Asian American Youth: Culture, Identity and Ethnicity by Jennifer Lee, Min Zhou

By Jennifer Lee, Min Zhou

Asian American adolescence covers themes corresponding to Asian immigration, acculturation, assimilation, intermarriage, socialization, sexuality, and ethnic identity. the prestigious participants exhibit how Asian American formative years have created an id and area for themselves traditionally and in modern multicultural the USA.

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Extra info for Asian American Youth: Culture, Identity and Ethnicity

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Hence, their identities are inextricably bound by the experiences of immigration, the immigrant family, and the ethnic community, as well as their interactions with mainstream institutions such as schools. However, rather than stating that racial ascription and the influence of the immigrant family and ethnic community leave few ethnic identity options for Asian American youth, or that they freely choose their identities, we avoid either/or explanations. Instead, we attempt to offer an integrative framework for understanding how Asian Americans create a sense of identity given the opportunities and constraints before them.

As already noted, pre–World War II immigrants from Asia represented only a tiny fraction (less than 5 percent) of the total number of immigrants admitted to the United States, and most of them originated from China and Japan, and after the 1920s, from the Philippines. 3 1,161,535 11 11,906,680 100 * Asian Indian, Korean, Vietnamese, and other Asian-ancestry subgroups were not tabulated in the 1970 census. ** The “other” category included Pacific Islanders. cated peasants, and many were male, leaving their families behind in their respective homelands.

Consequently, this culture offers young Asian Americans a collective identity—a reference group from which they can develop an individual identity (Brake, 1985). As the chapters in this volume demonstrate, youth culture is not static; it changes with time and adapts to different structural and historical contexts. Certain forms of youth culture that were meaningful and salient Introduction • 23 in an era of Asian exclusion are no longer relevant today. It is difficult, if not impossible, to predict which forms of ethnic and pan-ethnic youth culture will fade and which will persist for generations to come since predictions are inconsequential when made in a social and cultural vacuum.

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