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Aspects of the Asian American Experience

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Autor:   •  November 12, 2017  •  Essay  •  1,047 Words (5 Pages)  •  226 Views

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Asian Americans, who are a category created by the American government, although it did not begin to use the term until the latter decades of the twentieth century (Le), have experienced a wider variety of discrimination than any other people. This is not to say that they are the most discriminated against or the most disadvantaged. Native Americans and African Americans have endured and continue to endure a greater and deeper denial of rights. For the most part, large numbers of Asian Americans, and absolute majorities of some discrete ethnic groups, have achieved middle-class status. However, with income inequality surging, the middle class is disappearing into the chasm of poverty. The separate history of Asian Americans is worth noting both for its own sake and to emphasize an important but often ignored fact: racism in the United States has not been bi-chromatic, a matter of black and white, but multi-chromatic, a matter of red, black, yellow, brown and white (Ling, Rosenberger).

Strengths and Weaknesses

Being an Asian American between White Privilege and Black Disadvantage in the United States has many advantages and disadvantages, and sometimes this line of separation is not always clear. It’s no secret that Asian-Americans are disproportionately stars in American schools, and even in American society as a whole. Asian Americans are the best-educated and fastest-growing racial group in the United States. They are more satisfied than the general public with their lives, finances and the direction of the country, and they place more value than other Americans do on marriage, parenthood, hard work and career success (Park) Asian Americans also earn much more than the general populace: $74,105 in median income versus $53,657, according to the US Census Bureau’s 2014 American Community Survey (Le). However, numbers only tell half of the story.

The highly profiled Asian Americans have not been spared of racism. Asian Americans have been subject to discrimination racism, racial profiling, stereotypes and group definition for many years. Despite the fact that Asian Americans are the most educated citizens of United States, there are very few Asians in top management positions. There are artificial barriers that have been created to ensure people from some given ethnic origins do not access the top-most management positions. When Asian Americans receive higher positions in the work force they do so by facing scrutiny and are subject to discrimination; they are used as scapegoat. As a result, many Asians Americans, my Vietnamese relatives included, have opted to be in self employment because of: labor market discrimination, ethnic resources, structural opportunities, and class resources. Self employment enables Asian American to gain a sense of personal autonomy they are very much denied in the work force (Park, Ling).

Social, Economic and Political Factors

Describing social and economic inequality within the Asian American community is difficult. Depending on how “Asian American” is defined, there are twenty to thirty cultures, countries of origin, and a wide range of identities and circumstances that influence economic and social well-being. It is almost presumptuous to attempt to categorize such a diverse collection of identities as one group. Basically, the group of Asian Americans is a very diverse population with very diverse needs (. When it comes to politics, the ability to have a say in the workings of government, either as an elected official or as a voter, is a powerful empowerment tool fostered by American society. Asian Americans are the fastest growing ethnic population in the United States, yet the community’s political strength has yet to be fully realized. The stereotype of Asian Americans as a “model minority,” meaning that they achieved the American Dream through hard work rather than political confrontation, has obscured the continuing barriers that prevent Asian Americans from participating effectively as candidates or as voters (Perry).

As for the socioeconomic status of Asian Americans


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