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Understanding Our Perceptions of Asian Americans

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Understanding Our Perceptions of Asian Americans
1. Part I. Summary: A short summary of the reading.
2. Part II Analysis: Your analysis that includes the following:
a. What are the main points?
b. What is the most interesting thing that you learned?
c. Is there anything that you do not like or do not agree with?
3. Part III. Questions: Develop two discussion questions. This is where
you will list at least TWO discussion questions that challenge the
ideas presented in the readings  An overview essay on Asian Americans, including identity
issues (perceptions and misperceptions, use of terminology,
understanding demographics, and the extreme diversity
contained within the term.
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The Chinese-speaking,
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ARTICLE
Understanding Our
Perceptions of Asian
Americans
(/education/understandi
our-perceptionsasian-americans)
An overview on Asian
American identity,
demographics,
What are you looking for? Searc
Cente
for Glo
Educat
PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT EDUCATOR RESOURCES OUR IDEAS ABOUT
VISIT US HONG KONG (/HONG-KONG) NEW YORK (/NEW-YORK) TEXAS (/TEXAS) GLOBAL NETWORK AUSTRALIA (/AUSTRALIA)
INDIA (/INDIA) JAPAN (/JAPAN) KOREA (/KOREA) NORTHERN CALIFORNIA (/NORTHERN-CALIFORNIA) PHILIPPINES (/PHILIPPINES)
SHANGHAI (/SHANGHAI) SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA (/SOUTHERN-CALIFORNIA) SWITZERLAND (/SWITZERLAND)
WASHINGTON, DC (/WASHINGTON-DC)
2/28/2019 Understanding Our Perceptions of Asian Americans | Asia Society
https://asiasociety.org/education/understanding-our-perceptions-asian-americans 2/7
A waitress asked: “Where are you from?” I
told her my great-grandfather came to work
the mines in New Mexico. My grandfather
was a tailor in Oakland and my mother was
born in Stockton. And the waitress
interrupted and without any hesitation said:
“So how do you like your new country?” — a
Chinese American attorney
He asked the price of beef. Then he said:
“You Koreans charge too much.” My brother
said: “I’m not Korean, I’m Cambodian.” But
he’s mad. He says: “You Koreans rip us
off.”— a Cambodian-born store owner
The growth and diversification of the Asian American
population in recent years has been nothing short of
phenomenal. Driven by sustained immigration and refugee
resettlement during the 1970s and 1980s, Asian Americans
have emerged as the nation’s fastest growing racial group.
Given that the school-age Asian American population
doubled in the 1980s and is expected to double again
between 1990 and 2020, our schools and the larger society
must confront some critical questions. For example, what
do we know and what can we teach and learn about Asian
Americans?
Asian Americans number more than 12.5 million (in 2001) in
the United States and represent more than thirty different
nationalities and ethnic groups, including Samoan, Tongan,
Guamanian, and native Hawai’ian from the Pacific Islands;
Lao, Hmong, Mien, Vietnamese, Cambodian, Thai,
Burmese, Malay, and Filipinos from Southeast Asia;
Pakistani, Bangladeshi, Indian, and Sri Lankan from South
Asia; Afghani and Iranian from Central Asia; and Korean,
Japanese, and Chinese from East Asia. In 2000, the three
largest Asian nationalities in the United States were
Chinese, Filipinos, and Asian Indians. The diversity of Asian
Americans, in terms of their various languages, cultures,
and histories is remarkable.
perceptions, and
misperceptions.
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to tell us. Here’s what
they said.
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Asian Pacific
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(Complete)
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A special town hall
event discusses issues
faced by Asian Pacific
VISIT US HONG KONG (/HONG-KONG) NEW YORK (/NEW-YORK) TEXAS (/TEXAS) GLOBAL NETWORK AUSTRALIA (/AUSTRALIA)
INDIA (/INDIA) JAPAN (/JAPAN) KOREA (/KOREA) NORTHERN CALIFORNIA (/NORTHERN-CALIFORNIA) PHILIPPINES (/PHILIPPINES)
SHANGHAI (/SHANGHAI) SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA (/SOUTHERN-CALIFORNIA) SWITZERLAND (/SWITZERLAND)
WASHINGTON, DC (/WASHINGTON-DC)
2/28/2019 Understanding Our Perceptions of Asian Americans | Asia Society
https://asiasociety.org/education/understanding-our-perceptions-asian-americans 3/7
Furthermore, within a single nationality, there are significant
differences in regional dialect, religion, class background,
educational level, and political perspective as well as
distinctions based on generation, gender, and lifestyle
orientation. Two Filipinos, for example, may have to
communicate with each other in English because one’s
native language is Tagalog while the other’s is Ilocano. In a
group of Chinese, one may have come from rural China,
another from cosmopolitan Hong Kong, a third from wartorn Vietnam, a fourth from Jamaica, and a fifth from Ohio—
each with obviously distinct stories to share. Among three
South Asian Indians, one may be a granddaughter of early
Sikh immigrant farmworkers in California, another may be a
university-educated Hindu who came to the United States
originally as a foreign student, and the third may be a
Guyanese-born store owner in Mississippi who attends a
Baptist church.
Other factors also contribute to the diversity and complexity
of the Asian American population, including the high rates of
interracial marriage among some Asian groups who now
have growing numbers of biracial/multiracial Asian
American and Amerasian children. Furthermore, thousands
of Asian children, particularly from Korea, have been
adopted by families in the United States who may not be
Asian American themselves. One may see, for example, a
recently arrived Vietnamese Amerasian teenager who looks
just like his African American father but speaks only
Vietnamese or a Korean adoptee who may look obviously
Asian but might be named Susan Williams.
There are critical distinctions between refugees and
immigrants. Refugees are recognized as people who have
been forced to leave their homelands because of wellfounded fears or threats of persecution due to their
background—their religious or political affiliation, for
example. Refugees have typically suffered severe trauma,
lost family members, and languished in refugee camps
before coming to the United States. Unlike many
immigrants, refugees leave their homelands without hopes
or plans to return again.
Americans across the
political spectrum.
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George Takei, Daniel
Mayeda, Janet Yang,
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discuss the issues
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Asia Society Global
Talent Initiatives
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VISIT US HONG KONG (/HONG-KONG) NEW YORK (/NEW-YORK) TEXAS (/TEXAS) GLOBAL NETWORK AUSTRALIA (/AUSTRALIA)
INDIA (/INDIA) JAPAN (/JAPAN) KOREA (/KOREA) NORTHERN CALIFORNIA (/NORTHERN-CALIFORNIA) PHILIPPINES (/PHILIPPINES)
SHANGHAI (/SHANGHAI) SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA (/SOUTHERN-CALIFORNIA                                                                                                                                
 
 

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