AAPI Nexus: Special Issue on Asians in the Anglo-sphere

“Abstracts for “Special Issue on Asians in the Anglo-sphere”
Volume 15, Numbers 1 & 2, Fall 2017

Asian Canadian Studies as an Emancipatory Project
By Rob Ho and Christopher Lee

Abstract: With the rise in global neoliberalism and right-wing populism, higher education in Canada is at the forefront of the battleground for racial equality, multiculturalism, and diversity efforts. This essay argues for the importance of Asian Canadian Studies (ACS) as a means to combat ongoing manifestations of racism and racialization in the academy. We examine the necessity of ACS as an emancipatory project—its objectives and the challenges it faces. There are currently three existing ACS programs in Canada, and we will focus in particular on the University of British Columbia’s Asian Canadian and Asian Migration Studies Program as an illustrative example of how to promote social justice and civil rights in Canadian higher education. The importance of ACS and its effectiveness are discussed in the context of university settings.

The Changing Face of Pakistani Migration to the United Kingdom
By Renee Reichl Luthra and Lucinda Platt

Abstract: This article brings together a range of data sources to chart cohort change in the human capital characteristics of Pakistani immigrants to the United Kingdom over the last fifty years. We demonstrate how restrictions on labor migration and family reunification have transformed
characteristics of new arrivals while still maintaining some elements of chain migration patterns. Despite these changes, we note substantial consistency in the sociocultural characteristics of Pakistani-origin U.K. residents across cohorts, specifically in identity, religiosity, and social networks. We reflect on the implications of these patterns of change and continuity.

Talent Selection and the Reshaping of Asian North America
By Calvin N. Ho

Abstract: Policies that admit immigrants based on their education have dramatically reshaped the demographics of the United States and Canada. In the mid-1960s, facing pressures to open their borders to non-Europeans, both countries replaced previous policies of racial and nationality discrimination with new systems of socioeconomic discrimination. These policies explain the growth of Asian immigration from the 1970s onward, as well as the high levels of education among Asian immigrants and their descendants. Refugees and family migrants, however, added socioeconomic diversity. Recent developments in skilled immigrant selection programs will continue to shape Asian American and Asian Canadian demographics in the future.

South Asian Migration, Settlement, and Sociopolitical Incorporation on the North American West Coast
By Prema Kurien

Abstract: There are large South Asian settlements in the larger Vancouver region of British Columbia in Canada and in Northern and Central California (from Yuba City to Fresno) in the United States. While the early migration patterns of Sikhs and Hindus to these two areas were similar, they subsequently diverged and the South Asian settlements in the two regions now exhibit very different profiles. This resource paper summarizes and analyzes the literature on factors shaping the migration, settlement, and incorporation patterns of Asian immigrants in these two regions. I argue that the parallels in early South Asian migration patterns to the North American West Coast were due to similarities in the economic and social profile of these regions, Canadian and U.S. policies toward Asian immigrants, and easy movement between Canada and the United States. The divergence between the two regions took place over time largely as an outcome of changes in regional characteristics (e.g., the development of Silicon Valley), differences in the group characteristics and networks of Sikhs and Hindus, and an increasing divergence in Canadian and U.S. immigration regulations (e.g., differences in family reunification, refugee, and H1-B visa policies). The final section discusses how these settlement patterns have led to differences in the identity formation and sociopolitical incorporation of Sikhs and Hindus in the two regions.

The Political Representation of Asian-Australian Populations since the End of White Australia
By Jen Tsen Kwok and Juliet Pietsch

Abstract: The racial and ethnic landscape in Australia has changed markedly since the beginning of the postwar migration period in which migrants arrived from Europe, and later from Asia in the late 1970s. While Australians with European ancestry have gradually made it into state and federal parliament, there has been less visibility for Australians of Asian descent. This article provides an overview of demographic migration trends and levels of Asian-Australian political representation in state and federal politics, drawing on data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics and parliamentary websites. In doing so, we reflect on why political representation of Asian-Australian populations appears to be lagging so far behind.

Who Are “Chinese” Speakers in the United States?: Examining Differences in Socioeconomic Outcomes and Language Identities
By North Cooc and Genevieve Leung

Abstract: Calls to disaggregate data on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPIs) overlook heterogeneity in experiences and outcomes within AAPI subgroups. Using national data from the American Community Survey, this study examines socioeconomic differences among Chinese
Americans in terms of language identity. The results indicate the most frequently identified home languages among Chinese speakers are Formosan, Mandarin, Cantonese, and simply “Chinese.” The groups differ in representation depending on state residency and citizenship, while Cantonese speakers have the lowest levels of English proficiency and educational attainment. The strongest predictor of each language group is birthplace. The study has implications for serving disadvantaged and overlooked Chinese American subpopulations in the United States.