Essay on The Pew Report On The Hispanic Ethnicity

Essay on The Pew Report On The Hispanic Ethnicity

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The 2012 Pew Report on the US racial demographics notes that Asian Americans are the fastest growing racial minority group in the country. The Pew Report use the popular “model minority” stereotype of Asian Americans to explain the growth and assimilation of this group, insinuating that all Asians in the United States—as a monolithic group—are highly educated and of high occupational status. However, in her investigation of the development of panethnic Asian American identity, Dina Okamoto argues that Asian Americans do not consist of a monolithic racial group; they are of diverse national origins, languages, cultures, and generational statuses but socially constructed as a singular category through various mechanisms—through the state, structural inequality, ethnic mobilization, and leaders of ethnic organizations. Okamoto’s findings of the intricate and multifaceted nature of pan-Asian ethnicity reveals that for many Asian Americans (of different ethnic backgrounds), ethnicity and panethnicity are not mutually exclusive identities and that they signify constant negotiating of ethnic boundaries in various ways.
The federal government was deeply involved in the macro-level social processes behind pan-Asian identity. By liberalizing immigration policies and accepting refugees, the state allowed immigrants from various Asian countries to enter the country in mass. Moreover, the extension of civil rights to (racial) minorities during the Civil Rights movement era generated new political opportunities to Asian Americans. The state also established the census category of “Asians” as a racial group, which was adopted by other federal, state, and local agencies, firmly establishing “Asian Americans” as how we as a society understand and...


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...ty while newer Southeastern Asian immigrant groups are still occupying the lowest rung of the occupational ladder. Further, with continuing immigrant replenishment from various Asian countries, homeland politics are never completely removed from Asian Americans. The development of global racial inequality may also contribute to changing dynamics within the Asian American population. Thus, Asian panethnicity is likely to continue to transform. Okamoto shows the flexible and permeable ethnic boundaries in forming this panethnicity. Its future transformation along with the growing Asian population (in both new immigrants and second generations) and the diversity within requires further research on these permeable boundaries to better understand how different Asian ethnic groups—and as a panethnic group—situation themselves in the US racial and sociopolitical structure.

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