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The Landscape of Contemporary Asian American Studies (September 2016): Race and Identity

By Mark E. Pfeifer

Race and Identity

The youth culture of Asian American young people and how it is both similar to and different from mainstream and minority youth culture in the United States generally has also been the topic of research.  Jennifer Lee and Min Zhou’s Asian American Youth: Culture, Identity and Ethnicity is a compilation of articles by scholars from a broad range of academic disciplines pertaining to Asian American youth identity and culture.  A major topic considered by the contributors is facets of diversity among Asian American youth and ways in which Asian American young people work to create a distinct Asian American youth culture utilizing various methods of grassroots cultural production.

Racial identity constructions and experiences of discrimination have attracted the attention of researchers as well.  Rosalind S. Chou and Joe R. Feagin’s The Myth of the Model Minority: Asian Americans Facing Racism is an essential work that provides documentation and theoretical explanations of the existence and persistence of racism against Asian Americans in public places, schools, and workplaces.  The authors also demonstrate the differing ways individual Asian Americans choose to respond to racial hostility and discrimination in their daily lives.  Dino G. Okamoto’s Redefining Race: Asian American Panethnicity and Shifting Ethnic Boundaries theorizes the relationship between race, ethnicity, and adaptation among Asian Americans.  The author presents a racial boundary approach with the goal of elucidating the nature of Asian American identities and the incorporation of Asian Americans within American society.