Researching the Asian American Culture

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Researching the Asian American Culture

There are fundamental differences between Eastern and Western cultures and the meeting of these cultures has had several effects, both in Asia and here in the US. Overseas, you can see the juxtaposition of American pop culture on the older modes of Asian thought and society. Here, New Age religions find new excuses in Asian religions and philosophies and Anime is appears regularly on Saturday morning cartoons. Often, this juxtaposition becomes turbulent as the younger generations are caught between two seemingly opposing cultures. As a result, crime rates rise with the integration of Western ideals and culture into Asian society. This is true here in America too as the first generation of Asian-Americans are born and brought up by Asian parents, with Asian thinking, in American society and culture. This conflict manifests itself in our history as a nation as well as in modern universities and businesses.

Historically, the United States has not been kind to Asian immigrants and until as late as 1965, legal discrimination against Asians has been an accepted part of American culture. In the mid-nineteenth century, Chinese immigrants began to come to the United States in response to the gold rush in California. By 1852, over 20,000 Chinese had emigrated to the United States. Many of these would end up working on the Transcontinental Railroad as contract laborers. Local groups demanded, however, that the flow of emigration be stopped and in 1858, a law was passed that barred the Chinese from entering. This began a series of laws and treaties with China and Japan that would govern Asian emigration to the US. In 1868, Chinese emigration is reopened as a result of the Burlingame...

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...ginning to result in more and more first and second generation Americans in the business and professional world. More and more Asian doctors, always a popular profession, can be seen today. The recent dot com craze similarly resulted in a disproportionate number of Asians heading up companies, although this has yet to manifest itself in the larger corporations. (no hard data on this, but I could probably find some if you need)

However, Asians are rapidly becoming a greater force in American culture as the proportion of educated Asian-Americans rises. Despite small numbers, they begin to have more and more influence in the business and professional worlds as well as academics. They are an interesting group, however, caught between two extremely different cultures as they seek to strike a balance between the ideals of their parents and the world they live in.

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