Asian American especially the second generation immigrants struggle up-to-date in corresponding between their cultural ideas with the stress of conforming to the American cultural society. Starting from religion, language, cultural features, and racial lines to ancestral structures, Asian American culture has had a huge impact both on them and America as a nation. Thus, this analysis explores how different ethnic experiences among Asian Americans played different roles in the formation of Asian American ethnicity, addressing key societal issues such as racial stereotyping, media racism, affirmative action, the glass ceiling, the “model minority” syndrome, and anti-Asian harassment or violence in America.
Ethnicity is usually understood as having a genealogical trace in opposition to the assumption that it is timeless, naturally occurring and unchanging (Bonus 78).Asian Americans is a classification of ethnic groups composed of Japanese American, Filipino American, Chinese American, Vietnamese American and South Asian American. Actually, all Asian Americans are assumed to be fundamentally immigrants. For instance, the bigger recorded pattern of figuring minorities as the focal “other” to American originations of whiteness further strengthens the incongruence of second-era Asian Americans into the ethnic American model (Medscape 1). Thus, even those born in America are barely considered Americans because of that tendency. For example, the tendency to associate all Asian Americans as refugees does not do justice to them especially for many southEast Asian and south Asian groups’ differential assimilation into or resistance against the U.S society.
There were exclusion and ethnic enclaves both to Asians Americansin the country and those that escaped during the exclusion Act 1965 and Page of 1875 which remained excluded in the mainstreams of the United States. Asian Americans were the main targets of official discrimination because they were considered lowly skilled hence their low wages. The Chinese Exclusion Act of 1865 denied the Chinese entry into the United States only because of their origin. It is unfortunate that some Chinese who came to work or study were barred from settling in the United States forcing them to go back to their homes or even being slaves in America. Actually, Chinese were converted into a racially coerced labor that came to be a crucial part of capitalism growth, especially in California.Thus, to some extent, Asian ethnic enclaves are considered both a product of racial and national identity (Wing, 2005). Generally, ethnic identification among Asian American increased negative effects of discrimination and their well-being. In addition to exclusion laws, Asians Americans experience unique forms of race-related stress like socio-historical racism, general racism and perpetual foreigner racism (Iwamoto and Liu 4). For instance, a good example of perpetual foreign racism is the notion that Asian Americans speak poor English even if they are born in the United States.
Some Asian Americans like Japanese are attributed to ethnic enterprise and ethnic solidarity. Japanese tend to be lucky mainly on the basis of historical coincidence (Wing, 2005). For example, it is a coincidence that when the Japanese were entering the United States, Agricultural irrigation was at the peak. Therefore, it opened for them a good chance to shift from their grain cultivation to fruits and vegetable growing. Thus, it happened so fast that the value of the crops rose too high from 4 percent to 50 percent at the time in California. With the new technology and railway invention, they were able to sell their products almost everywhere in the United States.
Asians Americans struggle to maintain what is barely referred to as ethnicization by some scientists and historians through media, music, drama art and other creative arts. Asian Americans playwrights and artists have produced plays on how thousands of Chinese, for example, arrived in the US becoming a threat to American citizens. Soon as they arrived, the owners considered thema threat forcing them to come up with the exclusion Act law of 1882 that barred more immigration of Asians and naturalization of Chinese laborers and their wives. The exclusion Acts were destructive to Chinese composition as Asian laborers were banned only allowing students, merchants, and wives from entering in United states.In fact, some artists emphasize on personal experiences as a reflection on both their historical and cultural experiences.The first generation of Asian America Immigrants parents sacrificed a lot to maintain their culture. In specific, Asian American authors and artists have explored issues directly faced by Asians. A consistent creative expression in music, arts and music are a show of representativeness and change of group consciousness of an ongoing process of affinity creation and transformation. (Bonus 80).For instance, a lot of literature works tackles the challenges of race, discrimination, exclusion and dreams achieved and differed during immigration period. Lastly, according to a YouTubevideo, children of Asians American immigrants made a shocking revelation about the sacrifices their parents made because of them (Boldly, YouTube). Some rejected their parents in front of their allies because of their skin color and other ethnicity lines.
Generally, Asian Americans identity means a lot to foreign Asian Americans than American born Asians. However, they collectively struggle to preserve their social norms and traditions or any other mechanism that bonds them and keeps them lively. For example, in regard to food and holidays, Asians Americans tend to put more emphasis on them. Therefore, this attracts a positive mental health among Asian Americans. Another point of concern in regard to Asian Americans is cultural heritage. In addition, “Asian Americans are the highest-income, best-educated and fastest-growing racial group in the United States. They place more value than other Americans do on marriage, parenthood, hard work and career success” (Pew Research Center, 2012). Asian Americans believe in the spirit of hard work. For them, they believe in rewarding hard work more than other Americans do. Pew Research suggests that “Asian Americans have a pervasive belief in the rewards of hard work. Nearly seven-in-ten (69%) say people can get ahead if they are willing to work hard, a view shared by a somewhat smaller share of the American public as a whole (58%). And fully 93% of Asian Americans describe members of their country of origin group as “very hardworking”; just 57% say the same about Americans as a whole.”
The glass ceiling, especially in the tech industries, is another point of concern as far as Asian American is gone. For example, huge tech organizations like Google and Yahoo have a good number of Asian Americans but they are barely represented in higher positions. Therefore, it means that Asian Americans have been experiencing some limits that they cannot go beyond especially in this field. In addition, is the “model minority” syndrome that is commonly associated with Asian Americans. Thus, this stereotype has been used as an impediment that some racial labels favor them as well as flattering them. Thus, Asian Americansare known as a group of individuals that work hard, highly responsible and educative. Therefore, the image of “model minority” syndrome tends to cause some havoc, especially for Asian American students. For example, students have difficulties in seeking aid from their fellow students or their teachers. This notion of “model minority” causes social isolation causing them to perform far worse in education. Therefore, this pressures Asian Americans to downplay instances of racial harassment. In conclusion, ethnicity among Asian Americans has played significant roles from discrimination, racial stereotypes, and affirmative actions to anti-Asian harassment.
- Bonus, Rick. Locating Filipino Americans: Ethnicity and the Cultural Politics of Space. Philadelphia, Pa: Temple Univ. Press, 2000. Print.
- Boldly. “Children of Asians Reveal the Sacrifices their parents made.” Youtube, uploaded by Boldly, 16 Jun 2015.
- PewResearchcenter.“The Rise of Asian Americans.”Social & Demographic Trends 19June. 2012
- Winfield, Harvey . (Jun, 6 2016). “The Professional Burdens of Being a “ Model Minority”, 6 May. 2016,
- Wing, Bob. “Crossing Race and Nationality.” The Racial Formation of Asian Americans,Monthly Review 1852-1956.vol.57, no 7, December 2005.