The views and opinions expressed on this site and blog posts (excluding comments on blog posts left by others) are entirely my own and do not represent those of any employer or organization with whom I am currently or previously have been associated.
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.
You might be interested to read the following posts from October of years past:
2009: Asian American Students Acting Like Idiots A fight and arrests of Asian American students at a party hosted by the Lambda Phi Epsilon fraternity brings up troubling questions of race, hyper-masculinity, and accountability.
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.
To complement my earlier post on recent studies on the second generation, another special issue from an academic journal focuses on issues related to social justice and activism among Asian Americans: “Asian American and Pacific Islander Population Struggles for Social Justice” in the journal Social Justice: A Journal of Crime, Conflict, and World Order (2008-2009, Volume 35 Issue 2):
This issue of Social Justice offers an overview of the struggle for social justice in the United States by Asian and Pacific Islanders, including the factors that shape oppositional consciousness and the possibility for collective action. Authors address Asian American activism in urban communities — particularly traditional Asian ethnic enclaves — around land use, affordable housing, as well as labor and community preservation.
Articles address grass-roots efforts to launch an anti-drug offensive, an environmental justice and leadership skills organization, to develop tools for Muslim women of South Asian descent to fight anti-Islamic sentiment, to confront the marginalization and stereotyping of Asian Americans in popular culture, to critique the racial differentiation of the Asian and Latino immigrant populations, and to expose how the model minority myth reinforces established inequities and places second-generation Asian Americans within a precarious, defensive dilemma in which they must constantly prove their worth as “real” Americans regardless of their legal citizenship status.
Adalberto Aguirre, Jr., and Shoon Lio: “Spaces of Mobilization: The Asian American/Pacific Islander Struggle for Social Justice”
Michael Liu and Kim Geron: “Changing Neighborhood: Ethnic Enclaves and the Struggle for Social Justice
Jinah Kim: “Immigrants, Racial Citizens, and the (Multi)Cultural Politics of Neoliberal Los Angeles”
Diane C. Fujino: “Race, Place, Space, and Political Development: Japanese-American Radicalism in the “Pre-Movement” 1960s”
May Fu: “‘Serve the People and You Help Yourself’”: Japanese-American Anti-Drug Organizing in Los Angeles, 1969 to 1972″
Bindi Shah: “The Politics of Race and Education: Second-Generation Laotian Women Campaign for Improved Educational Services”
Etsuko Maruoka: “Wearing ‘Our Sword’: Post-September 11 Activism Among South Asian Muslim Women Student Organizations in New York”
Lisa Sun-Hee Park: “Continuing Significance of the Model Minority Myth: The Second Generation”
Meera E. Deo, Christina Chin, Jenny J. Lee, Noriko Milman, and Nancy Wang Yuen: “Missing in Action: ‘Framing’ Race in Prime-Time Television”
The San Francisco Chronicle has an article and commentary by Jeff Yang about the current state of Asian Americans trying to achieve stardom on television:
The CBS sitcom “King of Queens” takes place in a region of New York where one out of five people is Asian, yet none of the regular or recurring characters is Asian American. You won’t find any of Orange County’s half a million Asians on Fox’s “The OC.” And though the WB’s “Charmed” is set in San Francisco, the three witchy Halliwell sisters seem mysteriously oblivious to the fact that a third of the city’s population — the Asian third — has magically vanished.
In fact, although Asian Americans make up about five percent of the U.S. population, we represent just 2.7 percent of all regularly appearing characters on prime-time TV and have only a handful of the starring or recurring roles in television’s traditional staple commodities: dramas and situation comedies. Oddly enough, hope has come from an unlikely source: reality TV, which has offered a backdoor means for some of Asian America’s most dynamic talents and, uh, colorful personalities to finally find a spotlight on the world’s biggest stage.
On ABC’s breakout reality hit “Dancing with the Stars,” Carrie Ann Inaba was showcased as one of three professional judges evaluating the fancy footwork of celebs like Evander Holyfield, “Seinfeld”‘s John O’Hurley and “General Hospital”‘s Kelly Monaco. And NBC’s much-buzzed-about new reality program “Three Wishes” features Diane Mizota as one of its three “angels,” who travel across small-town America, making dreams come true.
Yang notes that ironically, the one Asian American personality who’s been able to achieve the most fame and stardom is actually the dreaded William Hung — a pretty depressing thought. Yang’s article also gives a nice breakdown of some of the most notable Asian Americans who have appeared on reality TV in recent years and what they’re doing now. So I guess we’ll just have to keep doing what we’ve been doing — doing the best we can given the opportunities we have, and at the same time, trying our best to open our own doors.