Category Archives: Abstracts

Abstract: Intersections of Education

AAPI Nexus: Intersections of Education Volume 8, Number 1 Spring 2010 Abstracts

How Do Pacific Islanders Fare in U.S. Education? : A Look Inside Washington State Public Schools with a Focus on Samoans
By: Shirley Hune and Jeomja Yeo

ABSTRACT: This study examines demographic and educational characteristics of Pacific Islander students in Washington State’s public schools, with a focus on Samoans. Using statewide and Seattle Public Schools data, it uncovers disparities that hinder high school completion and college attendance. Findings suggest that Pacific Islander students in Washington are at a great disadvantage with lower levels of academic performance and school engagement. Samoans perceive discrimination, an uncaring school climate, and generational conflicts as major obstacles to their educational fulfillment. Disaggregated data for Pacific Islanders and case studies of their ethnic groups using qualitative methods provide a more accurate picture of their educational experiences.

State-Mandated Language Classification: A Study of Hmong American Students’ Access to College- Preparatory Curricula
By: Yang Sao Xiong

ABSTRACT: Language minority students, many of whom come from low socioeconomic backgrounds, confront multiple obstacles to academic success and advancement. Yet the intersection between language minority students’ K-12 experiences and their potential to obtain higher education remains understudied. This paper examines how a set of institutional processes and practices— state-mandated classification, testing, and tracking—operates to systematically limit language minority students’ access to college-preparatory curricula. Using data from interviews, this study investigates Hmong American high school and college students’ experiences in English language development and mainstream academic tracks, as well as their perceptions regarding access to college preparatory courses. The evidence suggests that students tracked in English Language Development curricula not only have limited access to key resources, such as college preparatory courses, but also hold lower aspirations about college, compared to those who are in college preparatory tracks. The limitations of this study and implications for future research are discussed.

Model Minority, Model for Whom?: An Investigation of Asian American Students in Science/Engineering
By: Yingyi Ma

ABSTRACT: This study examines the attainment of the bachelor’s degrees in science and engineering among Asian American students, including those who are immigrant children and children with immigrant parents. Using data from National Education Longitudinal Studies: 1988-2000, this study finds that Asian Americans have the highest rate of expectation for majoring in natural science and engineering. After they attend college, they have the highest rate of persistence. Drawing from Bourdieu’s theory of cultural capital and habitus, this article finds that Asian American students are disadvantaged in cultural capital compared with other racial groups from the similar socioeconomic backgrounds, and they tend to formulate certain negative self-perceptions associated with their inclination towards science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields. These findings provide further evidence to challenge the model minority thesis, which suggests the choice and the attainment of STEM degrees by Asian American youth is entirely a success story.

Pin@y Educational Partnerships: A Counter-Pipeline to Create Critical Educators
By: Allyson Tintiangco-Cubales, Roderick Daus-Magbual, and Arlene Daus-Magbual

ABSTRACT: This practitioners’ essay is about the programmatic and pedagogical development of Pin@y Educational Partnerships (PEP), a collaborative teacher pipeline that spans kindergarten to the doctoral level. As a “counter-pipeline,” PEP has been able to “grow our own” critical educators and provide a more critical and socially engaged education for all of its students. Since the fall of 2001, PEP has grown to provide services at five public schools with over forty teacher apprentices. This essay aims to provide PEP’s story as a resource for academics and practitioners in the hopes that more partnerships between the university, schools, and the community can be built to address the inequities and gaps that are prevalent in education, especially in the experiences of youth of color.

Abstract: Higher Education

AAPI Nexus: Higher Education Volume 7, Number 2 Fall 2009 Abstracts

“Not in Your Backyard!”: A Community Struggle for the Rights of Immigrant Adult Education in San Francisco’s Chinatown
By: L. Ling-chi Wang

ABSTRACT: This article is a case study of a protracted struggle to establish a branch campus of the San Francisco Community College in Chinatown for thousands of immigrants and working-class adults, focusing mostly on the period since 1997 when the community was slowly politicized and mobilized to fight for their educational rights. Although educational researchers continue to pay close attention to Asian American fights against discriminatory admission policies among the nation’s top colleges and universities, an urgent need to pay more scholarly and political attention to the neediest, poorest, and powerless among Asian Americans clearly exists. To this segment of the Asian American population, access to community college education is a matter of acquiring tools of survival in America. The study illustrates the equal significance of race and class in understanding the development of Asian American communities, how each can be used to obfuscate or disguise the other, and how both can be easily obscured by other issues, especially “progressive” issues or organizations. Asian American community activists and scholars need to pay more attention to class and class conflict with the communities and between the communities and the mainstream society.

Retention and Matriculation Obstacles and Opportunities for Southeast Asian Community College Transfer Students
By: Richard L. Wagoner and Anthony S. Lin

ABSTRACT: This qualitative case study of twenty Southeast Asian students at a flagship public research university suggests that it is illogical to view them as the “model minority” so often described in the literature. Their experience is not the same as that of students from other Asian ethnicities. They struggle with similar issues that challenge other students who come from lower socioeconomic backgrounds. However, the students in this study did discuss two issues that might be more unique to them: immigrant status and the importance of the ethnically based student organization as a means of support and belonging.

“Greasy Grinds” and “Quasi-Robots:” Rhetoric of Exclusions against Jewish and Asian American Students in American Universities
By: Jillian Liesemeyer

ABSTRACT: This study examines the historical comparison between exclusionary quotas against Jewish students in American universities and the recent similarities with the controversy over Asian American enrollment. Through an analysis of historical discourse from within the administration, in the public realm, and from students, parallels are seen between the two incidents. With a more complete understanding of the historical trends in exclusionary practices in universities, policymakers can recognize the current controversy with Asian American enrollment and take on the problem at the source.

AAPIs in the College Access Debate: A Case of Generational and Communication Gaps in the AAPI Education Agenda
By: Oiyan A. Poon

ABSTRACT: Through the presentation of a case study, this resource article argues for the establishment of a national, comprehensive Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) education organization to facilitate communication among educators, students, and community and institutional leaders in order to develop an education policy agenda based on community interests and research. It presents an analysis of the debate over a new University of California (UC) admissions eligibility policy. After discussing how Asian Americans are framed within admissions debates, the article summarizes the new UC policy and presents an analysis of the policy change, addressing concerns raised by two community leaders. This case study demonstrates the need to connect the diverse intergenerational, ethnic, and gendered voices among AAPIs in education.

Asian American and Pacific Islander Serving Institutions: The Motivations and Challenges behind Seeking a Federal Designation
By: Julie J. Park and Mitchell J. Chang

ABSTRACT: This article examines the development of legislation to create a federal designation for Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) serving institutions. Specifically, the article draws from interviews with nineteen policy makers, congressional staffers, and community advocates in order to address their motivations for establishing this designation and the related challenges that they encountered.  Besides the complexities of ushering legislation through Congress, one of the major challenges highlighted includes the lack of political infrastructure for advocating Asian American issues related to education. Recommendations for the future sustainability of federal support for AAPI serving institutions are also discussed.

Abstract: K-12 Education

AAPI Nexus Journal: K-12 Education Volume 7, Number 1 2010 Abstracts

Critical Review of K–12 Filipina/o American Curriculum
By: Patricia Espiritu Halagao, Allyson Tintiangco-Cubales, and Joan May T. Cordova

ABSTRACT: This research study provides the first comprehensive and critical literature review of K–12 Filipina/o American curricula found in formal and informal educational settings. Thirty-three Filipina/o American curricula representing a diverse array of authors, audiences, content, and pedagogical approaches were reviewed. The authors of this study developed a “Critical Framework of Review” rooted in critical pedagogy in order to analyze the historical development of Filipina/o American curricula along with an analysis of major topics, concepts, guiding theoretical frameworks, pedagogical approaches, and outcomes. The review concludes with a discussion and summary of the overarching themes of Filipina/o curricular content, instruction, and impact gained from this study and recommendations for the application, development, distribution, and research of more Filipina/o American K–12 curriculum resources.

When Is a Student an English Learner? An Ethnographic Account of When Students and Educators Invoke the Institutional Identity “English Language Learner”  
By: Leena Neng Her

ABSTRACT: This article complicates the articulation of the achievement gap between native English speakers and English learners (ELs) as a problem rooted in English language proficiency. I challenge the institutional and popular imagination that 5.1 million ELs in the United States are “limited in English proficiency” and whose performance in school can be attributed to limited English proficiency. This argument is drawn from eighteen months of ethnographic fieldwork in a northern California High School where students identified as ELs were not a homogeneous-ability group with similar language needs. Yet there were occasions when educators echoed the concerns of education reformers and policy analysts by glossing the diversity of their EL population. In “explain failure events” the limited English proficiency of ELs was invoked to explain the academic failure of students and the school’s status as an underperforming school. I argue that the continued invocation and gloss of the diversity of ELs participates in the perpetuation of an ideology that ELs are a homogenous student population with similar educational needs. At best, the explanations offered by educators are partial descriptions of the situation of academic failure. I offer alternative explanations of academic failure by exploring the policy and cultural-ideological context of schooling.

The Beliefs of Successful Asian American Pacific Islander Teachers: How Culture Is Embedded In Their Teaching
By: Valerie Ooka Pang

ABSTRACT: Equal educational opportunity is highly dependent on the beliefs and abilities of teachers. However, there is a dearth of research on Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) education and the beliefs of successful AAPI educators. Their contributions have been marginalized in the field of education. This research studied the beliefs of nineteen AAPI educators of a successful low-income (82%), 98 percent minority (75% AAPI and 23% Latino) K–8 school. Student achievement levels are beyond what would be expected with an Academic Performance Index (API) of 860. Any score above 800 is considered exceptional in California. Cultural values are embedded in the belief system of the teachers, and these beliefs result in high teacher personal efficacy and collective efficacy. These then influence teacher behaviors as evidenced by utilized instructional strategies, contributed informal leadership roles, and the long-term stability of the school.

Asian American Dropouts: A Case Study of Vietnamese and Chinese High School Students in a New England Urban School District
By: Phitsamay Sychitkokhong Uy

ABSTRACT: In the world of K–12 education, the growing numbers of dropouts are a major concern. This article examines the dropout rates of Chinese and Vietnamese high school students. Using logistic regression analysis, this article examines the influence of ethnicity, gender, and socioeconomic status (SES) on dropout rates. The distinct contribution of this analysis lies within the intraethnic comparisons within the Asian American student population and its use of longitudinal data. The results of the study support existing research that gender and SES are related to dropout rates. Moreover, an interesting interaction between ethnicity and SES exists.

Learning from the Alternative Asian American Press: A Close Look at Asian Americans & Pacific Islanders in Education through Gidra
By: Jean J. Ryoo

ABSTRACT: Through a careful analysis of the educational concerns and efforts described by Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) activists in Gidra—the first radical Asian American newspaper described as “the journalistic arm of the [Asian American] Movement” (Wei, 1993, 103)—this article explores ways that current educators, public policy writers, and researchers can learn from the stories of the past to improve the state of K–12 education today. Drawing from five years of monthly Gidra publications, this article illustrates parallels between past and current issues in AAPI K–12 education while offering suggestions for action and change.

Chinese Translated IEPs: Do They Do More Harm than Good?
By: Lusa Lo and Joseph Wu

ABSTRACT: Among culturally and linguistically diverse students with disabilities, Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) students comprise the third-largest group. In order to address the diversity of the special education student population and ensure that parents are involved in the decision-making process, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act of 2004 requires schools to translate students’ Individualized Education Program (IEP) into their parents’ native language. The quality and accuracy of translated IEPs is a critical concern for limited-English-speaking parents who rely on such document for information that they miss in meetings. Discrepancies in the poorly translated documents prevent families from accurately understanding their child’s IEPs and knowing when they should advocate for their children for appropriate services and placement. This article exposes existing problems of translated IEPs and highlights the importance of hiring high-quality translators to help bridge the communication gap between schools and linguistically diverse parents of children with disabilities.

Abstract: Aging

AAPI Nexus Journal: Aging in Asian American and Pacific Islander communities Volume 6, Number 1 2008 Abstracts

A Model for Developing and Implementing a Theory-Driven, Culture-Specific Outreach and Education Program for Korean American Caregivers of People with Alzheimer’s Disease
By: Herb Shon and Ailee Moon

ABSTRACT: The rewards of providing care to an aging family member are numerous, but psychological, social, physical, and economic stressors are often also present. Moreover, community programs and services designed to provide education, resources, and respite to caregivers and therapeutic benefit to seniors, Asian and Pacific Islander American (APIA) caregivers may still confront significant cultural and structural barriers to service use.
This paper is based on a highly successful community-wide outreach and education program conducted in the Koreatown area of Los Angeles, California in 2003 targeting current and future Korean American caregivers. It employed tenets of French and Raven’s original model of social power and interpersonal influence. We present details of how the authors addressed cultural and structural barriers to enhance access to services, as well as recommendations for future research in this area.

Health of Older Asian Americans in California: Findings from California Health Interview Survey (CHIS)  
By: Jong Won Min, Siyon Rhee, Phu Phan, Jessica Rhee, and Thanh Tran

ABSTRACT: Health studies on older Asian Americans based on national and statewide representative data are scarce. This study examined subgroup differences in demographic, socioeconomic and general health status, health conditions, and access to health care services among five groups of Asian Americans aged 60 or older (Chinese, Filipino, Japanese, Korean, and Vietnamese), using data from the 2001 California Health Interview Survey. Significant differences in demographic and socioeconomic characteristics, health status, chronic conditions, and coverage and use of health care services were found in the five groups, indicating the complexity, diversity, and heterogeneity of older Asian American populations. Practice and research implications are discussed.

Perceptions of dementia among Asian Indian Americans
By: Poorni G. Otilingam and Margaret Gatz

ABSTRACT: We surveyed a convenience sample of 255 Asian Indian Americans (AIAs) aged 18-81 years assessing perceptions of dementia etiology, help-seeking, and treatment, and knowledge of symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease (AD). In response to a vignette describing the early stages of AD, participants indicated a substantial willingness to seek help. Most participants knew that memory loss was the key symptom of dementia, yet most knowledge items were correctly answered by fewer than half of the sample. Participants who had more knowledge of AD were more likely than those with less knowledge of AD to state that they would seek help for an elderly relative showing symptoms of dementia. Relative to other psychosocial factors, loneliness was highly rated as an etiological factor and keeping mentally active was highly rated as a treatment. This study is the first to document dementia beliefs among AIAs, illustrating the need for culturally-tailored dementia education and care for the AIA population.

Economic Hardship Among Elderly Pacific Islanders
By: Sela V. Panapasa, Voon Chin Phua, and James W. McNally

ABSTRACT: Ensuring the economic well-being of elderly represents a critical issue for social policy. The impacts of financial instability reach beyond an individual’s overall well-being and their family relationships. To date, little is known about the economic status of elderly Native Hawaiians Pacific Islanders (NHOPI). This paper presents baseline information on the poverty status of NHOPI elders and how individual and household characteristics impact their economic well-being. Using bivariate and multivariate analysis the results show that the risks of poverty varies markedly across different Pacific Islander subgroups but that all elder uniformly benefit from coresidence within an extend family household.

Abstract: Model Minority Myth

AAPI Nexus: Model Minority Myth Volume 6, Number 1 Winter/Spring 2008 Abstracts

Awakening the New “Sleeping Giant”?:  Asian American Political Engagement
Paul M. Ong, Melany Dela Cruz-Viesca, and Don T. Nakanishi

ABSTRACT: The 2008 election was a milestone in the emergence of Asian Americans as a factor in American politics, with national television news networks openly discussing and analyzing California’s Asian American voters. Most mainstream analysis, however, had very little in-depth understanding of the population. This essay provides some insights into the absolute and relative size of the Asian American population, along with key demographic characteristics, their participation in electoral politics, some of the barriers the encounter, and future prospects.  The brief is based on analyzing the most recently available data, the 2006 American Community Survey (ACS) and the 2006 November Current Population Survey (CPS). This analysis builds on a previous analytical brief which examined the emergence of Asian Americans as California politics’ new “sleeping giant,” a term that was applied to Hispanics in the 1980s and 1990s because of their rapid growing numbers.
“It’s like we’re just renting over here”:  The Pervasive Experiences of Discrimination of Filipino Immigrant Youth Gang Members in Hawai’i
Su Yeong Kim, Aprile D. Benner, Rena Mae Nalani Reid, Kathleen Ongbongan, Donna Dennerlein, and Deborah K.  Spencer

ABSTRACT: Researchers, service providers, and policymakers must uncover and better understand the issues facing youths in Asian gangs in order to most effectively intervene with appropriate policies and programs.  The present investigation sampled young male Filipino gang members in Hawai’i.  Thematic analyses of the focus group data challenge the commonly held view of racial harmony in Hawai’i.  It appears that racial and social discrimination from peers and authority figures propel Filipino boys to seek out gang membership as a way to protect themselves from being targets of oppression.

The Obesity Epidemic in Chinese American Youth?:  A Literature Review and Pilot Study
Robyn Greenfield Matloff, Doug Brugge, Angela C. Lee, and Roland Tang

ABSTRACT: Despite nearly 12 million Asian Americans living in the United States and continued immigration, this increasingly substantial subpopulation has consistently been left out of national obesity studies. When included in national  studies, Chinese-American children have been grouped together with other Asian Americans, Pacific Islanders or simply as “other,” yielding significantly lower rates of overweight and obesity compared to non-Asians. There is a failure to recognize the ethnic diversity of Asian Americans as well as the effect of acculturation. Results from smaller studies of Chinese American youth suggest that they are adopting lifestyles less Chinese and more Americans and that their share of disease burden is growing. We screened 142 children from the waiting room of a community health center that serves primarily recent Chinese immigrants for height, weight and demographic profile. Body Mass Index was calculated and evaluated using CDC growth charts. Overall, 30.1 percent of children were above the 85th we found being male and being born in the U .S. to be statistically significant for BMI > 85th percentile (p=0.039, p=0.001, respectively). Our results suggest that being overweight in this Chinese American immigrant population is associated with being born in the U.S. A change in public policy and framework for research are required to accurately assess the extent of overweight and obesity in Chinese American children. In particular, large scale data should be stratified by age, sex, birthplace and measure of acculturation to identify those at risk and construct tailored interventions.
Sex and Alcohol on the College Campus: An Assessment of HIV-Risk Behaviors among AAPI College Students  
Jeanne Shimatsu, Eric C. Wat, & Camillia Lui

ABSTRACT: Heavy alcohol use and its related consequences are seen as a top public health issue affecting college students. One of the major consequences of heavy alcohol use is unplanned and unprotected sexual activity which places college students at risk for HIV/AIDS. Little is known about the prevalence of alcohol use and sexual activity among Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) college students. The Asian American Drug Abuse Program, Inc. (AADAP) sought to investigate the prevalence of alcohol use and its related problems among this population. The objectives of this exploratory study are twofold: (1) to examine the alcohol and other drug use, HIV-risk behaviors, and attitudes toward seeking services among AAPI college students, and (2) to recommend key strategies for a substance abuse and HIV/AIDS prevention program tailored to AAPI college students. With a convenience sample of 1,043 AAPI college students, we found that 75.7 percent of students currently drink alcohol with 20.6 percent being frequent users. In addition, frequent users of alcohol are seven times more likely to be sexually active than non-users. AAPI college students have a high knowledge of HIV transmission, yet having adequate knowledge does not seem to deter students from engaging in risky behaviors such as engaging in sexual activity after drinking or having unprotected sex. While further research of AAPI college students is needed, we recommend that a substance abuse and HIV prevention program be specifically tailored to AAPI college students.  An intervention should be culturally tailored with AAPI-specific messages, peer-based, and allow for space where students can learn substance use resistance skills and improve HIV prevention behaviors.

Abstract: Welfare Reform

AAPI Nexus: Welfare Reform Volume 5, Number 2 Winter/Spring 2007 Abstracts

“Whose School District is this?”: Vietnamese Americans and Coalitional Politics in Orange County, California
Linda Vo

ABSTRACT: This essay discusses important lessons for community organizing based on the efforts by the Vietnamese American community in Orange County to have their voices heard in the decision-making process at the school district level.  I document their struggle to reinstate Dr. KimOanh Nguyen-Lam, an experienced educator who is fluent in English, Vietnamese, Spanish, and French, as Superintendent of the Westminster School District (WSD) when her job offer was retracted without justification by the school board one week after she was hired.  In this majority-minority school district, with Latinos at 38% and Asian Americans at 37%, she would have been the first Vietnamese American Superintendent of a public school in the country.  I examine how community leaders organized multi-ethnic and -racial coalitions, engaged in collective protest, and focused their activities on electoral politics.  The conflict revolves around which teachers are hired and promoted and who controls the content of the curriculum; yet ultimately, the Nguyen-Lam controversy represents the struggle over the allocation of public school resources and political power in a racially diverse school district.  Key lessons can be learned from these events, especially the challenges of building coalitions within the Vietnamese community and creating multiracial alliances with the Latino community, which can inform future coalition efforts by refugee and immigrant populations.
From Merging Histories to Emerging Identities: An “Asian” Museum as a Site of Pan-ethnic Identity Promotion
Chong-suk Han and Edward Echtle

ABSTRACT: In this paper, we explore the significance of the Wing Luke Asian Museum (WLAM) in Seattle, Washington as a site where pan-ethnic Asian American identity can be promoted by analyzing the strategies employed by the staff and artists of the WLAM to promote, foster and disseminate a larger Asian Pacific Islander American pan-ethnic identity. We argue that museums are a significant site that can “provide a setting for persons of diverse Asian backgrounds to establish social ties and to discuss their common problems and experiences.”

Surveying Southeast Asian Welfare Participants:  Examples, Challenges, and Future Directions
Evelyn Blumenberg, Lily K. Song, and Paul M. Ong

ABSTRACT: Numerous studies have examined the effects of welfare reform on the employment and caseload dynamics of welfare recipients in California. Yet, despite their overrepresentation among welfare recipients, Southeast Asians have received relatively little scholarly attention. This study explores one explanation for this finding-the challenges of collecting data on Southeast Asian welfare recipients and, in particular, the difficulties associated with surveying this population group.  These difficulties include attracting adequate funding to recruit sizeable Southeast Asian samples,; translating survey materials into Southeast Asian languages,; and effectively administering surveys among a highly mobile population group with low English language proficiency.  To strengthen research on this important but understudied population group, researchers must build political and financial support for such research; develop appropriate research designs informed by an understanding of the characteristics of Southeast Asian families, communities, and welfare recipients; rely on refugee support organizations to help overcome resistance to participating in survey research; and make the data available to interested scholars to maximize the impact of these data collection efforts.

Welfare Reform and the Delivery of Welfare-to-Work Programs to AAPIs:  What Works? 
Julian Chun-Chung Chow, Grace Yoo, and Catherine Vu

ABSTRACT: The passage of the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Act (PRWORA) of 1996 has major implications for low-income Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) populations. The purpose of this paper is to provide an overview of the research currently examining the impact of welfare reform on AAPI recipients and the welfare-to-work services available to this population.  This article highlights AAPI participation and their timing-out rates in California’s CalWORKs program and their barriers to transitioning to work.  Four welfare-to-work program models and recommendations are presented to illustrate strategies that can be used to address the unique needs of AAPI in order to alleviate their high risk for timing-out: one-stop-shops, transitional jobs programs, providing comprehensive and family focused services, and additional research and evaluation of programs specific to assisting the AAPI population on CalWORKs.

Building Community Capacity For Rapid Response to State Health Crises:  Learning from HIV/AIDS among Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders  (AAPIs) 
Lois M. Takahashi and Michelle G. Magalong

ABSTRACT: Health crises have become a significant threat to the well-being and quality of life of California’s residents, with SARS and avian influenza the most obvious recent examples of such threats. The State of California has engaged in significant efforts at the state and local levels to devise plans and strategies to address emerging health threats, including rapid spread of infectious disease and bioterrorism, however, there remain significant gaps, particularly concerning the rapidity and effectiveness of communication to California’s growing immigrant population. We argue that enhancing community-based organization (CBO) capacity to address health crises such as potential pandemics is a necessary yet overlooked component. This article uses capacity building regarding HIV/AIDS prevention in the Asian American and Pacific Islander communities in Southern California as a new model of emergency preparedness, one that leverages the untapped resources in CBOs.

Abstract: Art & Cultural Institutions

AAPI Nexus: Employment Volume 5, Number 1 Winter/Spring 2007 Abstracts

The Challenges of Displaying “Asian American”: Curatorial Perspectives and Critical Approaches
By: ShiPu Wang

Abstract: This essay delineates the issues concerning AAPI art exhibitions from a curator’s perspective, particularly in response to the changing racial demographics and economics of the past decades. A discussion of practical, curatorial problems offers the reader an overview of the obstacles and reasons behind the lack of exhibitions of AAPI works in the United States. It is the author’s hope that by understanding the challenges particular to AAPI exhibitions, community leaders, and patrons will direct future financial support to appropriate museum operations, which in turn will encourage more exhibitions and research of the important artistic contribution of AAPI artists to American art.

Libraries as Contested Community and Cultural Space: The Bruggemeyer Memorial Library of Monterey Park, California
By: Clara M. Chu and Todd Honma

ABSTRACT: In the City of Monterey Park, a sleepy city, east of downtown Los Angeles, the late 1970s and the1980s marked a dramatic demographic shift from predominantly White to Asian American. Who had economic and political power was publicly played out through struggles between the city council and the business sectors. An unlikely locus for political struggle was the Bruggemeyer Memorial Library. In the late-1980s, what many might consider to be a neutral agency that collects, organizes and disseminates information, the public library became the battleground to (re)claim community, access and representation of Asian Americans in Monterey Park. By contextualizing the library as civic space, this paper explores dominant U.S. hegemonic ideologies and political agendas reproduced in cultural institutions, such as libraries.

Seeds for Succession: A Personal Case Study in Leadership Development and Succession Planning
By: Leslie Ito

ABSTRACT: Leslie Ito shares not only her personal journey as she leads her cultural organization through a sudden leadership transition, but the lessons learned through this process.

Small Numbers / Big City: Innovative Presentations of Pacific Islander Art and Culture in Arizona
By: John Rosa

ABSTRACT: This resource paper provides an overview of how the small but growing Pacific Islander and Asian American community in Phoenix has sustained, developed, and preserved its culture and art in the absence of a permanent AAPI art or cultural museum. This article gives examples of such alternative formats and includes details on dance, music, and other folk cultural practices. Metropolitan statistical areas with AAPI populations comparable to Phoenix include Minneapolis, Atlanta, and Dallas. Phoenix community groups use small, temporary displays at annual AAPI cultural festivals. One approach is a ?museum on wheels? ? a used tour bus filled with certified reproductions of artifacts on loan from the Bishop Museum in Honolulu. Native Hawaiians also collaborate with the more numerous Native American organizations that can provide venues for indigenous arts. Universities and state humanities councils are frequent sources of funding for AAPI artists. MSAs with Pacific Islander populations most comparable to Phoenix (in the range of 10,000 to 15,000) are the U.S. Southwestern cities of Las Vegas and Salt Lake City. Pacific Islanders in these cities might be most likely to employ display formats and strategies similar to those used in Phoenix.

It’s Alive!  Sounds for the Vault
By: Lewis Kawahara

ABSTRACT: A questionnaire was sent to 93 Asian American Pacific Islander organizations and museums throughout the United States. The questionnaire queried the status of Asian American Pacific Islander sound collections that are housed by Asian American Pacific Islander community-based organizations and museums. The questionnaire asked the Respondents basic questions as well as the types of formats used, storage of sound-related materials, and collections management questions. In conclusion recommendations were made on caring and maintaining an Asian American Pacific Islander sound collection.

Assessment of the State of Ethnic-Specific Health Survey Data
By: Nadereh Pourat, Ninez A. Ponce, and Roberta Wyn

ABSTRACT: Progress in Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) health data had begun by the 1990s, although the gains have been temporal and localized. This resource paper reviews the Hawai’i Health Interview Survey, the California Health Interview Survey, and the National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) with specific data on AAPIs. We then provide an analysis of the NHIS to illustrate its usefulness and limitations in estimating access to health services of three socioeconomically similar AAPI subgroups– Chinese, Filipinos, and Koreans. The results underscore the need to disaggregate AAPI data. In tandem with recent improvements in the NHIS, other states with a large AAPI population should invest in ethnic-specific oversampling and in-language survey efforts similar to what has been done in California.

Abstract: Youth

API Nexus: Employment Volume 4, Number 2 Fall/Summer 2006 Abstracts

Asian Americans on the Streets: Strategies for Prevention and Intervention
James Diego Vigil, Tomson H. Nguyen, and Jesse Cheng

ABSTRACT: Notably lacking in the literature on Vietnamese and Cambodian youth gangs in the United States and particularly southern California have been solutions that address the underlying causative factors of gang involvement. Relying on life histories collected over a span of fifteen years, the authors propose a multi-faceted prevention and intervention strategy that includes the community and schools to heighten cultural awareness for children and parents. It is also recommended that policies take into account nuanced differences between Asian communities and bring together multiple stakeholders including officials and hard-core gang members to improve communicative problems that have resulted in gang-policy failures.

Self-Reported Rates and Risk Factors of Cambodian, Chinese, Lao/Mien, and Vietnamese Youth Delinquency
Thao N. Le and Judy L. Wallen

ABSTRACT: General self-reported rates of violence and studies identifying risk factors for delinquency and serious violence have been limited for Asian, particularly Southeast Asian youth. Additionally, the role of psychosocial-cultural related factors such as individualism/collectivism, intergenerational/intercultural conflict, and ethnic identity in delinquency has largely been neglected. In a sample of 329 Cambodian, Chinese, Lao/Mien, and Vietnamese youth, robust risk factors for serious violence (aggravated assault, robbery, gang, rape) included peer delinquency, prior arrest, and victimization. In addition, cultural factors such as second generation status, individualism, and intergenerational/intercultural conflict also significantly increased the odds of serious violence, whereas factors that decreased the odds included collectivism and school achievement. For family/partner violence (hit a family member or boyfriend/girlfriend), the strongest risk factors were victimization and parent discipline. Demographics, individual, and peer domains contributed more explanatory variance for serious violence, while individual and parental domains contributed more explanatory variance for family/partner violence. Consistent with official statistics, rates of serious violence among Southeast Asian youth were higher than for Chinese youth.

The Role of the Family in Asian American Juvenile Delinquency
Anh-Luu T. Huynh-Hohnbaum

ABSTRACT: Using the family delinquency theory as a framework, this study explores family characteristics as predictors for delinquent acts against property and persons by AAPI adolescents. The weighted survey data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health is a nationally representative sample of seventh to twelfth graders. Parental monitoring served as a protective factor for delinquent acts against property. Family structure was a predictive factor for delinquent acts against persons. Overall, the findings partially supported the family delinquency theory, underscoring the importance of developing culturally appropriate theories. Implications for the development of intervention and prevention programs are discussed.

“You got to do so much to actually make it”: Gender, Ethnicity, and Samoan Youth in Hawai‘i
David Tokiharu Mayeda, Lisa Pasko, Meda Chesney-Lind

ABSTRACT: Although a burgeoning literature exists examining the intersections of gender and race in adolescent research, little attention has been paid to Asian American or Pacific Island youth, and this is especially true for girls from these groups. This study surveys the issues confronting Samoan adolescents, with a particular emphasis on the problems facing girls. Utilizing focus group and interview data with Samoan community leaders, other key informants, parents, and adolescent girls (N = 42), this study highlights some of the ways Samoan girls negotiate a social terrain characterized by both racism and sexism. Participants discuss unfavorable biases in schools, unequal domestic gender roles, western legal confines, and a lack of positive role models as critical issues for Samoan girls in contemporary society.

Profiling Incarcerated Asian and Pacific Islander Youth: Statistics Derived from California Youth Authority Administrative Data
Isami Arifuku, Delores D. Peacock, and Caroline Glesmann

ABSTRACT: This article provides data about youth in the California Youth Authority (CYA) and compares and contrasts Asian and Pacific Islander (API) youth with other wards with regard to youth characteristics, commitment offenses, incarceration, parole, and discharge. The data shows that although API constituted 5% of the total population in February of 2002, some API ethnicities are vastly overrepresented in the CYA population and have had high levels of gang involvement. At the same time, API wards had the highest percentage with honorable discharges and the lowest percentage with a dishonorable discharge from CYA.

Thalassemia and Asian Americans: Living and Coping with Uncertainty
Deborah Woo

ABSTRACT: Thalassemia is a potentially life-threatening genetic blood disease for which Asians in California are at highest risk, compared to other population groups. Mandatory screening at birth is how most cases are discovered. This paper focuses on chronic forms of thalassemia and what it means for patients and their families to live with the illness. The goal is to increase public awareness about thalassemia and to stimulate discussion about social interventions that might enable individuals to lead healthier lives.

Abstract: Glass Ceiling/Health Issues

AAPI Nexus: Employment Volume 4, Number 1 Winter/Spring 2006 Abstracts

Become Visible: Let Your Voice Be Heard
By: Vu H. Pham, Lauren Emiko Hokoyama, and J.D. Hokoyama

Abstract: Since 1982, Leadership Education for Asian Pacifics, Inc. (LEAP) has been intent on “growing leaders” within Asian Pacific American (APA) communities across the country. LEAP’s founders had a simple yet powerful idea: In order for APA communities to realize their full potential and to foster robust participation in the larger democratic process, those communities must develop leaders in all sectors who can advocate and speak on their behalf. A national, nonprofit organization, LEAP achieves its mission by: Developing people, because leaders are made, not born; Informing society, because leaders know the issues; and Empowering communities, because leaders are grounded in strong, vibrant communities.

Asian Pacific American Senior Executives in the Federal Government
By: Jeremy S. Wu and Carson K. Eoyang

Abstract: This article calls attention to the lack of workforce diversity in promoting Asian Pacific Americans to the highest career levels in the federal government.  It describes the historic difficulties in realizing significant numbers of APAs in the senior ranks of almost all government agencies.  Two major reports from the General Accounting Office (GAO) corroborate this view and depict the pessimistic prospects for any significant improvement in the immediate future.  It is urged that there be prompt implementation of the recommendations from the GAO, that specific agency plans and actions be established and monitored, that Congress continue to exercise close oversight regarding federal workforce diversity, and that Office of Personnel Management (OPM) collect and disseminate timely, accurate workforce demographics so that all agencies can be held accountable to the American public.

Are Native-born Asian Americans less likely to be managers? Further evidence on the glass-ceiling hypothesis
By: Arthur Sakamoto, Hyeyoung Woo, and Keng-Loong Yap

Abstract: We use nationally representative data and carefully specified statistical models to investigate the glass-ceiling hypothesis according to which Asian Americans are less likely to be managers in administrative hierarchies.  We focus our analysis on native-born Asian Americans who have not received much attention in previous research.  The results indicate that native-born Asian American men are at least as likely as white men to be employed as managers in the government sector even after adjusting for education and other demographic characteristics.  For both men and women, there is only limited evidence that native-born Asian Americans are significantly less likely than whites to be employed as managers in the non-self-employed private sector.  Although a few notable differences by specific Asian ethnicity are discussed, we interpret our findings as indicating that, at least among the native-born Asian Americans, the glass-ceiling may not be so widely pervasive at the occupational level.  Future research should investigate the glass-ceiling hypothesis using data that focus more specifically on the higher levels of managerial hierarchies.

Glancing Back, Looking Forward: Some Comments on Health Research in Asian American Communities
By: David T. Takeuchi and Seunghye Hong

Abstract: Despite scientific advances that documents race and ethnicity as critical factors associated with inequities in health and health care quality, the general political climate has the potential to undermine efforts to improve the quality of life for people in diverse communities. We call for more creative research programs on health issues in Asian American communities to move beyond prevalence and risk factors toward investigating the mechanisms and processes that produce illness and lead to poor quality of health. We emphasize a compelling need to revisit traditional and accepted findings to determine their appropriateness for Asian American communities. We also suggested that as we establish the mechanisms that link social factors and health, we must also place them within the appropriate historical and cultural contexts that are essential for the health of people in their communities.

Singhs, Watanabes, Parks and Nguyens: A Comparison of Surname-list Samples to Probability Samples Using the California Health Interview Survey, 2001
By: Ninez A. Ponce and Melissa Gatchell

Abstract: The lack of health data on Asian ethnic subgroups has been noted as the major setback in dispelling the myth of the model minority. Population-representative samples of this relatively low-frequency racial group still fail to yield sufficient sample size to provide disaggregated information on Asian ethnic groups. As such, health information for Asian American subgroups is often acquired from surname list-assisted sampling methods, which may be fraught with biases toward particular groups not representative of the overall population. As one of the first major surveys to use both RDD and surname list-assisted sampling methods to sample Asian subgroups, the 2001 California Health Interview Survey provides the unique opportunity to determine whether significant differences exist between the RDD sample and the list-assisted sample for South Asians, Japanese, Koreans and Vietnamese. For each Asian ethnic group, we performed chi-squared tests to compare the list and RDD sample proportions for several demographic health access and health status measures. We found that demographic differences in lists versus probability samples are most pronounced among South Asians and Vietnamese and to a lesser extent among Japanese, but it is less of an issue among Koreans. In addition, we found that the list and RDD samples did not deviate significantly from each other in most of the health status and health access measures. Particularly for South Asians, Japanese, Koreans and Vietnamese, we conclude that surname lists approximated population-based estimates of their health status and health access and surname list sampling should continue to be considered as an alternative strategy when cost constraints prohibit investment in probability-based oversamples.

Measuring State-Level Asian American and Pacific Islander Health Disparities: The Case of Illinois
By: Laurent S. Tao, Jini Han, and Ami M. Shah

Abstract: Illinois is home to the sixth largest Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) population nationwide. AAPIs suffer higher incidence, morbidity, and mortality rates from certain cancers, infectious, and chronic diseases. Despite the exponential growth of the AAPI population, few state-level data sources exist that provide detailed and accurate information regarding AAPI health disparities and needs. Efforts to improve health care for this population will require improved data collection and funding for research on AAPI ethnic groups.

Abstract: Employment/Work Issues

AAPI Nexus: Employment Volume 3, Number 2 Summer/Fall 2005 Abstracts

Employment Discrimination and Asian Americans
By: Stuart J. Ishimaru

Abstract: Despite the long history of Asian Americans of fighting for fundamental rights, Asian Americans appear to be less active in complaining about employment discrimination.  For example, in 2003, Asian Americans filed proportionally fewer employment discrimination charges with the EEOC than other minority employees. This article examines the factors that create an atmosphere in which Asian Americans do not file as many charges of employment discrimination with the EEOC as one would expect.  Also, it explores possible ways to motivate Asian American communities and individuals to engage in and recognize the community’s investment in the equal employment opportunity process.  Specifically, it proposes additional outreach and education to Asian Americans to be informed of their rights as well as areas for further research and additional

Workforce Development:  Its Potential and Limitations for Chinese Garment Workers
By: Karin Mak and Grace Meng

Abstract: Today’s changing political and economic environment requires new strategies and collaborations in order to effectively advocate for the rights of garment workers.  Globally, a major restructuring of apparel production is anticipated in 2005, which will further enable apparel retailers and manufacturers to move production to countries offering the lowest labor costs.  California could lose more than half of its industry, leaving 50,000 immigrants unemployed.  Workforce development is a possible way to help transition garment workers into better jobs.  The article reflects upon the experiences of Chinese garment workers with the workforce development system, and points out that workforce development alone is not enough to confront the challenges facing garment workers in the global economy.

Asian Americans in the Labor Market:  Public Policy Issues
By: Don Mar

Abstract: Asian American/Pacific Islander public policy issues in the labor market are examined using the 2000 Census PUMS (Public Use Micro Sample) data.  AAPI labor market problems raised by earlier studies are revisited with the more recent data.  Southeast Asians, Vietnamese, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders continue to face problems of poverty/low income, unemployment, and discrimination in occupations and earnings.  Many API groups are less likely to be employed in managerial occupations controlling for factors such as education and potential experience.  New policy issues suggested by the data are lower rates of self-employment for many APIs compared to non-Hispanic whites as well as lower rates of homeownership by all API groups compared to non-Hispanic whites.

Weak Winners of Globalization:  Indian H-1B Workers in the American Information Economy
By: Paula Chakravartty

Abstract: This article examines the complexity of the debate around the temporary worker visa known as the H-1B program for highly skilled foreign nationals.  The debate against the H-1B visa program has been dominated by what feminist economist Naila Kabeer has argued are “coalitions of ‘powerful losers’ in the north seeking to claw back the gains made from international trade by ‘weak winners’ in the south” (Kabeer 2002).  I argue that these metaphors are resonant in the debate over the H-1B visa program, where displaced American Information Technology (IT) workers conflate the role of Indian H-1B workers as both vulnerable victims of corporate greed and menacing threats to national prosperity and security, reinforcing both symbolic and institutional racism against this new category of Asian immigrant worker.  Based on interviews with over 100 Indian H-1B workers, this paper challenges many of the assumptions about “indentured servitude,” and my findings suggest alternate policy alternatives to pitting the interests of “cheap Indian workers” against the interests of “Americans.”

The Risk of Timing Out:  Welfare-to-Work Services to Asian Immigrants and Refugees
By: Julian Chun-Chung Chow, Kathy Lemon Osterling, and Qingwen Xu

Abstract: With the passage of the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996, welfare recipients are faced with new work requirements and sanctions, including a five-year time limit on receiving public assistance.  Due to difficulties in adjustment to American society and lack of human capital for the labor market, Asian immigrants and refugees face obstacles transitioning from welfare to work.  The majority of individuals in the San Francisco Bay Area who have reached the five-year time limit since January 2003 are of Asian descent.  Without adequate welfare-to-work services, restrictions and time limits are leaving many Asian recipients without the proficiencies required for employment, as well as without the cash assistance needed for survival.  Using a qualitative study approach by conducting three focus groups with Asian welfare recipients in the San Francisco Bay Area, findings of this study indicate that existing welfare-to-work programs do not meet the unique needs of this population.  Their barriers for achieving self-sufficiency are not adequately addressed by welfare reform’s “work first” approach.  Instead, findings suggest that welfare-to-work program strategies for this population should incorporate culturally competent support services, human capital development, and strength-based approaches.  As more Asian immigrant families lose cash assistance as a result of reaching the five-year time limit, the need to improve welfare-to-work programs and policies for this population has become increasingly urgent.

Screening Names Instead of Qualifications:  Testing with Emailed Resumes Reveals Racial Preferences
By: Siri Thanasombat and John Trasviña

Abstract: In today’s California, Asian Americans and Arab Americans have diminished employment opportunities because employment agencies focus on their names, not qualifications. The Discrimination Research Center has documented the response rates to resumes submitted on behalf of men and women who have equal qualifications and ethnically identifiable names of Asian American, Arab American, Latino, African American and white backgrounds. Although potentially illegal and certainly unacceptable, results that showed that individuals with Arab or South Asian names, especially men, received the lowest response rates to their resumes were not particularly surprising in the aftermath of September 11, 2001 and subsequent changes in world affairs.  Local animosity and antagonism ranging from discrimination to violence in response to events in the Middle East are well known and fit a historic pattern. Other statistically significant results showing Asian Americans receiving far fewer responses than white women applicants despite their comparable resumes suggest the persistence of long-held perceptions of Asian Americans as “foreigners”, not capable of “fitting in”, and reluctant to complain when wronged.  Asian American community organizations and leaders may wish to replicate DRC testing in other parts of the United States or utilize these research results as a basis for workplace advocacy and litigation.