies, new research paradigms, to personal and cultural
roadblocks in relation to mental health.

Contextualizing the challenges of addressing AAPI mental health, guest editors, Gilbert C. Gee (UCLA), Phillip D. Akutsu (CSU Sacramento), and Margaret Shih (UCLA), in their introduction illustrate how cultural, historical, and community diversity have led to underutilization of services and a lack of data. They call for new research that seriously considers the theories related to differences among diverse AAPI populations.

Marguerite Ro and Wendy Ho then provide an overview of the current California and Federal policies and legislation related to mental health in “Aligning Policy to the Mental Health Needs of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders.” The authors propose recommendations on how to better address issues of data and research, culturally competent services, and accountability of existing policies.

Frederick T.L. Leong and Zornitsa Kalibatseva, in “Comparative Effectiveness Research on Asian American Mental Health: Review and Recommendations,” provide an overview of the latest research paradigm called comparative effectiveness research (CER), which evaluates the efficacy of one or more interventions for a specific group. The authors urge researchers to use CER methods in order to stimulate more funding and foster a research environment that is responsive to the various issues in AAPI communities.

In the third manuscript, Phillip Akutsu and his colleagues discuss the issue of clients not showing up to their initial appointment to see a mental health provider in “Pre-Intake Attrition or Non-Attendance of Intake Appointments at an Ethnic-Specific Mental Health Program for Asian American Children and Adolescents.” Their findings show that key factors in motivating attendance involve matching the client’s language and ethnicity with the provider as well as fostering a personal connection between the provider and the client.

Van M. Ta et al. provide an ethnographic study in “Cultural Identity and Conceptualization of Depression among Native Hawaiian Women.” The authors seek to understand the correlation between cultural identity and depression among Native Hawaiian women. Their study across various age groups suggests that stressors resulting from U.S. occupation of Hawai’i such as acculturation, oppression, marginalization, and financial difficulties are important factors related to depression.

The issue closes with a non-theme article by Paul Ong and Albert Lee entitled, “Asian Americans and Redistricting: Empowering through Electoral Boundaries.” The authors contextualize the difficulties of building “communities of common interest” which ultimately helps preserve Asian American neighborhoods. They advocate for the need to bridge gaps and form coalitions to foster political empowerment for the AAPI community.

AAPI Nexus copies are $13.00 plus $4.00 for shipping and handling and 8.25% sales tax for California residents.


March 21, 2011

Written by C.N.

Academic Research: Recent Articles on Asian Americans #1

To highlight the continuing growth and vitality of Asian American Studies, the following is a list of recent articles published in academic journals from scholars in the social sciences and humanities that focus on Asian Americans. As you can see, the diversity of research topics is a direct reflection of the dynamic and multidimensional nature of the Asian American population.”

These 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.

Cheng, Yen-hsin Alice and Nancy S. Landale. 2011. “Adolescent Precursors of Early Union Formation Among Asian American and White Young Adults.” Journal of Family Issues 32:209-236.

  • Abstract: Using a framework that emphasizes independent versus interdependent self-construals, this study investigates the relatively low rates of early marriage and cohabitation among Asian Americans compared with Whites. Data from Waves 1 and 3 of Add Health are used to test five hypotheses that focus on family value socialization and other precursors measured in adolescence. Analyses of early marriage indicate that the Asian-White difference is driven primarily by differences in adolescent sexual and romantic relationship experiences and that several measures of family values play a stronger role among Asian Americans than Whites. Asian-White differences in cohabitation persist net of socioeconomic status and other adolescent precursors, but differences are attenuated when parental value socialization, intimate relationship experiences, and educational investments are controlled. These results are interpreted within a culturally sensitive conceptual framework that emphasizes interdependent construals of the self among Asian Americans.
© TongRo Image Stock/Corbis

Greenman, Emily. 2011. “Asian American-White Differences in the Effect of Motherhood on Career Outcomes.” Work and Occupations 38:37-67.

  • Abstract: U.S.-born Asian Americans are unique among American minority groups in that they lack earnings disadvantages relative to Whites with similar education levels. Controlling for education and age, there is little difference in the earnings of U.S.-born Asian and White men, but Asian women have higher earnings than comparable White women. Using data from SESTAT, this study tests the hypothesis that Asian American women’s high earnings may result from adjusting their labor supply less than White women in response to parenthood, leading to greater work experience over time. Findings show that Asian American women are less likely than White women to reduce labor supply in response to parenthood and that their resulting greater work experience explains their high rate of earnings growth.

Tamaki, Emi. 2011. “Transnational Home Engagement among Latino and Asian Americans: Resources and Motivation.” International Migration Review 45:148-173.

  • Abstract: Is immigrant groups’ assimilation to host society at odds with their engagement with the country of ancestral origin? This study divides the concept of assimilation into socioeconomic resources and attachment to host society, and argues that assimilation and transnational perspectives are coexisting paradigms. Analyses using the nationally representative samples of Latino and Asian Americans indicate that higher-order generations reduce the odds of home country engagement, i.e., frequent return visits; attachment to American society does not discourage return visits; socioeconomic resources increase frequent visits; and the country of origin is a significant predictor of home country visits.

Greenman, Emily. 2011. “Assimilation Choices Among Immigrant Families: Does School Context Matter?” International Migration Review 45:29-67.

  • Abstract: This article explores the relationship between social context, measured in terms of school characteristics, and the assimilation of immigrant adolescents. First, it develops a measure of assimilation based on comparing immigrant adolescents to native peers within the same school. Second, it investigates whether immigrant adolescents’ degree of assimilation varies systematically according to school socioeconomic status (SES). Third, it explores the role of parental and adolescent behavior in creating such variation. Results show that both Asian and Hispanic immigrant youth are less assimilated to native youths’ substance use and delinquency patterns in lower-SES schools. This association can be explained by parenting behaviors and adolescent friendship choices for Asian youth, but not Hispanic youth.

Kim, Chigon and Pyong Gap Min. 2010. “Marital Patterns and Use of Mother Tongue at Home among Native-Born Asian Americans.” Social Forces 89:233-256.

  • Abstract: This article examines marital patterns and use of mother tongue at home among native-born Asian Americans using the 2005-2007 American Community Survey 3-Year Public Use Microdata Sample. There are variations in mother-tongue use across Asian ethnic groups, but variations among different types of marriage are even greater. Those who marry within their ethnicity (in-married) have a greater likelihood of mother-tongue use at home than those who intermarry. Among the in-married, those having 1.5- and first-generation co-ethnic spouses are far more likely to use a mother tongue than those having native-born, co-ethnic partners. Results of logistic regression analyses indicate that marital patterns are the strongest predictor of mother-tongue use at home, and that ethnic variations in mother-tongue use are significantly reduced when marital patterns are taken into account.

Chhuon, Vichet and Cynthia Hudley. 2010. “Asian American Ethnic Options: How Cambodian Students Negotiate Ethnic Identities in a U.S. Urban School.” Anthropology and Education Quarterly 41:341-359.

  • Abstract: Research suggests that Cambodian students often endure conflicting ethnic stereotypes from larger society and their school and communities. We examine the ways in which Cambodian youth negotiated their ethnic identities in response to these stereotypes and argue that Cambodian students adopted, rejected, and affirmed certain ethnic identities in relation to perceived advantages associated with different labels across varying school contexts.

Cheng, Wendy. 2010. “‘Diversity’ on Main Street? Branding Race and Place in the New ‘Majority-Minority’ Suburbs.” Identities: Global Studies in Culture and Power 17:458-486.

  • Abstract: The emergence in the United States of an increasing number of spaces across the socioeconomic spectrum with majority nonwhite populations merits close attention because of these spaces’ potential in reconfiguring historical and contemporary claims to place. In an era in which the neoliberalization of urban development has spurred local governments toward more active involvement in defining relationships between race, ethnicity, consumption, and space, ‘majority-minority’ suburbs are particularly important sites of study. In the late 2000s, two branding campaigns in majority-Asian American and Latina/o municipalities in Los Angeles’s San Gabriel Valley-a densely populated region popularly known as a ‘suburban Chinatown’-put forth specific discourses of race, ethnicity, and culture in attempts to actualize specific visions and claims to place, identity, and history. In doing so, these campaigns illuminated and reinforced larger racial, geographic, and ideological divides. ‘Diversity’ on Main Street embraced pluralist multicultural discourses of the nation, while the ‘Golden Mile’ proposal sought to showcase the transformation of a central thoroughfare by ethnic Chinese capital and immigration. A close examination and comparison of these two campaigns shows how struggles over race, geography, and history are intertwined in the contemporary identities of places and integral to the shaping of civic landscapes.

Kim, ChangHwan and Arthur Sakamoto. 2010. “Have Asian American Men Achieved Labor Market Parity with White Men?” American Sociological Review 75:934-957.

  • Abstract: The emergence in the United States of an increasing number of spaces across the socioeconomic spectrum with majority nonwhite populations merits close attention because of these spaces’ potential in reconfiguring historical and contemporary claims to place. In an era in which the neoliberalization of urban development has spurred local governments toward more active involvement in defining relationships between race, ethnicity, consumption, and space, ‘majority-minority’ suburbs are particularly important sites of study. In the late 2000s, two branding campaigns in majority-Asian American and Latina/o municipalities in Los Angeles’s San Gabriel Valley-a densely populated region popularly known as a ‘suburban Chinatown’-put forth specific discourses of race, ethnicity, and culture in attempts to actualize specific visions and claims to place, identity, and history. In doing so, these campaigns illuminated and reinforced larger racial, geographic, and ideological divides. ‘Diversity’ on Main Street embraced pluralist multicultural discourses of the nation, while the ‘Golden Mile’ proposal sought to showcase the transformation of a central thoroughfare by ethnic Chinese capital and immigration. A close examination and comparison of these two campaigns shows how struggles over race, geography, and history are intertwined in the contemporary identities of places and integral to the shaping of civic landscapes.

Chang, Esther S., Jutta Heckhausen, Ellen Greenberger, and Chuansheng Chen. 2010. “Shared Agency with Parents for Educational Goals: Ethnic Differences and Implications for College Adjustment.” Journal of Youth and Adolescence 39:1293-1304.

  • Abstract: This study proposed and confirmed three ways in which college students can perceive shared agency and two ways in which they can perceive non-shared agency with parents when pursuing educational goals in college. Differences and similarities were examined among participants from four ethnic backgrounds (N = 515; 67% female): East Asian American, Southeast Asian American, Filipino/Pacific Islander American, and European American. Results indicated that Asian American youth reported higher levels of non-shared agency with parents (i.e., parental directing and noninvolvement), lower levels of shared agency (i.e., parental accommodation, support, or collaboration), and poorer college adjustment compared to European Americans. However, ethnic similarities were found whereby perceived shared agency in education with parents was associated with college adjustment. Multiple mediation analyses also indicated that our model of shared and non-shared agency with parents explained differences in college adjustment between Asian and European Americans, though more strongly for comparisons between European and East Asian Americans. Our results suggest that parents continue to be important in the education of older youth but that continued directing of youth’s education in college can be maladaptive.

Abrams, Jessica R. 2010. “Asian American Television Activity: Is it Related to Outgroup Vitality?” International Journal of Intercultural Relations 34:541-550.

  • Abstract: Applying a uses and gratifications and social identity gratifications approach, the present study explores Asian American television viewing. Specifically, Asian Americans report on the quantity of television they watch, what shows they watch, why they watch, and whether their uses are related to their perceptions of Caucasian vitality. The data reveal that using television for entertainment and to escape/relieve boredom were the most important television uses for this group of Asian Americans. At the same time, these two uses were significant predictors of how vital Asian Americans perceived Caucasians. Although selecting and avoiding television for ethnic identity gratifications were not important relative to other gratifications, television selection for identity gratifications was important to Asian Americans who highly identify with their ethnic group.

Haines, David A. and Karen E. Rosenblum. 2010. “Perfectly American: Constructing the Refugee Experience.” Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies 36:391-406.

  • Abstract: Over the last 60 years, the United States has accepted some two million refugees for resettlement. Standard opinion polls suggest that the American response to these refugees has been mixed. Yet, despite much ambivalence about particular refugees and where they may belong in the grid of American social and cultural categories, the notion of refuge and the imperative toward support and welcome to refugees endure. As an extended example, this paper considers press treatment of refugees in Richmond, Virginia during the last quarter of the twentieth century—before security concerns and surging numbers of illegal immigrants irrevocably changed the nature of American immigration. Unlike the ambivalent response that emerges in national opinion polls and some other venues, in this case the construction of refugees is neither negative nor ambivalent, but is instead solidly positive. This positive construction extends across a broad range of racial and national-origin groups and is conditioned by a peculiarly American notion of how refugees relate to broader American categories, particularly that of ‘immigrant’. In this local story from the United States lies a broader tale of how refugees are woven into the existing social and cultural categories of the countries in which they resettle.

Hwang, Sean-Shong, Juan Xi, and Yue Cao. 2010. “The Conditional Relationship Between English Language Proficiency and Earnings Among U.S. Immigrants.” Ethnic and Racial Studies 33:1620-1647.

  • Abstract: Using the 2000 US census data for immigrants of twenty language groups resided in metropolitan areas, we test the hypothesis that the rate of returns (in earnings) to English proficiency is not constant but varies with the language environment (as defined by group size, segregation, linguistic heterogeneity and inequality) in which immigrants are embedded. Results from our hierarchical model indicate that while an increase in the size and segregation of the language group diminishes returns to English proficiency, a rise in linguistic heterogeneity and inequality in the metropolitan area has the opposite effects. This study expands the scope of the previous studies by identifying conditions under which returns to English proficiency among immigrants are modified by a set of contextual factors often overlooked.

Kim, Wooksoo and Robert H. Keefe. 2010. “Barriers to Healthcare Among Asian Americans.” Social Work in Public Health 25:286-295.

  • Abstract: The myth of the well-adjusted Asian American resulted from sample-biased research studies that concluded that Asian Americans are physically healthier and financially better off than Caucasians. The myth has been perpetuated by researchers who have often categorized Asian Americans as a single, undifferentiated group rather than as distinct ethnic groups. Consequently, data analysis techniques do not reveal distinctions that may exist had the researchers controlled for ethnic group variation. The authors discussed four major barriers–language and culture, health literacy, health insurance, and immigrant status–to healthcare that may influence within-group disparities among Asian Americans that may go unreported. The authors argue that healthcare policy makers and researchers should consider Asian Americans as members of discrete ethnic groups with unique healthcare needs. Recommendations for health policies and future research are provided.

March 8, 2011

Written by C.N.

Academic Research: Globalized & Transnational Asian Communities

As part of this blog’s ongoing mission of making academic research and data more easily accessible, understandable, and applicable to a wider audience, and for readers who like to keep on top of the latest sociological research, I highlight new research and studies in academic journals about Asian Americans and other racial/ethnic groups as I hear about them. An article’s inclusion is for informational purposes only and does not necessarily mean a full endorsement of its complete contents.

The widely-respected Amerasia Journal has just released a special issue that focuses on globalized and diasporic Asian communities around the world:

GlobaLinks: Community Institutions & Practices Across Nations

GlobaLinks: Community Institutions & Practices Across Nations

The UCLA Asian American Studies Center Press announces Amerasia Journal’s latest issue: “GlobaLinks: Community Institutions & Practices across Nations.” Guest edited by Michel Laguerre and Joe Chung Fong, both of the Berkeley Center for Globalization and Information Technology, the special issue brings together research on globalized diasporic communities in the U.S. and Asia from scholars based throughout the Pacific Rim. The contributions to “GlobaLinks” provide new insights on Asian American spaces and places from a wide array of intellectual perspectives, including history, cultural anthropology, urban studies, sociology, ethnic studies, and political science.

“GlobaLinks” recognizes that Asian and Pacific American communities are no longer limited by their institutional identities within local boundaries or defined by their political, cultural, or economic activities within national borders alone. Amerasia has worked with our guest editors to put together a selection of studies which examine social phenomena such as the self-political identity of communities, trans-Pacific youth, banking, voting and political campaigns, and community cultural development.

At a conceptual and theoretical level, “GlobaLinks” urges scholars to rethink and reconsider what key terms such as globalization and transnationalism mean in light of rapidly changing Asian and Pacific American communities. In his introductory essay, for instance, Michel Laguerre coins the term “cosmonation” to make the case that the global and the local are mutually implicated in a complex network of relationships that is not “top-down” or hierarchical as a nation-oriented model of homeland and hostland is.

A number of the articles present thorough historical studies and painstaking fieldwork in local communities to explain how they are connected to larger global frameworks. Through a detailed account of the original Little Saigon in Orange County, Christian Collet and Hiroko Furuya examine the lived and imagined spaces of Little Saigons to reveal how these local diasporic sites have transformed conceptions of ethnic identity and nation. Shenglin Elijah Chang and Willow Lung Amam use the neologism “glocal” to address the global experiences and local placemaking that transnational Taiwanese youth participate in on both sides of the Pacific, in Silicon Valley and the high-tech suburb of Hsinchu in Taiwan. Elaborating on the relationship between economic matters of community development and ethnic cultural practices, Eric Estuar Reyes explores the cultural formations and spatial conceptions of Filipino American community in southern California.

Other selections describe how local immigrant communities must negotiate larger social structures, be they economic or local. Banking, for instance, is a particularly fruitful field of investigation for Joe Chung Fong, since it reflects the dynamics of global capital flows as well as the cultural practices of overseas ethnic populations at the local level of the neighborhood. James S. Lai brings politics front-and-center to the global-local concerns of Asian American Studies, focusing on Chinese American political strategies in two suburbs — Cupertino in Silicon Valley and Sugar Land in the Houston area — with populations that are transnational, multiethnic, and multiracial.

In addition, the issue features a tribute by Tritia Toyota to former UCLA Asian American Studies Center Director Lucie Cheng, a pioneering figure in transnational approaches to the field, and a commentary by Vinay Lal on the nuclear age and its global and individual scales. Film and book reviews discuss cultural representations of transnational Asian American experiences, including Lane Ryo Hirabayashi’s review of Shinpei Takeda’s documentary El México Más Cercano a Japon, Jinqi Ling’s review of Karen Tei Yamashita’s award-winning novel I Hotel, and Roshni Rustomji’s review of Saleem Peeradina’s poetry in Slow Dance. Together, the pieces collected in “GlobaLinks” challenge our thinking about the global and local in Asian American Studies.

This issue of Amerasia Journal costs $15.00 plus $5.00 for shipping and handling and 9.25 percent sales tax for California residents ($21.39). Make checks payable to “Regents of U.C.” Visa, MasterCard, and Discover are also accepted; include expiration date and phone number on correspondence. The mailing address is: UCLA Asian American Studies Center Press, 3230 Campbell Hall, UCLA, Los Angeles, CA 90095-1546.


February 24, 2011

Written by C.N.

Recent Dissertations on Asian Americans #2

To highlight the continuing growth and vitality of Asian American Studies, the following is a list of recent doctoral dissertation from scholars in the social sciences and humanities that focus on Asian Americans. As you can see, the diversity of research topics is a direct reflection of the dynamic and multidimensional nature of the Asian American population. Last but not least, congratulations to my new academic colleagues on being “Ph.inally D.one.”

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

We Will Not Be Moved: The Mobilization Against Southeast Asian American Detention and Deportation

Dao, Loan Thi (University of California, Berkeley)

  • Abstract: This project will discuss how deportation policies affecting Southeast Asians has catapulted a new generation of community leaders into positions of power in Southeast Asian American communities. The mobilization efforts of three community organizations in particular — CAAAV/YLP, KGA, and PrYSM — have challenged the dominant discourse of Southeast Asian American youth through their organizing and have traced a map for the Asian American movement in the 21st Century. This dissertation examines the organizing efforts of these core organizations in the Southeast Asian Freedom Network from its inception in August 2002 until December 2004.

    How does the shift in leadership and orientation to a Southeast Asian American emphasis affect change and continuity in Asian American social movements in this new historical period? The analysis of the collective identities, tactics, strategies, and cultural productions of these organizations illuminates a nascent era in Asian American movement that continues to challenge dominant narratives about racialized immigrant and refugee urban youth. I argue that the anti-detention and anti-deportation work of the Southeast Asian Freedom Network demonstrates the trajectory of Asian American social movement for several reasons. The impact of a new demographic of Asian American leaders to the movement in general is in itself significant.

    Between 2002-2004, working-class, urban refugee 1.5 to 2nd generation youth took leadership on a national scale in the political framing, strategizing and actions of deportation practice and policymaking. The deportation issue galvanized the Asian American community and Southeast Asian American organizations into the realization that a critical mass of new leaders had equipped themselves to meet the challenges of their peers in light of a power vacuum during a time of collective crisis. This research points to three main shifts in Asian American movements: (1) The conceptualization of an Asian American Left political position that re-aligns “anti-communist” and radical left ideologies; (2) The redistribution of power in effecting social change from legal and service professionals to working-class community members directly affected and with it, grassroots organizing tactics and strategies; (3) New cross-sectional alliances beyond ethnicity speak to the complicated identity formation of this new generation.

Politics Out of Trauma: Asian American Literature and the Subject Formation of Asian America

Kase, Yasuko (State University of New York, Buffalo)

  • Abstract: This dissertation unravels the complex relationships between trauma, politics, and the subject formation of Asian America in order to challenge the assumption that the subject’s experiences define the political grounds of representation. The category of Asian American, which was contrived during the civil rights movement, has never produced the homogeneous identity of Asian America as the cultural nationalists imagined. Asian America has repeatedly negotiated both its discrepancy from and interpellation into hegemonic (White) America.

    Traumatic events such as the Philippine-American War, World War II, the Vietnam War, the Los Angeles civil unrest in 1992, and 9/11 have altered the formations of nationhood that redefine the relations among Asia, the U.S., and Asian America. Writers such as Japanese Americans John Okada, Perry Miyake, and Karen Tei Yamashita, Filipino American Jessica Hagedorn, Korean American Nora Okja Keller, and Vietnamese Americans Lan Cao and le thi dien thuy directly or indirectly deal with these historical traumas. These writers’ texts challenge the homogeneous U.S. official memory of the traumatic events through their rewritings.

    This dissertation argues that trauma does not bring a crisis for minority politics by simply destroying the subject. Rather, it offers a dynamic chance to problematize the foundations of politics itself, which has naturalized a uniform subject as the enunciating site for political representation

With and Without the White Coat: The Racialization of Southern California’s Indian Physicians

Murti, Lata (University of Southern California)

  • Abstract: This study examines the role of occupational status in the racialization of Indian physicians in Southern California. Since the liberalization of U.S. immigration policy in 1965, the number of first and second-generation Indian doctors in the U.S. has grown to nearly seven percent of the nation’s physician workforce; however, Indians constitute less than one percent of the total U.S. population.

    Overrepresented in one of America’s most prestigious professions, Indians are more visible in U.S. medicine than in the U.S. at large. Previous scholarship in immigration research, Asian American Studies, and the sociology of occupations has paid little attention to these professional non-white immigrants and their racial experience in the U.S. Asian American Studies in particular has focused primarily on the racial-ethnic identity formation of economically disadvantaged non-white groups, under the assumption that professional Asian Americans’ class status and occupations in the sciences effectively shield them from racist harm and preclude their engagement in racial politics. This research shows that Indian doctors’ high occupational status and class privilege provide them only partial, situational protection from racism. They have what I call occupational citizenship — access to most of the same rights and privileges as whites only when perceived as being both professionally successful and economically beneficial to the U.S.

    They are clearly marked as occupational citizens during clinical interactions with patients, when they are in the white coat. But outside of this context, they are subject to racist treatment from colleagues, staff, health care institutions, and the general public. The particular forms of racism these doctors face, as well as how they interpret this racism, have as much to do with their gender, immigrant generation, and perception of others’ race and class, as with their own professional class status. These findings are based on fifty-two interviews with first and second generation Indian doctors in Southern California as well as participant observation at the monthly meetings of two regional Indian medical associations. I also observed seven Indian doctors at work, noting their interactions with patients, staff, and colleagues. Southern California represents an ideal case for understanding the racial formation of Indian physicians in the U.S. because of its large but dispersed population of established Indian physicians, and its overall diversity of race, ethnicity, and class.

Implicit and Explicit Racial Attitudes: Moderation of Racial Typicality Evaluations

Stepanova, Elena V. (Washington University in St. Louis)

  • Abstract: Previous research has shown that racial images representing more typical Afrocentric phenotypic characteristics result in more negative evaluations, whether assessed by explicit or implicit attitudes measures. However, the factors that define and moderate the perception of racial typicality have not been sufficiently explored. The current research investigated additive and interactive influences of skin tone and facial physiognomy on racial typicality evaluations, as well as the degree to which those effects were moderated by explicit and implicit racial attitudes, ethnicity of participants, and availability of cognitive resources.

    Using a 6-point scale ranging from very African American to very Caucasian, participants ( N = 250) judged faces varying on 10 levels of facial physiognomy (from very Afrocentric to very Eurocentric) and 10 levels of skin color (from very dark to very light). Additionally, time constraints were manipulated by having participants complete the racial typicality judgments three times–without a response deadline, with a deadline equal to their median response during the no-deadline condition, and with a deadline equal to their 25th percentile response during the no-deadline condition. Skin color and facial physiognomy interacted to influence racial typicality ratings, and this interaction was further qualified by the time constraint manipulation.

    Under time constraints, participants primarily relied on skin color when rating faces of extreme levels of facial physiognomy, whereas they relied on both skin color and facial physiognomy when rating faces of intermediate levels of facial physiognomy. Other results indicated that the relationship between skin color and participants’ ratings of racial typicality was stronger for those with higher implicit racial attitudes. European American and Asian American participants relied upon skin color more than African American participants, and African American participants relied upon facial physiognomy more than European American and Asian American participants. Conceptual, methodological and practical implications for race-relevant decisions are discussed.


July 29, 2010

Written by C.N.

Recent Dissertations on Asian Americans #1

To highlight the continuing growth and vitality of Asian American Studies, the following is a list of recent doctoral dissertation from scholars in the social sciences and humanities that focus on Asian Americans. As you can see, the diversity of research topics is a direct reflection of the dynamic and multidimensional nature of the Asian American population. Last but not least, congratulations to my new academic colleagues on being “Ph.inally D.one.”

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

  • U.S. Korean Youth’s Ideas and Experience of U.S. Education, U.S. Society, and U.S. History
    An, Sohyun (University of Wisconsin – Madison)
  • Sharuk and Shylock: The Creation of a South Asian American Aesthetic
    Bose, Neilesh (University of North Texas)
  • East Asian American Educational Pursuits: Examining Effects of Racial Barriers and Cultural Factors for College Students
    Chen, Yung-Lung (University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee)
  • Episodes in the Life of a Place: Regional Racial Formation in Los Angeles’s San Gabriel Valley
    Cheng, Wendy Hsin (University of Southern California)
  • The Experiences of Marriage and Family Therapists of Asian Descent and Their Perception of the Practice and Profession
    Chou, Liang-Ying (Syracuse University)
  • A Study of Success Characteristics of East Asian American Executives in Corporate America
    Coleman, BaoKim N. (Pepperdine University)
  • ‘Funny Asians’: Comedy and Humor in Asian American Literature, Film, and Popular Culture
    Hong, Caroline Kyung (University of California, Santa Barbara)
  • Identity Integration and Intergroup Bias in the Communication Behavior of Asian Americans
    Hsu, Ling-Hui (University of Texas at Austin)
  • South Asian American Youth Negotiate Ethnic Identities, Discrimination, and Social Class
    John, Jaicy M. (City University of New York)
  • Contextual Factors and Interest-Occupation Congruence in South Asian Americans’ Vocational Development
    Kantamneni, Neeta (University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee)
  • Cultural Influences on South Asian American Relationships
    Kapadia, Malika (Indiana University of Pennsylvania)
  • Socialization and Agency of Asian American Doctoral Students in Education: A Grounded Theory Study
    Kim, Jessica K. (University of Pennsylvania)
  • Understanding How Identity Supportive Games Can Impact Ethnic Minority Possible Selves and Learning: A Design-Based Research Study
    Lee, Joey J. (Pennsylvania State University)
  • The Career Adjustment of Asian American Males: Perceptions and Reflections of a Glass Ceiling in Corporate Finance
    Li-Liang, Robin (Fordham University)
  • Gender, Heterosexuality, Sexual Violence and Identity Among Heavy-Drinking White and Asian American College Students
    Luke, Katherine Pavelka (University of Michigan)
  • Development of the Preliminary East Asian Relationship Norm Scale: Factor Analysis, Reliability, and Validity
    Park, Yong Sue (University of California, Santa Barbara)
  • Parental Influences on Friendships of Low-Income Ethnically Diverse Adolescents: A Longitudinal Analysis of Adolescent Perspectives
    Mukherjee, Preetika (New York University)
  • Opinion Leadership for Ethnic Products Among Asians, Hispanics, and African Americans
    Richard, Levi (Alliant International University, San Diego)
  • The Immigration Generation: Nativity and the Political Socialization of Filipino and Vietnamese Americans
    Segui, Alan Serrano (University of California, Santa Barbara)
  • Help-Seeking Values and Attitudes of Indian-Born and American-Born Asian Indians in the United States
    Shah, Sejal M. (California Institute of Integral Studies)
  • Cultural Influences on Relationships and Well-Being: An Exploratory Study with South Asian American Adults
    Sobhan, Sabera (University of Houston)
  • Challenges and Privileges, Entanglement and Appropriation: Rhetorical Practices of Asian Americans from Hawai’i
    Tasaka, Robyn (Michigan State University)
  • Beyond the Railroad People: Race and the Color of History in Chinese America
    Thompson, Wendy Marie (University of Maryland, College Park)
  • Like White on Rice: Asianness, Whiteness, and Identity
    Wong Lowe, Anna (University of Oklahoma)
  • Grandparent Perspectives on Raising Their Grandchildren: Protection, Obligation, and Sense of Loss
    Wooten Thomas, Clara (La Sierra University)
  • An Exploration of Multidimensional Perfectionism, Academic Self-Efficacy, Procrastination Frequency, and Asian American Cultural Values in Asian American University Students
    Yao, Melissa P. (Ohio State University)
  • East Asian-American College Students’ Attitudes about and Interactions with African Americans
    Yee, Nicole S. (University of Maryland, Baltimore County)

January 26, 2010

Written by C.N.

Online Survey: Discrimination and Mental Health

Below is an announcement about a research project and online survey in need of Asian American respondents.

Seeking Volunteers for Online Survey Study

My name is Nellie Tran, and I am a psychology doctoral student at the University of Illinois at Chicago. I am conducting a study to understand experiences of discrimination, racial consciousness, and their effects on their mental health for Asian Americans. Your voice and experiences could contribute greatly to an understanding the experiences of different racial/ethnic groups and those of different generational statuses. If you are interested in completing the survey, please access the survey at the following link.


http://survey.qualtrics.com/SE?SID=SV_emsZjJxJJSZuBhy&SVID=Prod

Participation in this survey is voluntary and open to all individuals. The survey will take about 20-25 minutes to complete. You will be asked for an email address at the end of the survey in order to be entered into a random drawing for one $50 Amazon.com Gift Card. This research has been reviewed and approved by the University of Illinois at Chicago Institutional Review Board. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me at the information below. Thank you so much!

Looking forward to hearing from you,
Nellie Tran, M.A.
Doctoral Candidate, Psychology
University of Illinois at Chicago
Ntran2@uic.edu


December 16, 2009

Written by C.N.

Online Surveys: Marital Status and Same-Sex Parenting

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

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

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

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

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

University of Missouri Institutional Review Board Approval #1061098

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

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

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

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

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

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


September 4, 2009

Written by C.N.

New Books: Emerging Perspectives of Color

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.

The following two books connect history with the emerging 21st century from the point of view of African American and indigenous groups, respectively.

The End of White World Supremacy: Black Internationalism and the Problem of the Color Line, by Rod Bush (Temple University Press)

The End of White World Supremacy by Roderick Bush

The End of White World Supremacy explores a complex issue— integration of Blacks into White America—from multiple perspectives: within the United States, globally, and in the context of movements for social justice. Roderick Bush locates himself within a tradition of African American activism that goes back at least to W.E.B. Du Bois. In so doing, he communicates between two literatures—worldsystems analysis and radical Black social movement history—and sustains the dialogue throughout the book.

Bush explains how racial troubles in the U.S. are symptomatic of the troubled relationship between the white and dark worlds globally. Beginning with an account of white European dominance leading to capitalist dominance by White America, The End of White World Supremacy ultimately wonders whether, as Myrdal argued in the 1940s, the American creed can provide a pathway to break this historical conundrum and give birth to international social justice.

Indigenous Peoples and Globalization: Resistance and Revitalization, by Thomas Hall and James Fenelon (Paradigm Publishers)

Indigenous Peoples and Globalization by Hall and Fenelon

The issues native peoples face intensify with globalization. Through case studies from around the world, Hall and Fenelon demonstrate how indigenous peoples? movements can only be understood by linking highly localized processes with larger global and historical forces.

The authors show that indigenous peoples have been resisting and adapting to encounters with states for millennia. Unlike other anti-globalization activists, indigenous peoples primarily seek autonomy and the right to determine their own processes of adaptation and change, especially in relationship to their origin lands and community. The authors link their analyses to current understandings of the evolution of globalization.


August 12, 2009

Written by C.N.

New Books: White Privilege

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.

This time, I mention three books that focus on the issue of White privilege, an emotional but often misunderstood issue, particularly as it relates to White Americans, many (i.e., a large number but not all) of whom feel that when the topic is mentioned, they are being personally accused of being racist. As the following books describe in detail, it’s much more complicated than that and in fact, White privilege is rooted at the institutional level.

The White Racial Frame: Centuries of Racial Framing and Counter-Framing, by Joe Feagin (Routledge)

The White Racial Frame by Joe Feagin

In this book Joe R. Feagin extends the systemic racism framework in previous Routledge books by developing an innovative new concept, the white racial frame. Now four centuries-old, this white racial frame encompasses not only the stereotyping, bigotry, and racist ideology accented in other theories of “race,” but also the visual images, array of emotions, sounds of language, interlinking interpretations, and inclinations to discriminate that are still central to the frame’s everyday operation.

Deeply embedded in American minds and institutions, this white racial frame has for centuries functioned as a broad worldview, one essential to the routine legitimation, scripting, and maintenance of systemic racism in the United States. Here Feagin examines how and why this white racial frame emerged in North America, how and why it has evolved socially over time, which racial groups are framed within it, how it has operated in the past and in the present for both white Americans and Americans of color, and how the latter have long responded with strategies of resistance that include enduring counter-frames.

Between Barack and a Hard Place: Racism and White Denial in the Age of Obama, by Tim Wise (City Lights Publishers)

Between Barack and a Hard Place by Tim Wise

Wise, a white anti-racism activist and scholar (and author of White Like Me), pushes plenty of buttons in this methodical breakdown of racism’s place in the wake of Barack Obama’s victory. In the first of two essays, the author obliterates the canard of the US as a post-racial society; bigotry and institutionalized discrimination, he contends, have simply morphed into “Racism 2.0,” in which successful minorities are celebrated “as having ‘transcended’ their blackness in some way.”

While racial disparities in employment and income, housing, education and other areas persist, Obama has become an amiable sitcom dad like Bill Cosby, putting whites at ease by speaking, looking and acting “a certain way”-not to mention avoiding discussion of race. In his second, more incendiary essay, Wise concludes that whites must take responsibility for racism.

What the majority of whites fail to grasp, he says, is that they continue to benefit from a system of “entrenched privileges” centuries in the making, and that racism remains a serious obstacle for millions of African Americans. There’s no sugar coating here for whites, nor are there any news flashes for Americans of color, but Wise bravely enumerates the unpalatable truths of a nation still struggling to understand its legacy of racist oppression.

Silent Racism: How Well-Meaning White People Perpetuate the Racial Divide, by Barbara Trepagnier (Paradigm Publishers)

Silent Racism by Barbara Trepagnier

Vivid and engaging, Silent Racism persuasively demonstrates that silent racism – racism by people who classify themselves as not racist – is instrumental in the production of institutional racism. Trepagnier argues that heightened race awareness is more important in changing racial inequality than judging whether individuals are racist. The collective voices and confessions of non-racist; white women heard in this book help reveal that all individuals harbor some racist thoughts and feelings.

Trepagnier uses vivid focus group interviews to argue that the oppositional categories of racist/not racist are outdated. The oppositional categories should be replaced in contemporary thought with a continuum model that more accurately portrays today’s racial reality in the United States. A shift to a continuum model can raise the race awareness of well-meaning white people and improve race relations. Offering a fresh approach, Silent Racism is an essential resource for teaching and thinking about racism in the twenty-first century.

White Privilege: Essential Readings on the Other Side of Racism, by Paula S. Rothenberg (Worth Publishers)

White Privilege by Paula Rothenberg

Studies of racism often focus on its devastating effects on the victims of prejudice. But no discussion of race is complete without exploring the other side—the ways in which some people or groups actually benefit, deliberately or inadvertently, from racial bias. This is the subject of Paula Rothenberg’s groundbreaking anthology, White Privilege.

The new edition of White Privilege once again challenges readers to explore ideas for using the power and the concept of white privilege to help combat racism in their own lives, and includes key essays and articles by Peggy McIntosh, Richard Dyer, bell hooks, Robert Jensen, Allan G. Johnson, and others. Three additional essays add new levels of complexity to our understanding of the paradoxical nature of white privilege and the politics and economics that lie behind the social construction of whiteness, making this edition an even better choice for educators.

Brief, inexpensive, and easily integrated with other texts, this interdisciplinary collection of commonsense, non-rhetorical readings lets educators incorporate discussions of whiteness and white privilege into a variety of disciplines, including sociology, English composition, psychology, social work, women’s studies, political science, and American studies.


July 31, 2009

Written by C.N.

Online Survey: Career Decisions by Chinese Americans

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

Greetings. My name is William Nguyen, MA and I am a Ph. D Candidate at Alliant International University: CSPP. I am conducting a study that explores the beliefs, attitudes, and behaviors of Chinese American-identified undergraduate students attending a 2 or 4 year college/university in regards to their career decision-making process. I believe that the career theories currently in the literature fail to fully capture the Asian American experience and often neglect key facets of who we are: our culture, our experiences of acculturation, and the influence of honor and family.

If you are interested in participating, you will complete a 20 – 30 minute survey that asks you a myriad of questions related to your career decision-making process. All responses and identifying information will be kept confidential. As incentive for your participation, all participants that provide contact information will be entered in a raffle for either a $75, $50, or $25 gift card to Gap, Inc. (or any other department store of choice).

Should you have any questions about the research please contact: William Nguyen at wnguyen@alliant.edu. If you would like to participate, please click go to https://www.surveymonkey.com/s.aspx?sm=DQKGz8ZQQ58Uuyq4aROxvA_3d_3d. Also, if you are interested in receiving results to this study, please contact William Nguyen with that request. Thank you for your time and consideration.

In Peace,

William W. Nguyen, MA, Ph. D Candidate
Alliant International University: California School of Professional Psychology
San Francisco, CA


July 24, 2009

Written by C.N.

New Book: Multiracial Change in 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. As always, please remember that I highlight them for informational purposes only and do not necessarily endorse their entire content or arguments.

Twenty-First Century Color Lines: Multiracial Change in Contemporary America, edited by Andrew Grant-Thomas and Gary Orfield (Temple University Press)

The result of work initiated by the Harvard Civil Rights Project, this collection provides an excellent overview of the contemporary racial and ethnic terrain in the United States. The well-respected contributors to “Twenty-First Century Color Lines” combine theoretical and empirical perspectives, answering fundamental questions about the present and future of multiracialism in the United States:

  • How are racial and ethnic identities promoted and defended across a spectrum of social, geopolitical and cultural contexts?
  • What do two generations of demographic and social shifts around issues of race look like ‘on the ground?’
  • What are the socio-cultural implications of changing demographics in the U.S.?
  • And what do the answers to these questions portend for our multiracial future?

This illuminating book addresses issues of work, education, family life and nationality for different ethnic groups, including Asians and Latinos as well as African Americans and Whites. Such diversity, gathered here in one volume, provides new perspectives on ethnicity in a society marked by profound racial transformations.

The contributors include: Luis A. Aviles, Juan Carlos Martinez-Cruzado, Nilanjana Dasgupta, Christina Gomez, Gerald Gurin, Patricia Gurin, Anthony Kwame Harrison, Maria-Rosario Jackson, John Matlock, Nancy McArdle, John Mollenkopf, John A. Powell, Doris Ramirez, David Roediger, Anayra Santory-Jorge, Jiannbin Lee Shiao, Mia H. Tuan, Katrina Wade-Golden and the editors.