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The Push for disaggregated data in Asian American education, health access, and political participation

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Title:
The Push for disaggregated data in Asian American education, health access, and political participation
Creator:
Phan, Binh H.
Place of Publication:
Denver, CO
Publisher:
University of Colorado Denver
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Language:
English

Thesis/Dissertation Information

Degree:
Master's ( Master of social sciences)
Degree Grantor:
University of Colorado Denver
Degree Divisions:
Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, CU Denver
Degree Disciplines:
Social sciences
Committee Chair:
Caronan, Faye
Committee Members:
Martinez, Donna
Bueno, Soyon

Notes

Abstract:
This thesis provides an overview of research exploring the challenges and barriers faced by Asian Pacific Islanders (AAPI) in the areas of education, public health, and political participation. With Asian Critical Theory as a theoretical framework, the focus on AAPI voices highlights the realities of marginalized populations in these communities. It addresses how the model minority stereotype continues to homogenize AAPI as a successful ethnic minority group. To address the problems faced by AAPIs obscured by this homogenization I argue that we need a research agenda that advocates for AAPI scholarship and specific policies for AAPI communities based on the collection and analysis of disaggregated data. Such an agenda will address the disparities within the homogenized AAPI category.

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University of Colorado Denver
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Auraria Library
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Copyright Binh H. Phan. Permission granted to University of Colorado Denver to digitize and display this item for non-profit research and educational purposes. Any reuse of this item in excess of fair use or other copyright exemptions requires permission of the copyright holder.

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THE PUSH FOR DISAGGREGATED DATA IN ASIAN AMERICAN EDUCATION,
HEALTH ACCESS, AND POLITIAL PARTICIPATION
by
BINH H. PHAN
B.A., University of Colorado Denver, 2016
A thesis submitted to the Faculty of the Graduate School of the University of Colorado in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Social Sciences Social Sciences Program
2019


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This thesis for the Master of Social Sciences degree by Binh H. Phan has been approved for the Social Sciences Program by
Faye Caronan, Chair Donna Martinez Soyon Bueno
Date: August 3, 2019


Ill
Phan, Binh H. (MSS, Social Sciences Program)
The Push for Disaggregated Data in Asian American Education, Health Access, and Political Participation
Thesis directed by Associate Professor Faye Caronan
ABSTRACT
This thesis provides an overview of research exploring the challenges and barriers faced by Asian Pacific Islanders (AAPI) in the areas of education, public health, and political participation. With Asian Critical Theory as a theoretical framework, the focus on AAPI voices highlights the realities of marginalized populations in these communities. It addresses how the model minority stereotype continues to homogenize AAPI as a successful ethnic minority group. To address the problems faced by AAPIs obscured by this homogenization I argue that we need a research agenda that advocates for AAPI scholarship and specific policies for AAPI communities based on the collection and analysis of disaggregated data. Such an agenda will address the disparities within the homogenized AAPI category.
The form and content of this abstract are approved. I recommend its publication.
Approved: Faye Caronan


IV
TABLE OF CONTENTS
CHAPTER
I. INTRODUCTION 1
From Coolie Trade to Model Minority 3
Methodology and Outline 7
Theoretical Framework 7
Fimitations of Study 12
II. BARRIERS IN EDUCATION 14
Generational Gaps 15
Sense of Campus Belonging 18
Identity Formation in Fanguage Acquisition 20
Personal Narratives/ Positionality 23
III. PUBFIC HEAFTH 34
Mental Health Access 35
Health Insurance 37
IV. POFITICAF PARTICIPATION 42
Immigrant Assimilation and Generational Patterns 43
Group Membership/ Racial identification 44
Strong Party Affiliation 47
Fanguage Barriers 48
Mobilizing Organization 50
V. CONCFUSION 52
REFERENCES
56


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CHAPTER I INTRODUCTION
Asian Americans are one of the fastest growing demographics in the United States.
Asian Americans represent about 17 million of the U.S. population. Many groups fall under this label, including Asian Indian, Bangladeshi, Bhutanese, Burmese, Cambodian, Chinese, Filipino, Hmong, Indonesian, Japanese, Korean, Laotian, Malaysia, Nepalese, Pakistani, Sri Lankan, Taiwanese, Thai, Vietnamese, and other unspecified Asian American (US Census Bureau, 2010). Within the Asian American category, there are differences in language, culture, and history.
Even within certain Asian nationalities, there may be differences in religion, class, educational level, political perspective, generation, immigrant status, refugee status, gender identity, sexuality and many more varying factors that shape Asian American lives. These factors all play a role in the complexities of defining the Asian American experience and racial identity in the United States. Despite this diversity, the stereotypes and historical depictions of Asian Americans in media as foreigners and exceptional students have also continued to shape how parents, teachers, administrators, and students perceive Asian Americans, and how Asian Americans often view themselves.
Historically, people of Asian descent were categorized as Oriental, Asiatic, and Mongoloid prior to 1960. These categorizations were used as racist groupings of different people under the premise that they were all the same race due to phenotypical traits. The term was often used to craft racist policies targeting Asian Americans who were perceived as barbaric, foreign, and dangerous to the White race. In the 1960s, American historian and civil rights activist Yuki Ichioka coined the term “Asian American” in response to the negative stereotyping of Asians in the United States. This term created a new panethnic Asian American political group that has


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been successful in creating a collective identity for Asian Americans to work collaboratively towards gaining visibility, resources, and political power. The Asian American identity has proven to be a powerful move for Asian Americans to fight against racist narratives placed upon them in the past. However, as the Asian American population has continued to grow in the United States, having a more critical look at the representation of “Asian Americans” through a critical lens can reveal important insights into how the racial construction of Asian Americans as a homogeneous group impacts the experiences of the diverse Asian American population. Thus it is important to focus on research on Asian Americans that distinguishes between different Asian Americans and offers disaggregated data. Disaggregating data can help us understand how Asian American lives are shaped by many different factors.
Data disaggregation is a new phenomenon in scholarship on Asian American. This scholarship advocates for the breakdown of Asian American data to show the differences and disparities among Asian American subgroups. Many scholars are pushing for disaggregation in Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) data collection to reveal the heterogeneity within the group. These differences have important implications for the lived experiences of different members of these many communities which aggregated data often masks. Disaggregated data, broken down among generation, class, history and pattern of migration to the United States all play an important role in understanding the Asian American racialized experiences which can help develop public policy that acknowledges and responds to the unique needs of historically marginalized AAPI groups. In understanding how Asian Americans have historically been represented, disaggregated data among Asian Americans can reveal differences hidden by aggregated data.


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From the coolie trade to yellow peril to model minority
One of the very first cultural representations of Asians in America was through the Coolie trade, which showed Asian as foreign invaders to the United States. In 1870 unskilled Chinese labor was recruited through legal migration to work on the railroads. However, Chinese laborers were not received positively as they were perceived as foreigners taking away jobs from White working-class Americans. There was a large pushback against Chinese laborers through violence and xenophobic narratives. When the U.S. government felt pressure from White Americans, the very first racialized immigrant exclusion policy was implemented in 1882 and lasted until 1943. The New York Times article, CHINESE EXCLUSION (1902) stated that “the best attainable result in the matter of Chinese exclusions would be the passage of a law [to] reasonably accomplish the desire of majority of the American people to keep out Chinese laborers with the minimum of restrictions upon the coming of other Chinese” (The New Times, 1902). The idea that the people of East are foreigners continues to manifest through different institutional legal separation of Chinese students and White students in schools. This was seen in educational spaces where Chinese students were separated from White students as the government stated that it was “separate but equal.”
In 1902, the father of Wong Him challenged the “separate but equal” law that stated Chinese students were getting the same education by attending schools separate from their White counterparts. He challenged this by asking the board of education to allow a Chinese student, who was a native-born citizen of the United States of Chinese parentage -- Wong Him v. Callahan, 119 F. 381 (1902) to attend Clement school, a school for White children, instead of being forced to enroll in Chinese school. By 1905, the local board of education was forced to let Chinese youth attend school with White children because Chinese parents were boycotting their


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elementary school due to loss of financial gain. This was an early example of Asian American resistance to racist policies based on the logic that Asians are inherently foreign and unassimilable. Rather, they made the case that Asian American students were “equal to White students.” This case is important in recognizing how the experiences of Chinese Americans are similar to that of the defendant in Brown vs Board of Education. Both cases challenge the idea that education in separate schools by racial groups can be of equal quality. However, these cases made clear that resources were not equally allotted to provide students of color the same quality education as those provided in White schools. The same argument can be used today as schools with predominately White students may neglect the needs of students of color as the cultural background of students are not addressed.
The coolie stereotype was challenged by many Chinese Americans and various educators as they point out that “Chinese students would not lower educational level based on White school, since on average they scored about as well on IQ test as white children” (1926, Graham V.T). This narrative is another challenge to push back against White standards of education. Considering Chinese Americans were one of the largest Asian American groups of this time, the educational policies were able to open up conversations about who was considered “American” and how education reflected that through their policies. Students of color are perceived as other and education is a reflection of White ideals. The “separate but equal” policy is a reflection of the mainstream cultural beliefs of that time, which included the viewpoint that Asians were culturally inferior, inherently foreign, and unassimilable. The racial construction of Asian Americans from this earlier historical period still lingers in the ways that Asian Americans are seen as foreigners in the United States despite embodying the model minority stereotype.


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Later in the 1900, we see Asian Americans represented as the yellow peril, where Asian Americans were still as foreigners, however, they were now seen as threats to Western civilization. During this period, there was a heightened fear and anxiety that Japan would become political threats to the United States and take over Europe’s dominant position. This fear came from the Sino-Japanese war ended with the Treaty of Shimonoseki on 17 April 1875, in which China made a major territory concession in the Liaodong Peninsula and Formosa. Later the Russo-Japanese war of 1904—1905 created more fear in Western countries because Japan won the war against Russia. Anti-yellow propaganda began drawing Asian Americans as a threatening yellow peril, describing Asian American as the yellow races against Europe.
Representations of Asian Americans become a little more complicated after 1960 as the 1965 immigration act allowed more Asians to come to the United States. Before the Immigration and Naturalization Act of 1965, there was a quota system based on national origins which only allowed many of the immigrants that came to the United States to be from Europe. However, the 1965 act allowed a large influx of Asian immigrants to the United States who took advantage of the professional employment and the family reunification quotas. Another large influx of Asian migrants to the United States were refugees from Southeast Asia fleeing the aftermath of the Vietnam war. During this time there was also a rise in political activism in different groups back at home in the United States, questioning the treatment of minority groups and their rights while the United States was at war abroad fighting under the premise of equality and the end of communism. As racial tensions rose, the conversations around Asian Americans changed and they came to be described as the model minority because they were able to achieve the success of the American dreams despite their status as minority. Robert’s Lee, Associate Professor of American Studies wrote in his book Orientals: Asian Americans in Popular Culture that Asian


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American representation are shaped by the period in which there is class relations accompanied by cultural crisis. He argues that the model minority came out from this period as “reconstruction of the yellow peril” as America’s strategy for national restoration comes from painting Asian Americans as the minority that is closest thing to upholding White values but is not White (1999, 183). However, in the model minority narrative, race becomes invisible as it is replaced with the coded term of tradition and Asian Americans are then reduced to their productivity and values of obedience, disciple, and upward mobility (Lee, 1999). Asian Americans are then reshaped from the yellow peril to the model minority as a political tool against the conversations about race relations in the United States silencing them politically and representing them as a success model group for other ethnic minorities to follow.
In the year 1987 Time magazine put on its cover the image of young Asian American students and titled it “These Asian American Whiz Kids.” This cover was one of the many times that Time magazine article described Asian Americans as the growing “model minority.” This term “model minority” was a concept applied to Asian American students as the new educational success story of America. One of the first times the term model minority was used was in the January 9th, 1966 edition of The New York Times Magazine by sociologist William Petersen to describe Japanese American students who achieved success in the United States despite their marginalization and the legacy of internment. In the article "Success Story: Japanese American Style” (1966), he described this group as having strong work ethic and high family values compared to the “problem minority.” The concept of model minority continues to be a narrative applied to many Asian Americans describing the American success story of minorities in the United State currently. Despite the idea that the model minority is a positive representation of Asian Americans, this stereotype came from a racist narrative to use Asian Americans as a


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political tool against other racial groups that were fighting for equal rights. However, the model minority is one of the strongest stereotypes which continues to affect the racialized realities of Asian Americans in the United States today as it paints Asian Americans as one monolithic group and renders conversations about the barriers they face invisible. Utilizing Asian Critical Theory as a theoretical framework, I argue that the homogenous representation of Asian Americans as the model minority is at best insufficient and at worst harmful to the ways in which the racialized identity of Asian Americans is understood.
Methodology and Outline
This thesis will highlight studies demonstrating the differences between Asian subgroups and those that disaggregate data based on factors of diverse Asian American experiences. In the education section, I review existing research on the differences among Asian American students through immigrant and generational status and identify formation through language acquisition. I offer my own interview data to showcase Asian American student voices to serve as support for the negative consequences of being perceived as the model minority stereotype. The chapter on public health will analyze existing studies utilizing disaggregated data on access to mental health and health insurance. The chapter on political participation will focus on existing disaggregated data studies focusing on immigrant socialization, racial identity formation (ethnic group membership) and collective mobilization, and language barriers as factors impacting political participation among Asian Americans. The chapters will all be analyzed through a critical Asian theory framework to argue that understanding Asian Americans through a homogeneous image such as the model minority masks important details that disaggregated data studies can offer.
Theoretical Framework


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Critical Asian Theory is developed by Dr. Samuel D. Museus of the department of Higher Education and Student Affairs at Indiana University, Bloomington who taught Asian American Studies and Higher Education at the University of Massachusetts Boston and Jon S. Iftikar, a doctoral candidate in Curriculum and Instruction and Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Museus and Iftikar’s research focuses on developing new theoretical models and frameworks for analyzing racialized identities, experiences, and inequities in higher education utilizing critical and cultural studies approach. They developed an Asian Critical Theory (AsianCrit) framework in 2014 to aid in analyzing the role of racism on APPI experiences.
AsianCrit (2014) builds off the work of Critical Race Theory (CRT). CRT was created with the purpose of deconstructing oppressive structures and liberating through educational applications and pedagogy that focuses on race and racism (Ladson-Billings and Tate, 1995). Previous scholarship that utilized CRT have stated that CRT can aid in understanding the stereotypes of the model minority as a paradigm that has been utilized in research to perpetuate Whiteness as the norm of merit while ignoring educational disparities and experiences of AAPI students. Using CRT can help to understand how “stereotype and generalization of Asian Americans is a manifestation of a larger racial agenda that serves to maintain the dominance of whites in the United States” (Lachica Buenavista, Jayakumar, and Misa-Escalante, 2009). However, this scholarship also acknowledges that the current paradigm about race and equity lacks the understanding and response to articulate the needs and experiences of APPI (Teranishi, Behringer, Grey, and Parker, 2009). AsianCrit builds off the work of CRT, which states that although CRT can serve as vital research in scholarships focused on Black and White communities, “in-depth critical analyses of other racial groups can also contribute to more


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holistic understandings of race, racialization, and White supremacy” (Iftikar and Museus, 2018, P-5).
AsianCrit framework consists of seven interrelated tenets that can be used to understand how White supremacy shapes the racialized experiences of Asian Americans and how racially marginalized people navigate, engage with, and utilize the racial categories through which White supremacy attempts to group them as one homogenized group. In the following, I will summarize the 7 tenets and explain how I will apply them in my thesis:
1. Asianization is used to explain how Asian American groups have become “Asian” in the United States because White Supremacy has racialized them as such. Specifically, White Supremacy and racism in the United States have racialized Asian Americans as perpetual foreigners, threatening yellow perils, model and deviant minorities, and sexually deviant emasculated men and hypersexualized women. White Supremacy has racialized Asian Americans through laws, policies, programs, and perspectives that have kept Asian Americans as these stereotypes in the United States (Iftikar and Museus, 2014). I focus on the yellow peril and model minority stereotypes. I explain how the representation of Asian Americans goes from the yellow peril to the model minority and has continued to dehumanize and keep Asian Americans out of public conversations on racial inequality.
2. Transnational contexts draw attention to the significance of how White Supremacy works through a network of global relationships, individual and larger policies, and structural levels in racializing Asian Americans. Past and present global economic, political, and
social processes are important in understanding how racism has shaped Asian American


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experiences (Iftikar and Museus, 2014). I present works of literature which talk about the structural barriers to education, public health, and political participation and how immigration law, colonization, and racist policies, both past and present, play a crucial role in the ways in which Asian Americans continue to be homogenized through these narratives.
3. (Re)constructive history basis is the purpose of changing the invisibility of Asian Americans by creating a collective Asian American historical narrative and reanalyzing existing histories to include the voices and contributions of Asian Americans (Iftikar and Museus, 2014). This thesis showcases studies of the work of Asian American scholars, in addition to the voices of Asian American students.
4. Strategic (anti)essentialism builds on the argument that race is a social construction that is shaped and reshaped by economic, political, and social forces. Based on the concepts of anti-essentialism and strategic essentialism, strategic (anti)essentialism recognizes and counters the ways that White supremacy racializes Asian Americans as a monolithic group in the United States, but it also emphasizes that Asian Americans can and do actively intervene in the racialization process as well. For instance, Asian American scholars and activists engage in coalition building and (re)defining racial categories to gamer political power and influence advocacy against White supremacy (Iftikar and Museus, 2014). This thesis talks about the political power of being seen as “Asian Americans”, however it also wishes to define what it means to be “Asian Americans” through understanding the different intersecting identities of different Asian subgroups as well as the breakdown of their status through disaggregated data to show how beneficial analyzing these differences can be.


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5. Intersectionality is the understanding that White supremacy and other systems of oppression and exploitation intersect to shape the conditions within which Asian Americans exist (Iftikar and Museus, 2014). This literature review will discuss the different intersecting identities and how these intersections form the racial identities of Asian and their racialized experience. It also discusses the historical factors of imperialism, colonialism, sexism to understand how these different identities shaped the realities of Asian Americans.
6. The story, theory, and praxis founded in CRT’s scholarships utilize racially marginalized people’s experiences and realities as a significant and important perspective to challenge the dominant White narrative and to center racialized marginalized experience (Iftikar and Museus, 2018). This thesis shares personal narratives of Asian American students, including my own personal narrative, to recognize the importance of experiences. Stories from the Asian American community are vital to support disaggregated data and to challenge the yellow peril and model minority narrative. These narratives bring up voices of the hidden.
7. “Commitment to social justice highlights the notion that AsianCrit is dedicated to advocating for the end of all forms of oppression and exploitation” (Iftikar and Museus, 2018). This thesis explains my agenda of encouraging further scholarship of Asian Americans through disaggregated data to bring more changes to the perception of Asian Americans through different realms of their lives. Research in different subgroups drives more refined polices in helping more awareness of Asian American experiences and to remove all forms of oppression and exploitation.


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Although AsianCrit has primarily been applied in higher education scholarships, I argue that AsianCrit can lay out the foundation of my argument that being perceived as the homogeneous model minority affects all aspects of Asian American lives despite the differences within these groups. The utilization of this framework lays out the foundation of my research on the racialization of Asian Americans in the United States. It serves as a guide for recommending future research and policies in the realms of educational institutions, public health, and political participation.
Limitation of Studies
The studies I present in each section only touches on a general area of that particular topic. While this thesis attempts to highlight barriers and challenges in those areas, I understand that many of the topics go beyond the scope that this paper can explore. While the educational chapter offers interview data for Asian American students, the chapters on public health and political participation do not. Furthermore, some of the challenges I faced when studying the different Asian American groups hinged on how to define the community. It is not always standard who is included when speaking about Asian Americans and various studies have varying terms that they use. For instance, sometimes Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islanders are under the AAPI umbrella category, other times they are distinguished from South Asian and East Asian groups, and sometimes they are not represented at all. While disaggregated data research is emerging more for Asian Americans, I still find that the number of studies is limited. As a result, conclusions drawn about people from such diverse nations and backgrounds are scattershot and do not encapsulate a full understanding of the challenges faced by those within these different subgroups. In providing existing studies using disaggregated data, I provide evidence that there


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are important differences among the Asian American community that can provide a better understanding of Asian American racialized identities.


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CHAPTER II
BARRIERS AND CHALLENGES IN EDUCATION
The endurance of the model minority myth can be attributed to empirical evidence suggesting Asian American students outperform other students of color academically; in turn leading them to economic success. When aggregated, Asian American students outperform other racial minorities. In the 2010 Department of Education report on education attainment, Asian Americans age 25 or older are the highest achievers of bachelor degrees and above, outperforming other racial minority groups and even Whites in obtaining higher education degrees. In 2008, 31.6% of Asian Americans obtained a bachelor degree compared to Whites at 21.6%, Blacks at 13.6%, and Hispanics at 9.4 %. This trend is positive through each level of educational attainment, showing Asian American students as the highest group in attaining bachelor degrees’ despite being one of the smallest racial minority groups. However, Chun, Ki-Taek, author of The Myth of Asian American Success and Its Educational Ramifications (1980) states that when looking at empirical data it is important to remember that an indicator of success is more complex than data on just education attainment as it can be open to interpretation and “might reflect a story of disproportionate sacrifices for college education or society’s delimiting mobility structure” (Chun, 1980, 99). That is when Asian American students are generalized, the success rates may mask important details that can affect the overall image of Asian Americans.
When the ethnic minority groups are broken down in the same report it shows disparities. 80% of Asian Indian students obtained a bachelor’s degree compared to 44.6% of Vietnamese students. That is a huge disparity between the two ethnic groups. In the other Asian category, it is unknown how many ethnic groups are included in the 138,000 figure, the same amount as Asian Indians in the report but with the lowest percentages of educational attainment at a rate of 35.8%


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(Department of Education, 2010). Pacific Islanders have the lowest educational attainment rates with only 9.7% obtaining a bachelor degree. Chun points out how data typically used to argue Asian Americans are successful can lead to Asian Americans resenting the success myth. When a group of people, are “viewed as successful [but are not] represented in the process of policy deliberation, which is often the case with APA, this group may inadvertently become a victim of inattention or exclusion” (Chun, 1980, 105). What then happens when many diverse Asian ethnic groups get lumped together under this stereotype is it creates systemic challenges to AAPI students that are often invisible. In the following section, I discuss those structural barriers of being perceived as the model minority in educational institutions. I will first discuss generational gaps between Asian American students navigating the educational systems. In particular, I examine the pressure of being first generation students, and cultural clashes coming from families that emphasize Confucian values. Next, I examine previous studies that show how language acquisition is a key component in identity formation in educational institutions.
Finally, I share and analyze first-hand narratives of CU-Denver students and their experiences living under the model minority narrative. I conclude with recommendations for future research for AAPIs in education. This is all in an effort to change the narratives around what it means to be an AAPI student in educational institutions.
Generational Gaps
In Asian Critical Theory, transnational contexts draw attention to the significance of how White Supremacy works through a network of global relationships, individual and larger policies and structural levels in racializing Asian Americans. Past and present global economic, political, and social processes are important in understanding how racism has shaped Asian American experiences (Iftikar and Museus, 2014). Utilizing this, I wanted to understand how children of


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Asian immigrants from countries whose cultures have been historically influenced by Confucianism differ from children of Asian immigrants from countries whose cultures have not been influenced by Confucianism and the way in which their struggles may be invisible to higher educational institutions due to the model minority myth. I also considered the intersecting identity of being first generation students to explore how generational factors have continued to racialized their identities.
While there has been a lack of studies on first generation Asian American students, various other studies have focused on first generation students’ overall success in navigating higher education systems. Many Asian American students come from immigrant families.
Studies that focus on first generation students can offer strong support for the similar experiences faced by Asian American students. First generation Asian American students whose families immigrated from countries with a strong Confucian influence may be experiencing cultural pressure from their families as well as the pressure of navigating the educational system as a first generation student. Harry C. Triandis, a professor Emeritus at the Department of Psychology of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign discussed in his article The psychological measurement of cultural syndromes (1996) that Asian immigrants who come from Asian countries that are influenced by Confucianism (China, Korea, Japan, and Vietnam) emphasize a more collective culture that tends to place more emphasis on group goals, relationship harmony, or interdependence than on their own personal goals, needs, or independence (Triandis, 2007). Andrew J. Fuligni, Professor-in-Residence at University of Michigan who studied the cultural backgrounds of immigrant students states that culture plays a role in shaping the ways youth from immigrant families progress in postsecondary education compared to their peers from
American bom families. His studies suggest that students whose immigrant families come from


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East Asian background are more likely to enroll and persist in postsecondary schooling as compared with their American bom peers (Fuligni, 2007). Their pressures and challenges may go unnoticed as they are dismissed as the result of cultural practices.
When considering the intersecting identities of Asian American students who come from immigrant families that emphasize Confucian values and are also first generation students, these Asian American college students may feel the pressure of balancing cultural expectations of individualism promoted in the university context with more collectivistic values emphasized by their native culture (Fuligni, 2007). First generation Asian American students whose families are immigrants or who are immigrants themselves are often going through the process of assimilating into American culture. Many immigrants and first generation students who have settled and integrated into Western culture as first generation may give a perception of content conformity. This conformity may reinforce the assumption that Asian American students do not need the support and resources afforded to other disadvantaged groups because they are perceived to be doing well due to their cultural practice of placing family first, a common narrative used to argue for the model minority. However, their problems are invisible as there are conflicting roles and demands of family membership, educational mobility, and their needs as students who are still learning to navigate the system alone without any help. It is also common for family members who immigrate to America to reject acculturation by consistently using their native language, practicing traditional lifestyles and cultural norms, and by forcing their children to abide by their native cultural values (Fee et al.). This family pressure may impact the overall educational experiences of first generation immigrant students from these cultural backgrounds.
York-Anderson, and Dollean C. Bowman, Sharon F. who studied first generation college students in their article Assessing the college knowledge of first-generation and second-


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generation college students (1991) found that there was a difference between the ways that first and second generation students perceived support from their families for attending college. First generation students are less likely to perceive family support compared to 2nd generation students. They surveyed 58 first generation and 142 second generation college students and found that second generation students had more factual information regarding college opposed to students who perceived less support. Connecting the two studies, many first generation students whose families come from countries who emphasize a collective culture may feel pressure from both cultural practices at home as well as fitting into a cultural norm in their higher education institution. Those who fall behind traditional students in their basic knowledge of college, personal commitment, and level of family support may feel pressure from home and school. The lack of support may lead to many first generation students having feelings of anxiety, dislocation as well as cultural pressure of trying to fit into the system. This comes along with the conflicting roles and demands of family membership, educational mobility, and the needs of students who are still learning to navigate the system alone without any help.
Sense of campus belonging
Discussion of the model minority stereotype focuses on Asian American students attaining higher educational levels than their peers, however, there is less attention to the higher education experiences and the retention rate of these students. According to a study done by Krista M. Soria and Michael J Stebleton called First-generation students' academic engagement and retention (2012), first generation students have lower retention rates compared to non-first-generation students and are less likely to engage academically compared to traditional students; When “controlled for race, gender, social class, grade point average, campus climate, and sense of belonging, first generational students are associated with a 45% decrease in the odds of


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returning to the second year of study holding all other factors constant” (Soria and Stebleton, 2012, pg 678). The study also finds that there are differences for first generation students “with first-generation students reporting lower mean scores on contributing to a class discussion, asking an insightful question in class, bringing up ideas or concepts from different courses during class discussions, and interacting with faculty during lecture class sessions” (Soria and Stebleton, 2012, pg 678) during their first year of college. This brings in the question of whether the sense of belonging on campus is a predictor of academic engagement. While interactions with faculty of any kind is more beneficial to all college students, first generation students can gain and experience an overall positive environment when they feel a sense of campus belonging and support from faculty to increase cultural capital. Understanding the pressure of navigating family cultural background as well as trying to fit into a White system, scholarships which show Asian Americans as one monolithic group succeeding does not account for the diverse backgrounds among individual experiences.
Other studies which offer explanations on the relationship between campus environment and a sense of belonging states that Southeast Asian students are one of the highest Asian American groups whose education experiences go unexplored as they are lumped under one narrative of the model minority. Dina C. Maramba and Robert T. Palmer are researchers who have a vested interest in increasing opportunities of access and success for populations of color in higher education. Their article, The Impact of Cultural Validation on the College Experiences of Southeast Asian American Students (2014), focuses on the culture of success of Southeast Asian American students. Their study finds that many Southeast Asian students felt that the low number of other Southeast students who look like them influenced the ways in which they spoke of cultural knowledge, cultural familiarity, cultural expression, and cultural advocacy (Maramba


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and Palmer, 2014). Students who took a course on their family history found themselves more likely to be activists on college campuses, connect to their own families, and learn about other Asian communities. Students also felt more validation from professors of color who looked like them. Southeast Asian students also felt that they need a space and a community on campus to express their cultural background. This emphasizes the importance of ethnic organizations on campus for Southeast Asian to find a sense of belonging. This is also important for their cultural advocacy as many Southeast Asian students in the study express the need to maintain connection to their community outside of school and to help younger generations. Understanding that belonging on campus is an important factor in fostering students, these studies can provide insights into the way campus can respond to the needs of Southeast Asian students and provide support for these students.
English Language acquisition and Identity Formation
(Re)constructive history basis is the purpose of changing the invisibility of Asian Americans by creating a collective Asian American historical narrative and reanalyzing existing histories to include the voices and contributions of Asian Americans (Iftikar and Museus, 2014). In the following, I compare studies which show voices of Asian American students. Little research is done on how AAPI students struggle in forming identities due to language acquisition in educational institutions. In particular, the loss of one’s own heritage language often times creates a strange dynamic for family expectations and self-remorse from immigrant children. In a collection of “linguistic autobiographies” collected by Leanne Hinton in her article Trading Tongue, she showcases the human side of language shift for 250 Asian Americans at the University of California Berkeley. Students from her collection reported feeling pressure to keep


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their parents’ heritage language while learning English with little to no help as they navigate their own identities in learning the new system. Students in the collection felt that their school inadequately prepared them for learning English as strange solutions were often offered. For example, in the collection a student stated that in her school the only program that was offered for ESL was for Spanish speakers and Sign Language for the deaf. She had to learn English on her own through her interaction with her classmates (4883). These students learn from a young age how learning English has not only become their own struggle, it was a responsibility they carry for their family. This can create high stress level in Asian American students who are trying to navigate the educational system.
One of the biggest factors contributing to heritage language loss is through rejection of their own cultural language as Asian American students start to feel a sense of shame from their own language from the mocking of their peers. This often leads to them dealing with language attrition, the loss of their first language, as they no longer feel a strong connection to their native language. This often comes through the form of passive knowledge, understanding the language but unable to speak it, mixing English and native language and/or illiteracy, speaking the native language but unable to read or write in it (4945). This can cause a stress of frustration as they are unable to effectively communicate to relatives and often face criticism from others from their country as they have lost their first language. This collection of narratives reveals the conflicting forces and complexities of how language can have a compounding effect on forming identity for Asian American students.
English as Second Language (ESL) students who are also first generation students and immigrants faced multiple barriers to accessing proper education as their identities play a role in the ways they were perceived by their teachers and their own selves. Steven Talmy studied


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students in an ESL class for a whole academic year. He observed classroom interactions to note how ESL students form their own self-identity through their language acquisition as ESL students. He found that ESL students were placed in essentially the same classroom despite being at different language levels. The teacher in the study was required to attend to the needs of all levels of proficiency. Students began to resent the “forever foreign” concept of learning English among their peers. In this study, the teacher designed a project where students had to present a project on their own country’s holidays to show this case. Two students were denied their request to talk about Christmas and New Year as a holiday because these holidays did not culturally represent them according to the teacher. Essentially the teacher had outed these students as foreigners. Going back to the forever foreigner narrative, Asian American students in this class were silenced as foreigners as their background as ESL students complicates their roles as Asian Americans. This study supports the assertion that Asian American students who are second language learners begin to posit themselves on a hierarchy against other students to resist against their “fresh off the boat” label as a lower status of “newcomer” is often considered un-American. Talmy argues that this in-group resistance against the out-group of the real FOB allows some Asian Americans to posit themselves against being perceived as less then and also as othered. This form of resistance is what Talmy calls a challenge to the “reductive conflation of language with culture, country, and personality” which in turn subverts multiculturalism (5328). These narratives reinforce my argument that Asian American students are more complex than suggested by aggregated data reported on Asian Americans.


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Personal Narratives
Looking at the literature which provides evidence that the narratives placed on Asian Americans are harmful, it is important to use this information to understand the experiences of Asian American students. Applying Asian Critical theory, the following is an analysis of firsthand accounts of Asian American students at the University of Colorado Denver through video interviews about the effects of the model minority on their self-image. Their voices serve as the biggest support as to why APPI are not a monolithic group because their identities vary in myriad ways.
Research Questions
1. Research Question: Is the Model Minority a Positive Stereotype for AAPI students?
2. How do the AAPI students perceive their identity through the Model Minority
Narrative?
3. How will disaggregated data help AAPI students?
Participants
The participants in this project are five AAPI students from the University of Colorado Denver- four females and one male. Participants; ethnicities consisted of Hmong, Indonesian American, East Indian American, Nepali, and Lao American. Four of the students were undergraduates and one of the students is a graduate student. All the students were recruited through personal connection to researcher by emails, common courses, and through the Asian American Student Services office. They were intentionally chosen with different ethnic background to show diversity.
Methodology- Narrative Analysis, Interviews, Survey/Questionnaire, ethnography


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Method
The interviewer introduced the purpose of the research project to the participants before starting. The participants filled out a media release form and a questionnaire before starting the interviews. The questionnaires consisted of questions asking participants about their background including ethnicity, income, financial aid, and general concerns, etc. After they were done, the interviewer recorded the interviews and asked a series of guiding questions. The participants knew that they would be addressing questions in regard to the model minority and Asian American identity.
The interviews took place in one of the small study rooms in the Student Commons building at the University of Colorado Denver. Only the interviewer and the interviewee were in the room. The material used in this research is a camera from the CU Denver media library, microphone, and video editors to capture the conducted interviews. Some of the participants did not want to share their videos so photos were taken instead. Interview lengths varied from 15-30 minutes. The interview ended with the student answering the question: what do you want others to know about being Asian American? The researcher came back to watch the video later to analyze for common themes in the interviews.
Multiple Marginalized Identity
Maimalle Her, a senior majoring in communication and a second generation Hmong American, talked about how her multiple marginalized identities have shaped the ways people have treated her. She talked about how she was not sure whether people treated differently due to


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her Asian American identity or due to her visible physical disability. When asked if she ever felt that she was discriminated against due to her Asian American identity, she told the interviewer:
“Uh yes and no because um, throughout my school everyone been saying Asian students are smart so by default, I had group created for me because everyone wanted to be friends with Asians, but then again um I was also born with a disability so it kind of played against me and people would have looked at me for my disability. They said even though she’s Asian she disabled, she less able than the average Asian so I guessed it played a good and a bad role.”
She described an example of a time when she was placed in a group. Due to her physical disability there were doubts from other members of the group about her performance as a student. She mentioned that these students assumed her disability would negatively impact her contributions to the group’s work. Maimalle had to challenge these stereotypes by becoming the leader of the group and defining her roles to surpass what people thought of her. She expressed moments of pride where her peers came to apologize to her after proving herself to the group that she was more than her disability.
“I don’t take anything as offensive. I’ve been through this my entire life.”
Her identities of being both Asian American and a person with disability really shaped her upbringing in how she saw how others treated her. She mentioned that although she had a community within the Hmong community she felt alone and isolated in the same community because she was physically different from them. The stigma of living with a disability made it difficult for her to feel included in her community:


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“Part of growing [up] Asian was kind of hard because I, even though I had that Asian community, I felt lonely because no one else had a disability. Nobody else understood what I was going through so I got excluded from stuff.”
Messages that she received from her community emphasized that she was different and it often
produced confusion in her self-identity as to whether people discriminated against her due to her
Asian American identity or due to her disability. For her the model minority narrative was not a
positive stereotype as she tried so hard to live up to it. However, she was never sure if she was
able to live up to the stereotype as she also had a disability. It really limited her spaces as she
must place her disability before her Asian identity when in these spaces.
AAPIs Face Discrimination
Chelsea Situmeang is an Indonesian woman studying Public Health and Ethnic Studies. She talked about how the model minority does not let Asian Americans talk about the discrimination that they face. When talking about facing her own discrimination Chelsea pointed out that these stories are deeply ingrained in our memories. She mentioned that there was a message of otherness from the beginning. Chelsea felt this messages of otherness currently when she told a recent story about her food.
“An example would have to be food, an embarrassment. I know like it still happens when I bring traditional food from home that my mom or dad cooks and you know, not a lot of students are familiar with um Indonesian food cause if you think about it the most famous food are like Chinese, Thai food or Korean food. I remember bringing in this fish type food and I microwave it and everyone was complaining about the smell and I was just like yea I’m not going to bring this next time but I shouldn’t be embarrassed cause it’s like a unique traditional food that has been passed down generation. It was just, you know always these people who judge by the smell you don’t know. Thy don’t think outside the box to not judge first and think about lie it’s their culture food and they acknowledge like it different from American food but yea.”
Chelsea points out that due to the model minority myth she is unable to talk about her issues as it
does not seem as important as the issues that other racial minorities face. The model minority is


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not a positive stereotype for her and in fact was negative as it minimizes her struggles. She talks about how she is frustrated with the ways Asian Americans students are unable to share their stories and how this limits the spaces they can take up.
Navigating Both Cultures
Swarnima Chaudmary is South Asian woman in the school of Public Health getting her Master’s degree. She talked about the struggle of coming to accept herself as a queer woman of color in both communities. She struggles a lot with her identity as she fought between the two cultures.
“I remember always feeling like I was straddling 2 different worlds. It was, you know, I’m always afraid of being too Indian for the Americans kids or too American for the Indian community” “That feeling of otherness. Again it was always an undercurrent of otherness. It was never out right um I did not face outright racism um but it was always like that different culture. I’m eating different food, I’m growing up with certain moral values that might now align with the um American dreams.”
Swarnima Chaudmary was often seen only through the successes of her parents and her school.
She was unable to talk about her struggles as they are often minimized. She talked about the first
time she was happy to finally see representation. However, her representation was met with a
negative response from the community.
“So I’m a queer Asian American and I remember coming out as being gay was very rough because in my culture, it’s not accepted. It’s not really talked about um it’s criminalized in the country as least as far as I know. I remember that when I was first struggling with my sexuality, there was a woman in my community who was quite a bit older and she had come out as queer and there was like you know newspaper article where she came out. The Indian community knew about it and they ostracized her quite a bit um I remember feeling scared and not proud at all because in so many ways you know Indians are known as hospitality, loving, and being extended family open with open arms. She was completely fine and doing things to make her way in life. Just because of the fact that she was gay and came out as so, was ostracized and I remember being on the sideline as a young person struggling with their sexuality and realizing that oh, you know, there are part of my culture and identity that aren’t the best and the most accepting”


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“My parents found out when I was 14, not of my own choice. When they found out it wasn’t received well at all. My dad held a knife to his throat because he was like I’m so ashamed that my daughter is gay. I’m happy to say this has been better.”
Swarnima Chaudmary stated that the model minority myth did not allow her to come to terms
with the different identities that she held. She stated that she tried very hard to live up to the
model minority myth but was often struggling to live up to that expectation. In this case, the
model minority was not a positive stereotype for her. She saw herself as a failure when trying to
live up to the model minority narrative. The way that she occupies social justice spaces now is
through talking about her position as a queer brown woman. Her queer brownness is the way in
which she is able to take up that space.
Differing Cultural Values
Sabitra Niroula is a senior studying Psychology and Biology. She talked a lot about how others do not perceive her to be Asian as she does not phenotypically look Asian American according to what others perceive to the Asian American. Her struggle comes a lot from how others perceive her for her Brownness.
“They thought we were very dumb, we didn’t know anything. They thought that we came to America with like without knowing anything like some of my teachers even thought that I came to America to learn English which wasn’t true”
“I am Asian but I don’t look like you know stereotypical Asian, what they said, um so they thought I was Arab because I’m brown skin and it easy for people to pick on people who look different.”
For Sabitra, the model minority narrative made the struggle of her community and her struggle invisible as it was not a stereotype that affected her because she did not look Asian. She has a hard time reacting to it as she has never felt it unless people knew she was Asian American. She never needed to live up to the model minority as she was perceived as Brown. A lot of her experiences came from her being a refugee and trying hard for others to see her as Asian


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American. Her experience is an interesting look into what it means to occupy space as a Brown Asian woman and the political nature of what it means to be Brown in social justice spaces. Her brownness complicates the way she can take up social justice spaces.
Non-Conforming: Breaking the Asian stereotype
Alex Pong is a Lao American senior studying Ethnic Studies with a minor in International Studies and Communication. As a student in the Ethnic Studies program, he was well aware of what the model minority myth does to students of color. Alex talked a lot about how he never was the model minority and how he continues to fight these spaces.
“I was an Asian America student that did not try hard in school, middle school and high school. It was a rough time for me. Didn’t know where I fit in in the food chain you could say. I didn’t know who I was for my cultural identity. I did not know where to place myself. I did not know what to consider myself especially with the group of friends that I had.”
As someone who grew up not fitting this role, he stated that there are times when AAPI do try to play into that role. He stated that often time AAPI conditioned themselves to lower their strength because of this myth.
“Just people were all Asian, doesn’t mean they were all the same people”
“Most of the time as Asian Americans when have we ever been taught to praise ourselves or when have we ever heard praises from other in a genuine matter.”
However, he stated that, often time AAPI are expected to represent their group. That makes him
aware of how he acts and how other AAPI should act. He mentions a lot about representation of
the whole group.
“As an Asian American you going to be predispose certain things, you’re going to be stereotypes in certain ways. If were trying to fight that we should about how we act sometime. I’m not saying we should conform or assimilate to White culture or anything like that. Take a step back and try not to be a kid.”


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For Alex, the model minority was not a positive stereotype and in fact does not fit anything about him at all. He talked about breaking the stereotype as a student who struggled with his education. His perception of self through the model minority was that he had had no sense of cultural identity as he was never fitting into this stereotype. He mentions that when in social justice spaces, he likes to sit back and take it all in all before speaking.
Asian Critical Theory suggests that conversations about racial identities are becoming more complicated beyond the White and Black paradigm as Asian American students are not quite White but not quite Black. As the model minority is used as the dominant narrative to uphold White supremacy, “exclusion that results from the model minority myth might hinder the development of Asian Americans’ critical consciousness and racial justice advocacy for other communities of color” (Iftikar and Museus, 2018). A common theme among the Asian American students in the interview is as their racial consciousness became more complex they realized that the model minority does not accurately represent them as a whole but rather plays a smaller role in how they perceive themselves. For example, they want to be perceived as the “model minority” but they still felt a sense of “otherness.” This was expressed by Sabitra Niroula when she stated that she is Asian but did not look the part since she is brown skinned and she knows that being brown skinned means others perceive her as a different racial identity. This becomes more complicated as brown skinned people ar often associated with being different in the United States which impacts how others treat her and how she perceives her racial identity. The model minority narrative is then not representative of her story as an Asian American student.
Critical Asian Theory also argues that sharing stories of historically marginalized people can challenge dominant narratives. The intersecting identities can serve as resistance to the


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narrative that they are one monolithic group as suggested by the model minority narrative. Maimalle Her states that her identities are shaped not only by her identities as an Asian American but as someone who has a physical disability. Chelsea Situmeang states that she still faces discrimination. The model minority often masks how Asian American students face racial discrimination. Swarnima Chaudmary talks about how she not only navigated two worlds as Indian and American but also as someone who is queer. Those multiple identities conflict but determine the way she can act in both cultures. Sabitra Niroula talks about how being a refugee and being an Asian American does not quite fit into the model minority narrative because she is Brown. Alex Pong talks about the challenges the model minority narrative presents for him as someone who was not interested in school in the beginning. All these identities show the complex nature of Asian American racialized identities and how research that disaggregates data will offer a better understanding of the intersecting identities that shape Asian American identities as a whole.
Positionality of the Author
Story, theory, and praxis are founded on Critical Race Theory scholars’ claims that racially marginalized people’s experiential knowledge can serve to challenge dominant, White, European epistemology and offer an alternative and empowering epistemological perspective that is grounded in the realities of people of color (Iftikar and Museus, 2018). Scholarship that focuses on the realities of people of color needs to center the voices of people of color themselves to understand the importance between theory and advocacy. To understand my stance on disaggregated data, I wanted to center the importance of my story and my purpose for writing
this thesis.


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I am a 1.5 generation Vietnamese American female graduate student in the Master of Social Sciences program with an emphasis on Ethnic Studies. 1.5 generation for me means I was born in the country of Vietnam and have been raised here since I was 3 years old. I came from a low income family in the city of Aurora, where the majority of immigrants and refugees reside in the state of Colorado. I recognized my racialized identity early on as my family are often targets of racial discrimination in the neighborhood I grew up in. Thus I grew up with a skewed sense of what it means to Asian American. I felt the model minority narrative placed on me through various encounters of microaggressions in school and around the peers I grew up with. Despite feeling like I should be able to excel as an Asian American student, I often felt behind because of my inability to reach the model minority narrative I had internalized of being an exceptional student in school. I began to reject my Asian American identity and to internalize thoughts that I am simply not smart enough to be in higher education as I did not fit into the model minority narrative. Yet I internalized this stereotype and kept pushing to meet what I felt was expected of me, resulting in the deterioration of my mental health.
When I entered the Master of Social Science program at CU Denver, I thought I found my niche as someone with a passion for social justice who would be surrounded by a community which fosters that passion. However, I was disappointed and made to feel not quite “successful” because the challenges I faced as a person of color were not addressed while in the program. I sometimes even questioned my placement in the program as a student. I found a community outside the program through the Ethnic Studies department where I was able to express my feelings of discontent and un-belonging. That community is the reason that I am able to write this thesis today. This personal narrative is a challenge to the dominant model minority narrative
that Asian American students are all the same.


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Conclusion
In this chapter, I focused on the structural barriers and challenges that Asian American students face when dealing with the model minority narrative. I opened by describing how the stereotypical narratives lead to misconceptions about the success levels between each ethnic subgroup. There are disparities in educational attainment between the different ethnic sub-groups of Asian Americans. I went into the challenges of navigating higher education with the intersecting identities of being first generation with immigrant status and describe the invisible pressure from family and school. I explain that Asian immigrant families who come from countries that emphasize Confucian values may lead to pressure on their children to focus on group goals, relationship harmony, or interdependence rather than their own personal goals, needs, or independence. In turn, this leads to more pressure as these students navigate both Western and Eastern culture. I then talked about retention rates among first generation students to understand how we can help Southeast Asian American students who are often ignored to remain in school. Next, I talked about how children form identity through language acquisition. Immigrant children often go through language loss of one’s own heritage language and feel shame from losing their native language. ESL students reject the notion of being “fresh off the boat” by reinforcing the “othering” process on other ESL students creating a hierarchy based on Whiteness and English as norms. Finally, I shared and analyzed first-hand narratives from students from the University of Colorado Denver and how they have managed to navigate the model minority narrative. The studies that disaggregate data presented here and the interviews show that Asian Americans are a diverse population that should be studied from a variety of
different factors.


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CHAPTER III PUBLIC HEALTH
The homogenized image of Asians as one successful group leads to the misconception that one subgroup’s group wellness is representative of all subgroups. Asian Americans are aggregated into the same category without addressing subgroup differences in health concerns. The power in access to health services is an important factor in maintaining the overall wellbeing of one’s health. The lack of studies that focus on Asian American subgroups’ health needs continues to contribute to the gaps in addressing these disparities which can lead to negative health impacts. The model minority narrative groups all Asian Americans together and creates systemic challenges to Asian Americans in accessing healthcare. In the following, I discuss those structural barriers of being perceived as the model minority in public healthcare. I will first focus on the mental health concerns of certain Asian American groups and their access to mental health. Next, I discuss studies that talk about the lack of health insurance of certain Asian American groups and the consequences of lacking health insurance. In an effort to bring to light the differences in health concerns of Asian American groups, this chapter explores different health concerns of Asian Americans.
The first tenet in Asian Critical theory, Asianization, suggests that the dominant narrative, White narratives, groups all Asian Americans together under one monolithic racial group, to discount any variations and culture within the population (Museus & Iftikar, 2013).
The model minority is the Asianization of Asian Americans in healthcare access. The model minority narrative has the power to discount any variation within the health disparities among APPI subgroups. Aggregated health data in the past have shown that Asian Americans are overall a lot healthier than other racial minorities. However, these studies suffer from the


35
limitation of having small sample sizes and rely on surveys often conducted in English which do not give a clear picture of health needs of Asian Americans in detail (Jang , & Surapruik 2009). The push for disaggregated data in the AAPI community has been very strong in the public health sector, as many scholars recognize how disaggregated data have helped health care providers understand health access for various Asian American. The following will compare mental health access between Filipinos, Chinese and Vietnamese community based on culture.
Mental Health Access
The transnational tenet in Asian Critical theory draws attention to the significance of how White Supremacy works through the network of global relationships, individual and larger policies and structural levels in racializing Asian Americans. Past and present global economic, political, and social processes are important in understanding how racism has shaped Asian American experiences (Iftikar and Museus, 2014). In this section on mental health, I want to understand how immigrants from countries with a strong Confucianism teaching may differ in seeking mental health care as opposed to immigrants from countries who do not. The cultural stigma of mental health may impact how certain Asian sub-groups may not choose to seek mental health services. I focus this section on the comparison of Vietnamese, Chinese and Filipino populations. As a result of Confucianism, Chinese Americans and Vietnamese Americans seek mental health care differently from Filipino Americans. The Philippines was influenced by U.S. colonization as a U.S. territory. Comparing the two cultures’ differences may lead to insights on how each group chooses to access mental health care. In Chinese culture and medicine, the mind and body are seen as integrated, therefore illness of the mind and the body are also seen as one and cannot be separated (Ying, 2002). Due to Confucius’ teachings,
Vietnamese Americans and Chinese Americans often associate mental health issues with a lack


36
of harmony of emotions or by evil spirits or sadness (Lipson, 1996). Mental health problems are not seen as real medical issues or hold the same level of importance like physical sickness. When a study examined the association between self-rated mental health (SRMH) and diagnosis of psychiatric disorders among Asian American adults in a sample of Vietnamese and Chinese participants, SRMH is not significantly associated with having any psychiatric disorders when compared to the other group studied (Kim , Bryant, and Crowther, 2012). Studies that focus on Chinese Americans and Vietnamese Americans show that with age, Chinese and Vietnamese are associated with a decrease in the likelihood to seek mental health services (Nguyen, D., & Lee,
R. (2012).
In their study, Kirmayer et al. (2007) indicate that individuals with a Vietnamese background are one-third less likely to utilize mental health services than other ethno-cultural groups. Vietnamese participants believe that mental illness is reflective of weakness and interferes with self-control (Liang, 2004; Nguyen, 1985). Vietnamese are more likely to initially seek help from a member of their own community, especially religious leaders, in response to difficulty with acculturation and exposure to Western practices (Kirmayer et al., 2007; Luu, Leung, & Nash, 2009). Vietnamese participants who have mental health concerns are often female, unmarried, unemployed, and experienced family relationship concerns, health issues, or income losses. Seeking a mental health professional is often not their first preferred option (Leung ,2010).
Compared to Vietnamese and Chinese population, a study done on Filipino participants shows that cultural traits, such as the perception of mental health problems as a disease of the family and the tendency to be overly optimistic about the severity of the mental health problem and its impact on their life, are factors in shaping how Filipinos perceive mental


37
health. These Filipino participants may not seek mental health care due to the negative association of people who suffer from mental health problems. They believe it will reduce their social network and opportunities, threaten the economic survival of their entire family, and make their mental health problems even worse (Tanaka and al, 2018). Risk factors and cultural stigma may prevent many Filipinos in wanting to seek help as they weigh the negative as more harmful than the positive outcomes.
Due to Confucius’ teachings, Chinese and Vietnamese community members may view mental health problems as a disconnect between mind and body and therefore stigmatize seeking mental healthcare as failure of the whole self. On the other hand, Filipino Americans with mental health problems believe that resilience and optimism under difficult situations will make the mental health problem better which can prevent Filipinos in wanting to seek care. Additional studies done on the different cultural stigmatized factors in these groups can further the field on why Asian American subgroups may not want to seek mental health care.
Health Insurances
Our current understanding of Asian Americans and access to health insurance has been distorted by the historic aggregation of diverse Asian subgroups on access to health. It masks the important differences in the leading causes of lack of adequate healthcare in each subgroup. There are various studies which show that having health insurance has profound effects on access to healthcare for most Americans. Having health insurance is shown to improve depression (Murray CJ, Atkinson C, Bhalla K). Additional studies show that having health coverage can help earlier stages of diagnosis for breast cancer (Robbins AS, Han X, Ward EM, Simard EP, Zheng Z, Jemal,) and increase overall physical and mental wellbeing for patients (Finkelstein A, Taubman S, Wright B). A lack of health insurance is a strong


38
independent risk factor for death in many of the communities that are studied. Beginning with the Institute of Medicine’s (2002) report, Care without Coverage, studies suggest that lack of insurance causes tens of thousands of deaths each year in the United States. Low coverage rates, however, still persist among disadvantaged populations, particularly immigrants.
While having health insurance is not directly correlated with better health, understanding Asian American subgroups’ access to health insurance is a policy tool that can be used to encourage healthier decision. In a study called Disparities in health insurance coverage among the largest six Asian Americans, the differences in the rates of uninsured among Asian Indian Americans, Chinese Americans, Filipino Americans, Japanese Americans, Korean Americans, and Vietnamese Americans are identified and attributed to five distinct socioeconomic and acculturative factors. The study finds Asian Americans with higher median income per year are the less likely to be uninsured. When considering ethnicity, Vietnamese American and Korean American communities have the lowest median household incomes among all Asian American subgroups surveyed. When considering education, Vietnamese Americans have the lowest percentages of high school graduates, which may account for their higher uninsured rates. However, Korean Americans have high percentages of high school graduates but still demonstrate higher uninsured rates as well. Asian American communities with greater percentages of native-born individuals are less likely to be uninsured. The study also finds that subgroups with limited English have a positive correlation with percentages of uninsured people (Huang, 2013). The study shows the differences in rates among these six factors for this six Asian American groups.
AsianCrit also examines the dynamic of intersectionality as the understanding that White supremacy and other systems of oppression and exploitation intersect to shape the conditions


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within which Asian Americans exist (Iftikar and Museus, 2014). Using this theory, there are social factors which can account for these differences. With a low median income, many Vietnamese Americans and Korean Americans often go into blue collar jobs or are self-employed, which may account for lower median income. This can lead to lower rates of being insured as they are less likely getting insurance from employers or they need to buy private insurances themselves. The percentage of native bom individuals correlates with a higher number individuals who are culturally assimilated because their families have lived in the United States for multiple generations. This can account for the reason why Japanese Americans are more insured than other groups. They are in community with higher rates of Asians who are insured as five out of the six Japanese American communities surveyed in the United States had a percentage of native-born that was over 60 percent. Language access is also strongly correlated with educational attainment. Limited English proficiency can be correlated to lower educational attainment (Huang, 2013). Many Asian Indians and Filipinos are from countries with a history of Western colonial influence and may have a higher level of English proficiency. Chinese, Korean, and Vietnamese American communities have the highest percentages of limited English proficiency, translating into higher percentages of uninsured (Huang, 2013). These intersecting identities play a role in why Asian American subgroups are not uninsured.
Asian Americans are highly diverse across demographic characteristics. Educational level and socioeconomic status among Asian American ethnic groups are highly diverse. Chinese Americans have some of the highest national averages of educational attainment while being grouped together with groups such as Vietnamese Americans who have some of the lowest levels of educational attainment and income compared to the national average overall (Cook WK, Chung C, Tseng W, 2011). Understanding that there is a positive correlation between education


40
and income level and obtaining health insurance that means that Asian American ethnic groups with high education and income levels are also more likely to obtain healthcare and health insurance. For example, Council of Community Pediatrics 2013 notes in a study done on the Affordable Care Act (ACA), that Pakistanis have a 20.9% insured rate, Koreans have a 20.5% insured rate, Cambodians have a 18.9% insured rate, Vietnamese have a 18.5% insured rate, Micronesians have a 18.3% insured rate, Bangladeshis have a 18.2% insured rate, and Samoan have a 16.9% insured rate (The Impact of the Affordable Care Act on Asian Indian, Chinese, Filipino, Korean, Pakistani, & Vietnamese Americans, 2015) Without health insurance, Asian American subgroups find themselves at a disadvantage in obtaining proper healthcare when compared to other American groups.
Cancer is one of the highest causes of death among Asian American groups (McCracken, M., Olsen, M., Chen, M. S., et al 2007). Asian Americans are one of the largest groups to not get early cancer screening. Difficulties in obtaining health insurance have been linked to low cancer screening rates in Asian American groups (Klabunde, C., Brown, M., Ballard-Barbash, R., et al, 2012). A study done on the relationship between acculturation and three different types of cancer screenings among Chinese, Korean, and Vietnamese Americans finds that health insurance had a large confounding effect on the association between acculturation and all cancer screenings. Those who have health insurance or have a regular physician are significantly more likely to have screened for colorectal, cervical, and breast cancer in the past two years. The percentages of having health insurance, a regular physician, and good health status are also significantly higher for those bom in the United States. Having health insurance was strongly associated with colorectal cancer screening. Both health insurance and having a regular physician are strongly associated with having a pap smear, which is used to diagnose cervical cancer. In the current


41
study, significant ethnic differences are seen for Korean American women, who are less likely to have pap smears than Chinese and Vietnamese women (Lee, S., Chen, L., Jung, M.Y. et al. J Community Health, 2014). Understanding the disparities in getting insurance for Asian American subgroups is crucial in understanding their access to proper, adequate care.
Conclusion
In this chapter, I focus on the structural barriers that Asian American subgroups face in access to healthcare. I first focus on the ways in which Chinese and Vietnamese differ in accessing mental health care when compared to Filipinos. I argue that the teachings of Confucius plays a role in how some communities may view mental health care. Additionally, there are disparities between the uninsured and insured in different Asian subgroups. I argue that uninsured immigrants are more likely to experience negative health outcomes. There are factors that may cause lack of health insurance. Overall, this chapter continues to push for disaggregated
data.


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CHAPTER IV
POLITICAL PARTICPATION
There is an emerging interest in the way Asian Americans are politically engaging in the United States. Previous studies on voter participation have shown that higher level of education often leads to higher voter participation (Verba, Sidney, Kay Lehman Schlozman, and Henry Brady, 1995). Yet, Asian Americans on a whole have the highest level of education attainment but the lowest voting rates. Political participation among Asian Americans continue to puzzle many researchers as current studies reveal that motivation in political participation are just as diverse as Asian Americans themselves. Asian Americans vary in their languages, migration stories, cultures and education attainments. When the factors are broken down between the subgroups there are indications that each group has many different factors affecting why they may or may not participate in U.S. politics. This chapter focuses on research that explores the different patterns of political participation among Asian Americans. These studies not only focus on voting but also examine non-formal political participation such as community activism and campaign donation. Looking into these areas, the chapter accounts for factors which lead to less political engagement among Asian American subgroups. This chapter will factor in immigrant socialization, racial identity formation (ethnic group membership) and collective mobilization, and language barriers as contribution to political participation among Asian Americans. This chapter argue that when we are studying Asian American participation patterns, we must disaggregate data because the factors affecting the ways Asian Americans vote in U.S. politics rely on a myriad of variables.
This chapter utilizes the AsianCrit tenant of Strategic (anti-)essentialism which builds on CRT’s anti-essentialism that states that there is no essential experience or attribute that defines


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any group of people. Put simply, there is no singular Asian American experience so the nature of pan-ethnicity is oppressive towards fights for racial justice. However, the AsianCrit tenant of Strategic (anti-)essentialism also suggests that researchers should also makes a purposeful decision about which Asian American groups to include in analyses to generate the most useful understanding of this population and their struggle (Iftikar and Museus, 2014). Building on this foundation, this chapter talks about the importance of the collective Asian American political identity and how it is a powerful label that built power for historically marginalized Asian Americans. However, I will also discuss studies that focus on the political identities of certain Asian subgroups. This chapter will provide studies on the political identities of Japanese Americans to show how this group has grown politically compared to other Asian subgroups. I will also discuss studies on the largest Asian populations in the United States: Chinese, Filipinos, and Vietnamese. By focusing on intersecting identities of immigrant status, generations removed from the immigrant homeland, and ethnicities in disaggregated studies, this chapter hopes to reveal some important details masked by the aggregated data about the political patterns among Asian Americans.
Immigrant Assimilation and Generational Patterns
Certain studies in the past have hypothesized that there is a positive relationship in how long an immigrant group has stayed in the United States and their level of involvement in the U.S. political process, in particular voting. Ramakrishnan, Professor of Political Science and Public Policy at University of California, Riverside and founder of AAPIDATA.com and Thomas Espenshade, researcher of social demography showed in their study Immigrant Incorporation and Political Participation in the United States (2001) that when studying generational differences among immigrants, the studies suggest that first generation immigrants


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in all ethnic minority groups tend to vote more when they have been in the United States longer (882). However, when looking at different generations across racial minority groups, there are some differences in voting patterns. When studied as one whole group, Asian Americans tend to have a linear voting patterns with 2nd generation Asian Americans more likely to vote than first generation Asian immigrants (883). This pattern is similar to White, Black and Latino immigrants. The study also noted that voting participation tapers off after the 2nd generation for Asian Americans, showing that after 2 to 3 generations in the United States, the voting pattern of Asian Americans does not grow as quickly as it does for Latinos and Afrcan Americans. What factors can account for the drop in voting after the 2nd and 3rd generation of Asian Americans? Some point to the strategy of mobilizing Asian Americans under a collective oppressive group identity.
Group Membership/ Racial identification
Previous studies on a collective oppressive identity focus largely on African Americans. While there are opposing findings, in general these studies indicate that identity oppression may have an impact on the strong collective identity consciousness of Black minority groups which may have a relationship to participation rates. There have been studies which use panethnicity in Asian Americans to predict political participation outcome. One study by Tae Eun Min, a researcher who studied The impact of panethnicity on Asian American and Latino political participation (2014) finds that panethnicity decreases Asian American voting activities but increases their non-voting political participation over generations. In his study, panethnicity is defined as the psychological solidarity among individuals from diverse national or ethnic origins. He argues that this may be due to stronger education in Asian Americans, leading them to see non-voting participation as a better way to get their political message across (Min, 2014). Thus,


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they may choose not to vote but instead make a differences through non-formal political participation.
In Jang’s (2009) article Get Out on Behalf of Your Group: Electoral Participation of Latinos and Asian Americans, she studies how different features of racial contexts interact to influence the voting turnout of individual Latinos and Asian Americans. She finds that growth in local Asian communities leads to a higher rate of voting because Asian Americans are individually more likely to vote when surrounded by an Asian community (525) which pressures them to be politically involved. In this study panethnicity is defined as different ethnic groups together based on the shared structural constraints of shared experiences of marginalized identities. Jang emphasizes that even though there are significant cultural and linguistic differences, Asian Americans continue to be “lumped” by race in employment practices, cultural and political representation, and as victims of hate crime. Therefore, there is power in identifying as “Asian American.” This study supports the idea of panethnicity as a strong factor in politically mobilizing Asian Americans as a whole. While collective identity oppression and group mobilization is understudied in scholarship on Asian Americans, studies in common oppression theory in Black minority groups can lead to some direction in understanding why Asian Americans voters are not united in their voting patterns. More studies in this area among different subgroups can provide better understanding on how panethnicity plays a role in mobilizing Asian American political participation.
Racial identification and individual subgroup membership may play a role in how Asian Americans participate politically in ethnic organizations. There are studies which question whether consciousness and membership within an ethnic community increase the likelihood to vote because they identify with the interests and agendas of their group. Having a tie to one’s


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own ethnic group can lead one to be more politically involved with the political interest of the group. Previous studies such as Structural Assimilation, Ethnic Group Membership, and Political Participation (1985) about Japanese American and their level of involvement in different political activity found that Japanese Americans that have varying degrees of ethnic group membership are more likely to political engaged. For example, the study found that having a Japanese friend as a third generation Japanese American is positively correlated with higher political participation because it is a link with formal involvement in Japanese American voluntary associations; however it does not have a strong correlation with the same generation with larger societal political participation (993). This study supports the notion that being involved in an ethnic community leads to higher political participation among Japanese Americans with the interest of the group as a focus but does not support overall participation in political activity on a national level. Taking into account that Japanese Americans have higher percentages of American born individuals who are many generations removed from Japan and thus one of the most assimilated Asian American groups, assimilation may play a role in their political involvement as well.
Professor Pei-te Lien at the University of Florida whose primary research interest is in the political participation and representation of Asians and other nonwhite Americans reveals that Asian Americans who have a better understanding of the problems that those in their racial identity group face are more likely to be engaged in all formal and informal activities of political participation (Lien, 1994). Her more recent studies showed that Asian Americans who have a strong shared identity with their ethnic group may be involved in politics more informally with their group, however, they may not prefer to be individually involved in formal participation such as voting. Membership in an ethnic organization with a strong sense of ethnic


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consciousness encourages some Asian Americans, citizens or not, to get more involved in politics outside of formal channels, such as voting (Wong, Lien, and Conway, 2005). These studies support the argument that having a strong racial identity in ethnic community groups tends to correlate to certain Asian American ethnic groups being more likely to vote or be engaged politically. Asian Americans on a whole do not have a collective oppression identity on the same level as African Americans and thus mobilization through a collective identity may be just as complex as shown by these studies on panethnicity. Understanding the role of membership within an ethnic community can lead to a better understanding of how to mobilize certain Asian American subgroups to be more politically engaged.
Strong Party Affiliation
Scholarship that studies the outcome of partisanship and party affiliation on political participation indicates that political affiliation often is passed down from one generation to the next at a young age. However, with Asian Americans being one of the groups with the highest percentage of immigrants, partisanship is complicated because many children of Asian immigrants encounter a different political system than the one their parents encountered in their homelands. There are many studies that show the patterns of party affiliation of immigrants fleeing from Communist country. Asian American subgroups’ party affiliation can vary depending on their own immigrant patterns. In a study done by Loan Kieu Le and Phi Hong Su, Party identification and the immigrant cohort hypothesis: the case of Vietnamese Americans (2017), they find that the first wave of Vietnamese refugees are more likely to be affiliated with the Republican party versus the Democratic party. However, this pattern disappears by the third generation that is more likely to prefer Democratic affiliation. This may be a result of the Republican party focusing more on individualism which appeals to Vietnamese refugees who


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fled a communist country. This tapers off in later generations of Asian Americans which indicates that the Democratic party should spend more effort recruiting and mobilizing younger Asian Americans.
In a study done by Oh Sookhee, Group Membership and Context of Participation in Electoral Politics among Korean, Chinese, and Filipino Americans (2013), she found that over time there are higher numbers of Asian Americans who identify with the Democratic party (31%) than the Republican party (14%). In particular, during the 2008 election 58% of Filipino Americans, who have traditionally voted Republican, helped elect Obama to the presidency (Oh, 2013). The lean towards Democratic affiliation continued to increase over the last two U.S. presidential elections in 2012 and 2016. More studies in how parties have mobilized these different Asian American groups can provide some understanding of why Asian Americans have changing political attitudes over time.
Language Barrier
Language may pose a structural barrier to voting for some Asian American subgroups. The Language Minority Provisions of the Voting Rights Act was established to increase APPI voter participation as long as a jurisdiction is covered under Section 203 and there is a certain minimum number of United States citizens of voting age in a single language group within the jurisdiction. However, many counties remain invisible in providing adequate translation of election materials other than English (Pew Research Center). In Colorado, there is still no requirement to translate ballots into any languages other than English. There are many services which provide language help to Asian communities such as translators and interpreters. Nevertheless, language remains a barrier for certain Asian Americans to be politically involved.


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Pei-te Lien, Christian Collet, Janelle Wong and S. Karthick Ramakrishnan state in their article Asian Pacific-American Public Opinion and Political Participation (2004) that Vietnamese immigrants may have a higher motivation than other Asian ethnic groups to participate in elections because they want to integrate but they may have difficulty doing so because inadequate language resources prevent them from registering to vote (Lien, 2004). Another study done by Michael Jones-Correa, researcher of political participation and civic engagement at Harvard university, indicates that when data is disaggregated, Vietnamese Americans living in areas where voting materials are provided in their language showed a significant increase in voter turnout compared to other Asian ethnic groups (Jones-Correa, 2005). This may be a direction to look to for increasing Vietnamese Americans voting participation.
While some Asian subgroups may have a higher voter registration rate than others, there is no indication that higher voter registration rates lead to increased voting. Filipino Americans have high rates of voter registration. In his book Strangers from a Different Shore: A History of Asian Americans, American historian Ronald Takaki states that Filipino Americans were subjects of a U.S. territory rather than immigrants from another country between 1898, when the United States annexed the Philippines, and 1946, when the Philippines was granted political independence (Takaki 1989). One legacy of U.S. colonialism in the Philippines is a higher level of proficiency in English, even today. This could explain the higher rates of voter registration among Filipino Americans who are less likely to require translation services. However, Filipino Americans on a whole do not vote more than other Asian subgroups. Sookhee Oh’s study found that first-generation Filipinos are more likely to register and vote than their first-generation Chinese and Korean counterparts however both registration and voting decrease over time among later generations (Oh 2013). Knowing English does not account for why there is less


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voter participation for Filipino Americans. Further research in this area can provide more insight into the effectiveness of translating ballots to increase Asian American voter participation.
Mobilizing Organization
There have always been mobilizing efforts targeting Asian Americans to get out to vote. Asian and Pacific Islander American Vote, APIAVOTE, and the Asian American Justice Center are just a few organizations that work towards understanding how AAPIs vote nationally. Local organizations in Colorado, such as The Immigration Rights Coalition, have continued to push for more Asian American representation by advocating for more diverse language usage and including APPI issues in elections. Colorado’s AAPI population may be low at only 3-5% of the entire state population, in her article Group-Based Resources and Political Participation among Asian Americans (2005) Wong argues that efforts such as phone calls and remainders to AAPI voters can help increase the number of Asian Americans who vote. Thus the efforts to understand how to mobilize AAPIs to vote remains difficult but extremely important.
Conclusion
Despite Asian Americans being seen as highly educated, they remain one of the racial groups with the lowest voter participation rates. In this chapter, I reviewed the findings of research highlighting political participation rates among Asian Americans. First the studies showed different Asian American immigrant generational patterns of voting compared to other racial minorities. These studies indicated that voting among 2nd and 3rd generation Asian Americans is not as strong over time compared to other racial minorities. Next, I reviewed studies exploring whether panethnicity and collective oppressive identity play a role in effectively mobilizing Asian Americans politically. These studies indicate that the relationship


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between panethnicity and political participation is complex because while panethnic identification does not increase voting, it does play a role in non-formal political participation among Asian Americans. Having a racial identity and being involved in an ethnic community is often correlated with increased political participations for Japanese American in studies but this research is not representative of other Asian Americans groups. Next, party affiliation differs for Asian American subgroups. Asian Americans tend to lean more towards the democratic party over time, while the level of non-affiliated voters remains the same. Finally, looking at English language proficiency as a barrier to voter participation reveals that the language barrier may play a role in Vietnamese turnout rate, but English language proficiency rates does not explain why Filipino Americans have low voter rates despite have high rates of registration. AAPI and immigrant advocacy organizations actively seek out ways to effectively mobilize Asian Americans and provide better language resources to encourage voting. The studies provided demonstrate how disaggregated data can provide better insight into the different factors that impact if and how Asian Americans vote.


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CHAPTER V CONCLUSION
Asian Americans have historically been marginalized by racial stereotypes, first the coolie stereotype, then the yellow peril stereotype, and later the model minority stereotype. All these narratives homogenize a diverse Asian American population as one group and keeps them invisible in conversations about race relations and social justice. This creates challenges for Asian Americans that are often invisible to other Americans. Disaggregated data can offer insight into these masked challenges that aggregated data hide. In this thesis, I discuss how the model minority narrative masks the barriers and challenges Asian Americans face in education, access to health care, and political participation.
In the education chapter, I argue that when Asian American students are seen as the model minority they often face challenges that are rendered invisible. I present some disaggregated studies which show the intersecting identities of being first generation students in higher education who also come from families that emphasize Confucian teaching. These students may feel a different type of pressure in navigating higher education and family expectations compared to students who may not come from this cultural background. While there are conversations about Asian Americans in school, there are less conversations about their overall campus experiences in higher education. These studies show that first generation students are less likely to remain interested in higher education. Using Asian Critical Theory, I bring in my own interview data to showcase the voices of Asian American students to help demonstrate how Asian American students understand their own identity in relation to the model minority stereotype. Disaggregated data will help dispel the narrative that all Asian American students are high achievers and bring to light the different challenges that Asian American students face.


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In the access to health care chapter, I argue that Asian Americans have a harder time accessing proper health care when aggregated and seen as one homogenous groups. In particular, it is important to see why there is still a stigma for certain Asian Americans to seek mental health care when studying Asian American subgroups. Studies using disaggregated data show that there may be different social factors impacting an Asian American immigrant’s likelihood to seek mental health care, including those who come from countries influenced by Confucianism versus those from countries which were once a US colony. I find that understanding these differences can help explain what social factors may cause stigma in seeking mental health care for these communities. Addressing these perceived stigmas may help Asian Americans receive the mental health care they need. Later, I present disaggregated data findings on Asian Americans with health insurance. Studies using disaggregated data show that employment plays a role in who has health insurance and how that leads to increased rates of health care access for some Asian Americans. I argue that understanding what accounts for different insured rates of Asian Americans and how this impacts their health outcomes can aid us in crafting policies that will address these discrepancies and facilitate Asian Americans procuring health insurance. When aggregated, these differences are not accounted for and this chapter argues that disaggregated data is essential to understanding and addressing the needs of Asian Americans.
In chapter 4,1 argue that there are many varying factors explaining why Asian Americans choose not to vote, factors that are not clear when Asian Americans are studied as one homogenous group. Disaggregated data shows that there are generational differences among the voting patterns of Asian Americans, specifically that increased rates of voting participation taper off after the second and third generations in relation to other immigrant groups. There is also some variation in voting patterns that can be attributed to panethnicity. Also disaggregated data


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suggests that political mobilization, strong political party affiliation, and language barriers all contribute to Asian American voting patterns. This research highlights the diversity among Asian American subgroups and why stereotypical assumptions about Asian Americans as a whole fail to produce strategies for encouraging Asian Americans to vote. Rather, when we look at the differences among Asian Americans, disaggregated data can reveal some important information.
This thesis revealed many factors that are important to understand the diversity of Asian Americans and their lived experiences. Moving forward, further research that collects and analyzes disaggregated data on Asian Americans could prove quite beneficial to improving the Asian American student experiencing, increasing Asian American access to health care, and increasing Asian American political participation. First, understanding the intersectionality of Asian Americans and gendered and sexual identities can provide some insight into how patriarchy and heteronormativity interact with whiteness to impact the experiences of Asian American women and LGBTQIA Asian Americans. Second, further work is required to understand how Pacific Islanders and Native Hawaiians are differentially included (or excluded all together) in the Asian American category to really understand their different needs. Lastly, to illuminate the experiences of Asian Americans in the areas of health care access and political participation, interview data will definitely strengthen the push for disaggregated data and bring up concerns of diverse Asian Americans. Breaking down and exploring these different topics will help move research on Asian Americans in a direction that will provide a better understanding of the racialized experiences of Asian Americans in the United States.
Asian Americans are a growing and diverse population. As they grow, we should begin to understand Asian American lives more critically, especially where they stand racially because


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they have the power to challenge narratives about themselves in discussions about race. Aggregated data that seemingly confirms the yellow peril and model minority stereotypes does not show the diversity of Asian Americans. Through the course of this thesis, I argued that only through the collection of disaggregated data and hearing the voices of Asian Americans personally can we achieve a more holistic understanding of race and where Asian Americans are positioned in conversations about racial relations.


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THE PUSH FOR DISAGGREGATED DATA IN ASIAN AMERICAN EDUCATION, HEALTH ACCESS, AND POLITIAL PARTICIPATION by BINH H. PHAN B.A., University of Colorado Denver, 2016 A thesis submitted to the Faculty of the Graduate School of the University of Colorado in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Social Sciences Social Sciences Program 2019 !

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ii This thesis for the Master of Social Science s degree by Binh H. Phan has been approved for the Social Science s Program by Faye Caronan, Chair Donna Martinez Soyon Bueno Date: August 3, 2019

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iii Phan, Binh H. ( MSS, Social Sciences Program) The Push for Disaggregated Data in Asian American Educatio n, Health Access, and Political Participation Thesis directed by Associate Professor Faye Caronan ABSTRACT This thesis provides an overview of research exploring the challenges and barriers face d by Asian Pacific Islanders (A API ) in the areas of education, public health, and political participation. W ith Asian Critical T heory as a theoretical framework, the focus on AA PI voices highlights the realities of marginalized population s in these communities . It address es how the model minority stereotype continues to homogenize A A PI as a successful ethnic min ority group. To address the problems faced by AAPIs obscured by this homogenization I argue that we need a research agenda that advocates for AAPI scholarship and specific polic ies for AAPI communities based on the collection and analysis of disaggregated dat a. Such an agenda will address the disparities within the homogenized AAPI category. The form and content of this abstract are approved. I recommend its publication. Approved: Faye Caronan

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iv TABLE OF CONTENTS CHAPTER I. ! INTRODUCTION 1 From Coolie Trade to Model Minority 3 Methodology and Outline 7 Theoretical Framework 7 Limitations of Stud y 12 II. ! BARRIERS IN EDUCATION 14 Generational Gap s 15 Sense of Campu s Belong ing 18 Identity Formation in Language Acquisition 20 Personal Narratives/ Positionality 23 III. ! PUBLIC HEALTH 34 Mental Health Access 35 Health Insurance 37 IV. ! POLITICAL PARTICIPATION 42 Immigrant Assimilation and Generational Patterns 43 Group Membership/ Racial identification 44 Strong Party Affiliation 47 Language Barriers 48 Mobilizing Organization 50 V. ! CONCLUSION 52 REFERENCES 56

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1 CHAPTER I INTRODUCTION Asian Americans are one of the fastest growing demographics in the United States . Asian Amer icans represent about 17 million of the U.S. population . M any grou ps fall under this label, including Asian Indian, Bangladeshi, Bhutanese, Burmese, Cambo dian, Chinese , Filipino, Hmong, Indonesian, Japanese, Korean, Laotian, Malaysia, Nepalese, Pakistani, Sri Lankan, Taiw anese, Thai, Vietnamese, and o ther unspecified Asian American (US Census B ureau, 2010). Within the Asian American category, there are differ ences in language, culture, and history. Even within certain Asian nationalities , there may be differences in religi on, class, educational level, political perspective, generation, immigrant status, refugee status, gender identit y , sexualit y and many more varying factors that shape Asian American lives . These factors all play a role in the complexities of defini ng the A sian American experience and racial i dentity in the United States. Despite this diversity , the stereotypes and historical depictions of Asian American s in media as foreigners and exceptional studen ts have also continued to shape how parents, teachers, admi nistrators, and students perceive Asian Americans, and how Asian Americans often view themselves. Historically, people of Asian descent were categorized as Oriental, Asiatic, and Mongoloid prior to 1960 . These categorizations were used as racist grouping s of different people under the premise that they were all the same race due to phenotypical traits. The term was often used to craft racist policies targeting Asian Americans who were perceived as barbaric, foreign, and dangerous to the White race. In the 1960s, American historian and civil rights activist Yuki Ichioka coined t he term " Asian American " in response to the negative stereotyping of Asians in the United States. This term created a new panethnic Asian American political group that has

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2 been succe ssful in creating a collective identity for Asian Americans to work collaboratively towards gaining visibility, resources, and political power. The Asian American identity has proven to be a powerful move for Asian Americans to fight against racist narrati ves placed upon them in the past. However, as the Asian American population has continued to grow in the United States, having a more critical look at the representation of "Asian Americans" through a critical lens can reveal important insight s into how th e racial construction of Asian Americans as a homogeneous group impacts the experiences of the diverse Asian American population. Thus it is important to focus on research on Asian Americans that distinguishes between different Asian Americans and offers d isaggregated data . Disaggregating data can help us understand how Asian American lives are shaped by many different factors. Data disaggregation is a new phenomenon in scholarship on Asian American . This scholarship advocates for the breakdown of Asian Am erican data to show the differences and disparities among Asian American sub groups . M any scholars are pushing fo r disaggregation in Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) data collect ion to reveal the heterogeneity within the group. These differences h ave important implications for the lived experiences of different members of these many communities which aggregated data often mask s . Disaggregated data, broken down among generation, class, history and pattern of migration to the United States all play a n important role in understanding the Asian American racialized experiences which can help develop public policy that acknowledges and responds to the unique needs of historically marginalized AAPI groups. In understanding how Asian Americans have historic ally been represented, disaggregated data among Asian Americans can reveal differences hidden by aggregated data.

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3 From the coolie trade to yellow peril to model m inority One of the very first cultural representation s of Asians in America was through the Coolie trade, which showed Asian as foreign invaders to the United States. In 1870 unskilled Chinese labor was recruited through legal migration to work on the railroads. However, Chinese labor er s were not received positively as they were perceived as for eigners taking away jobs from White working class Americans. There was a large pushback against Chinese laborers through violence and xenophobic narratives. When the U.S. government felt pressure from White Americans, the very first racial ized immigrant ex clusion policy was implemented in 1882 and last ed until 1943. The New York Times article, CHINESE EXCLUSION (1902) stated that "the best attainable result in the matter of Chinese exclusions would be the passage of a law [to] reasonably accomplish the desi re of majority of the American people to keep out Chinese laborers with the minimum of restrictions upon the coming of other Chinese" (The New Times, 1902). The idea that the people of East are foreigners continues to manifest through different institution al legal separation of Chinese students and White students in schools. This was seen in educational spaces where Chinese students were separated from White students as the government stated that it was "separate but equal." In 1902, the father of Wong Him challenged the "separate but equal" law that stated Chinese students were getting the same education by attending schools separate from their White counterpart s . He challenged this by asking the board of education to allow a Chinese student, who was a nat ive born citizen of the United States of Chinese parent age -Wong Him v. Callahan , 119 F. 381 (1902) to attend Clement school , a school for White children, instead of being forced to enroll in Chinese school. By 1905 , the local board of education w as for ced to let Chinese youth attend school with White children because Chinese parents were boycotting their

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4 elementary school due to loss of financial gain. This wa s an early example of Asian American resistance to racist policies based on the logic that Asi ans are inherently foreign and unassimilable. Rather, they made the case that Asian American students were "equal to White students." This case is important in recognizing how the experiences of Chinese Americans are similar to that of the defendant in Bro wn vs Board of E ducation . B oth cases challenge the idea that education in separate schools by racial groups can be of equal quality. However, these cases made clear that resources were not equally allotted to provide students of color the same quality educ ation as those provided in White schools . The same argument can be used today as school s wit h predominately White students may neglect the needs of student s of color as the cultural background of students are not addressed. The coolie stereotype was ch allenged by many Chinese Americans and various educators as they point out that "Chinese students would not lower educational level based on White school, since on average they scored about as well on IQ test as white children" (1926, Graham V.T). This nar rative is another challenge to push back again st White standards of education. Considering Chinese American s were one of the largest Asian American group s of this time, the educational policies were able to open up conversations about who was considered "A merican" and how education reflected that throug h their policies. S tudent s of color are perceived as other and education is a reflection of White ideals. The "separate but equal" policy is a reflection of the mainstream cultural beliefs of that time , which included the viewpoint that Asians were culturally inferior, inherently foreign, and unassimilable. The racial construction of Asian Americans from this earlier historical period still lingers in the ways that A sian Americans are seen as foreigners in the United States despite embodying the model minority stereotype .

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5 Later in the 1900, we see Asian Americans represented as the yellow peril, where Asian Americans were still as foreigners, however, they were now seen as threats to Western civilization . Dur ing this period, there was a heighte ne d fear and anxiet y that Japan would become political threats to the United States and take over Europe's dominant position. This fear came from the S ino Japanese war ended with the Treaty of Shimonoseki on 17 April 187 5, in which China made a major territory concession in the Liaodong Peninsula and Formosa. Later the Russo Japanese war of 1904 Ð 1905 created more fear in Western countries because Japan won the war against Russia . Anti yellow p ropaga nda beg an drawing Asian Americans as a threatening yellow peril, describing Asian American as the yellow races against Europe. Representations of Asian Americans become a little more complicated after 1960 as the 1965 immigration act allowed more Asia ns to come to the United Sta tes. Before the Immigration and Naturalization Act of 1965, there was a quota system based on national origin s which only allowed many of the immigrants that came to the United States to be from Europe. However , the 1965 act allowed a large influx of Asian immigrants to the United States who took advantage of the professional employment and the family reunification quotas. Another large influx of Asian migrants to the United States were refugees from South east Asia fleeing the aftermath of the Vietnam war. During this time there was also a rise in political activism in different groups back at home in the United States, questioning the treatment of minority groups and their rights while the United States was at war abroad fighting under the premise of equali ty and the end of communism. As racial tensions r ose, the conversations around Asian Americans changed a nd they came to be described as the model minority because they were able to achieve the success of the American dreams despite their status as minority . Robert's Lee, Associate Professor of American Studies wrote in his book Orientals: Asian Americans in Popular Culture that Asian

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6 American representation are shaped by the period in which there is class relations accompanied by cultural crisis. He argues that the model minority came out from this period as "re construction of the yellow peril" as America's strategy for national restoration comes from painting Asian American s as the minorit y that is closest thing to upholding White values but is not White ( 1999, 183). However, in the model minority narrative, race becomes invisible as it is replaced with the coded term of tradition and Asian Americans are then reduced to their productivity and values of obedience, disciple, and upward mobility (Lee, 1999). A sian Americans are then reshaped from the yellow peril to the model minority as a political tool against the conversations about race relations in the United States silencing them politically and representing them as a success model group for other ethnic minorities to follow. In the year 1987 Time magazine put on its cover the image of young Asian American students and titled it "These Asian American Whiz Kids. " This cover was one of the many times that Time magazine article described Asian Americans as t he growing "model minority." This term "model minority" was a co ncept applied to Asian American students as the new educational success story of America. One of the first time s the term model minority was use d was in the January 9 th , 1966 edition of The Ne w York Times Magazine by sociologist William Petersen to describe Japanese American students who achieve d success in the United States despite their marginalization and the legacy of internment . In the article "Success Story: Japanese American Style" (1966 ), he described this group as having strong work ethic and high family value s compar ed to the "problem minority." The concept of model minority continues to be a narrative applied to many Asian Americans describing the American success story of minorities in the United State currently. Despite the idea that the model minority is a positive representation of Asian American s , this stereotype came from a racist narrative to use Asian Americans as a

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7 political tool against other racial groups that were fighting for equal rights . However, the model minority is one of the strongest stereotypes which continues to affect the racialized realities of Asian Americans in the Unit ed States today as it paints Asian Americans as one monolithic group and renders conversatio ns about the barriers the y face invisible. Utilizing Asian Critical Theory as a theoretical framework, I argue that the homogenous representation of Asian Americans as the model minority is at best insufficient and at worst harmful to the ways in which the racialized identity of Asian Americans is understood. Methodology and Outline This thesis will highlight studies demonstrating the differences between Asian subgroups and those that disaggregate data based on factors of diverse Asian American experien ces. In the education section, I review existing research on the differences among Asian American students through immigrant and generational status and identify formation through language acquisition. I offer my own interview data to showcase Asian Americ an student voices to serve as support for the negative consequences of being perceived as the model minority stereotype. The chapter on public health will analyze existing studies utilizing disaggregated data on access to mental health and health insurance . The chapter on political participation will focus on existing disaggregated data studies focusing on immigrant socialization, racial identity formation (ethnic group membership) and collective mobilization, and language barriers as factors impacting poli tical participation among Asian Americans. The chapters will all be analyzed through a critical Asian theory framework to argue that understanding Asian Americans through a homogeneous image such as the model minority masks important details that disaggreg ated data studies can offer. Theoretical Framework

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8 Critical Asian Theory is developed by Dr. Samuel D. Museus of the department of Higher Education and Student Affairs at Indiana University, Bloomington who taught Asian American Studies and Highe r Education at the University of Massachusetts Boston and Jon S. Iftikar, a doctoral candidate in Curriculum and Instruction and Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis at the University of Wisconsin Madison. Museus and Iftikar's research focuses on dev eloping new theoretical models and frameworks for analyzing racialized identities, experiences, and inequities in higher education utilizing critical and cultural studies approach. They developed an Asian Critical Theory (AsianCrit) framework in 2014 to ai d in analyzing the role of racism on APPI experiences. Asian Crit (2014) builds off the work of Critical R ace T heory (CRT). C RT was created with the purpose of deconstructi ng oppressive structures and liberat ing through educational applications an d pedagogy that focuses on race and racism (Ladson Billings and Tate, 1995). Previous scholarship that utilized C RT have stated that CRT can aid in understanding the stereotypes of the model minority as a paradigm that ha s been utilize d in research to per petuate Whiteness as the norm of merit while ignoring educational disparities and experiences of AAPI students . Using C RT can help to understand how "stereotype and generalization of Asian Americans is a manifestation of a larger racial agenda that serves to maintain the dominance of whites in the United States" (Lachica Buenavista, Jayakumar, and Misa Escalante, 2009). However, th is scholarship also acknowledge s that the current paradigm about race and equity lacks the understanding and response to articul ate the needs and experiences of APPI ( Teranishi, Behringer, Grey, and Parker, 2009). AsianCrit builds off the work of C RT , which states that although CRT can serve as vital research in scholarships focused on Black and White communities, "in depth critic al analyses of other racial groups can also contribute to more

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9 holistic understandings of race, racialization, and White supremacy" (Iftikar and Museus, 2018, p.5). Asian Crit framework consist s of seven interrelated tenets that can be used to understand h ow White supremacy shapes t he racialized experiences of Asian Americans and how racially marginalized people navigate, engage with, and utilize the racial categories through which White supremacy attempts to group them as one homogenized group. In the fol lowing, I will summarize the 7 tenets and explain how I will apply them in my thesis : 1. ! Asianization is used to explain h ow Asian American groups have become "Asian" in the United States because White Supremacy ha s racialized them as s uch . Specifically, Wh ite Supremacy and racism in the U nited States have racialized Asian Americans as perpetual foreigners, threatening yellow perils, model and deviant minorities, and sexually deviant emasculated men and hypersexualized women. White Supremacy ha s racialized A sian Americans through laws, policies, programs, and perspective s that have ke pt Asian American s as these stereotypes in the United States ( Iftikar and Museus, 2014). I focus on the yellow peril and model minority stereotypes. I explain how the representat ion of Asian Americans goes from the yellow peril to the model minority and ha s continue d to dehumanize and keep Asian Americans out of public conversations o n racial inequality. 2. ! Transnational contexts draw attention to the significance of how White Supr emacy works through a network of global relationship s , individual and larger policies , and structural levels in racializing Asian Americans. Past and present global economic, political, and social processes are important in understanding how racism ha s sha ped Asian American

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10 experiences (Iftikar and Museus, 2014). I present works of literature which talk about the structural barriers to education, public health , and political participation and how immigration law, colonization, and racist polic i es , both pas t and present, play a crucial role in the ways in which Asian Americans continue to be homogenized through these narratives. 3. ! (Re)constructive history basis is the purpose of changing the invisibility of Asian Americans by creating a collective Asian Ameri can historical narrative and reanalyz ing existing histories to include the voices and contributions of Asian Americans ( Iftikar and Museus, 2014). This thesis showcases studies of the work of Asian American scholars , in addition to the voices of Asian Amer ican students . 4. ! Strategic (anti)essentialism builds on the argument that race is a social construction that is shaped and reshaped by economic, political, and social forces. Based on the concepts of anti essentialism and strategic essentialism , strategic ( anti)essentialism recognizes and counters the ways that White supremacy racializes Asian Americans as a monolithic group in the U nited States , but it also emphasizes that Asian Americans can and do actively intervene in the racialization process as well. F or instance, Asian American scholars and activists engage in coalition building and (re)defin ing racial categories to garner political power and influence advocacy against White supremacy (Iftikar and Museus, 2014) . This thesis talks about the political po wer of being seen as "Asian Americans", however it also wishes to define what it means to be "Asian Americans" through understanding the different intersecting identities of different Asian subgroups as well as the breakdown of their status through disaggr egated data to show how beneficial analyzing these differences can be.

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11 5. ! Intersectionality is the understanding that White supremacy and other systems of oppression and exploitation intersect to shape the conditions within which Asian Americans exist ( Iftik ar and Museus, 2014). This literature review will discuss the different intersecting identities and how these intersections form the racial identities of Asian and their racialized experience. It also discusse s the historical factors of imperialism, colon ialism, sexism to understand how these different identities shaped the realities of Asian Americans. 6. ! The s tory, theory, and praxis founded in CRT's scholarships utilize racial ly marginalized people's experiences and realities as a significant and importa nt perspective to challenge the dominant White narrative and to center racialized marginalized experience (Iftikar and Museus, 2018). T his thesis share s personal narrative s of Asian American students , including my own personal narrative, to recognize the importance of experiences. Stories from the Asian American community are vital to support disaggregated data and to challenge the yellow peri l and model minority narrative. These narratives bring u p voices of the hidden . 7. ! "Commitment to social justice high lights the notion that Asian Crit is dedicated to advocating for the end of all forms of oppression and exploitation" ( Iftikar and Museus, 2018). T his thesis explain s my agenda of encouraging further scholarship of Asian Americans through disaggregated data to bring more changes to the perception of Asian Americans through different realms of their lives. Research in different subgroups drive s more refined polices in helping more awareness of Asian American experiences and to remove all forms of oppression a nd exploitation.

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12 Although Asian Crit ha s primarily been applied in higher education scholarships, I argue that Asian Crit can lay out the foundation of my argument that being perceived as the homogeneous model minority affects all aspects of Asian American lives despite the differences within these groups. The utiliz ation of this framework lay s out the foundation of my research on the racialization of Asian Americans in the United States . It serves as a guide for recommending future research and policies in the realm s of educational institution s , public health , and political participation. Limitation of Studies The studies I present i n each section only touches on a general area of that particular topic. While this thesis attempts to highlight barriers an d challenges in those areas, I understand that ma n y of the topics go beyond the scope that this paper can explore. While the educational chapter offers interview data for Asian American students, the chapters on public health and political participation do not. Furthermore, some of the challenges I face d when studying the different Asian American groups hinged on how to define the community. It is not always standard who is included whe n speaking about Asian Americans and various studies have varying terms that they use . For instance, s ometimes Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islanders are under the AAPI umbrella category , other times they are distinguished from South Asian and East Asian groups, and sometime s they are not represented at all . While dis aggregated data research is emerging more for Asian Americans , I still find that the number of studies is limited . As a result, conclusions drawn about people from such diverse nations and backgrounds are scattershot and do not encapsulate a full understanding of th e challenges faced by those within these different subgroups. In providing existing studies using disaggregated data, I provide evidence that there

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13 are important differences among the Asian American community that can provide a better understanding of Asia n American racialized identities.

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14 CHAPTER II BARRIERS AND CHALLENGES IN EDUCATION The endurance of the model minority myth can be attributed to empirical evidence suggest ing Asian American students outperform o ther students of color academically ; in turn leading them to economic success. When aggregated , Asian American students outperform other racial minorities. In the 2010 Department of Education report on education attainment, Asian Americans age 25 or older are the highest achievers of bachelor degrees and above, outperforming other racial minority groups and even Whites in obtaining higher education degrees. In 2008, 31.6% of Asian Americans obtained a bachelor degree compared to Whites at 21.6%, Blacks at 1 3.6%, and Hispanics at 9.4 %. This trend is positive through each level of educational attainment , showing Asian American students as the highest group in attaining bachelor degrees' despite being one of the smallest racial minority group s . However, Chun, Ki Taek, author of The Myth of Asian American Success and Its Educational Ramifications (1980) states that when looking at empirical data it is important to remember that an indicator of success is more complex than data on just education attainment as it can be open to interpretation and "might reflect a story of disproportionate sacrifices for college education or society's delimiting mobility structure" (Chun, 1980, 99 ). That is when Asian American students are generalized, the success rate s may mask imp ortant details that can affect the overall image of Asian Americans. When the ethnic minority groups are broken down in the same report it shows disparities. 80% of Asian Indian students obtained a bachelor 's degre e compared to 44.6% of Vietnamese student s . That is a huge disparity between the two ethnic groups . In the other Asian category , it is unknown how many ethnic group s are included in the 138,000 figure , the same amount as Asian Indian s in the report but with the lowest percentages of educational a ttainment at a rate of 35.8%

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15 (Department of Education, 2010). Pacific Islanders have the lowest educational attainment rates with only 9.7% obtaining a bachelor degree. Chun points out how data typically used to argue Asian Americans a re successful can lea d to Asian American s resenting the success myth. When a group of people, are "viewed as successful [but are not] represented in the process of policy deliberation, which is often the case with APA , this group may inadvertently become a victim of inattentio n or exclusion" (Chun, 1980, 105). What then happens when many diverse Asian ethnic group s get lump ed together under this stereotype is it creates system ic challenges to A API students that are often invisible. In the following section , I discuss those stru ctural barriers of being perceived as the model minority in education al institution s . I will first discuss generational gap s between Asian American students navigating the educational systems. In particular, I examine the pressure of being first generation student s , and cultural clashes coming from families that emphasize Confucian values . Next , I examine previous studies that show how language acquisition is a key component in identity form ation in educational institut ions . Finally, I share and analyze fi rst hand narratives of C U Denver students and their experience s living under the m odel minority narrative. I conclude with recommendation s for future research for A APIs in education. This is all in an effort to change the narratives around what it means to be an A API student in educational institut ions . Generational Gaps In Asian Critical T heory, transnational contexts draw attention to the significance of how White Supremacy works through a network of global relationship s , individual and larger policies a nd structural levels in racializing Asian Americans. Past and present global economic, political, and social processes are important in understanding how racism has shaped Asian American experiences (Iftikar and Museus, 2014). U til izing this, I wanted to u nderstand how children of

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16 Asian immigrants from countries whose cultures have been historically influenced by Confucianism differ from children of Asian immigrants from countries wh ose cultures have not been influenced by Confuci anism and the way in which their struggles may be invisible to higher educational in s t it utions due to the model minority myth . I also considered the intersecting identity of being first generation students to explore how generational factors have continued to racialized their identi ties. While there has been a lack of studies on first generation Asian American students, various other studies have focus ed on first genera tion students' overall success in navigating higher education systems. M any Asian American students com e f rom immigrant famil ies. S tudies that focus on first generation students can offer strong support for the similar experiences faced by Asian American students. First generation Asian American students whose families immigrated from countr ies with a strong C onfucian influence may be experiencing cultural pressure from their families as well as the pressure of navigating the educational system as a first generation student. Harry C. Triandis, a professor Emeritus at the Department of Psychology of the University of Illinois at Urbana Ð Champaign discussed in his article The psychological measurement of cultural syndrom es (1996) that Asian immigrants who come from Asian countries that are influenced by Confucianism (China, Korea, Japan, and Vietnam) emphasize a more collective culture that tends to place more emphasis on group goals, relationship harmony, or interdepend ence than on their own personal goals, needs, or independence ( Triandis, 2007). Andrew J. Fuligni, Professor in Residence at University of Michigan who studied the cultural background s of immigrant students states that culture plays a role in shaping the w ays youth from immigrant families progress in postsecondary education compared to their peers from American born families. His studies suggest that students whose immigrant families com e from

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17 East Asian background are more likely to enroll and persist in p ostsecondary schooling as compared with their American born peers ( Fuligni , 2007). Their pressures and challenges may go unnoticed as they are dismissed as the result of cultural practices. When considering the intersecting identities of Asian America n students who come from immigrant families that emphasize Confucian values and are also first generation students , these Asian American college students may feel the pressure of balancing cultural expectations of individualism promoted in the university c ontext with more collectivistic values emphasized by their native culture (Fuligni, 2007). First generation Asian American students whose families are immigrants or who are immigrant s themselves are often going th r ough the process of assimilati ng in to Amer ican culture. Many immigrants and first generation students who have settled and integrated into Western culture as first generation may give a perception of content conformity. This conformity may reinforce the assumption that Asian American students do n ot need the support and resources afforded to other disadvantaged groups because they are perceived to be doing well due to their cultural practice of placing family first, a common narrative used to argue for the model minority. However, their problems ar e invisible as there are conflicting roles and demands of family membership, educational mobility , and their needs as students who are still learning to navigate the system alone without any help. It is also common for family members who immigrate to Amer ica to reject acculturation by consistently using their native language, practicing traditional lifestyles and cultural norms, and by forcing their children to abide by their native cultural values (Lee et al.). This family pressure may impact the overall educational experiences of first generation immigrant students from these cultural backgrounds. York Anderson, and Dollean C. Bowman, Sharon L. who studied first generation college students in their article Assessing the college knowledge of first genera tion and sec ond

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18 generation college students (1991) found that there was a difference between the ways that first and second generation students perceived support from their families for attending college. First generation students are less likely to percei ve family support compared to 2 nd generation students. T hey survey ed 58 first generation and 142 second generation college students and found that second generation student s had more factual information regarding college opposed to students who perceived l ess support. Connecting the two studies, many first generation students whose families come from countries who emphasize a collective culture may feel pressure from both cultural practices at home as well as fitting into a cultural norm in their higher edu cation institution. Those who fall behind traditional students in their basic knowledge of college, personal commitment, and level of family support may feel pressure from home and school . The lack of support may lead to m any first generation students hav ing feelings of anxiet y , dislocation as well as cultural pressure of trying to fit into the system. This comes along with the conflicting roles and demands of family membership , educational mobility , and the needs of students who are still learning to navi gate the system alone without any help. Sense of campus belong ing Discussion of the model minority stereotype focuses on Asian American students attaining higher educational levels than their peers, however, there is less attention to the higher educati on experiences and the retention rate of these students. According to a study done by Krista M. Soria and Michael J Stebleton called First generation students' academic engagement and retention (2012), first generation students have lower retention rates c ompared to non first generation students and are less likely to engage academically compared to traditional students; When "controlled for race, gender, social class, grade point average, campus climate, and sense of belonging, first generational students are associated with a 45% decrease in the odds of

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19 returning to the second year of study holding all other factors constant" (Soria and Stebleton, 2012, pg 678). The study also find s that there are differences for first generation students "with first gen eration students reporting lower mean scores on contributing to a class discussion, asking an insightful question in class, bringing up ideas or concepts from different courses during class discussions, and interacting with faculty during lecture class ses sions" (Soria and Stebleton, 2012, pg 678) during their first year of college. This brings in the question of whether the sense of belonging on campus is a predictor of academic engagement. While interactions with faculty of any kind is more beneficial to all college students, first generation students can gain and experience an overall positive environment when they feel a sense of campus belonging and support from faculty to increase cultural capital. Understanding the pressure of navigating family cultur al background as well as trying to fit into a White system, scholarships which show Asian Americans as one monolit h ic group succeeding does not account for the diverse background s among individual experiences. Other studies which offer explanations on the relationship between campus environment and a sense of belonging states that Southeast Asian students are one of the highest Asian American groups whose education experiences go unexplored as they are lumped under one narrative of the model minority. Dina C. Maramba and Robert T. Palmer are researchers who have a vested interest in increasing opportunities of access and success for populations of color in higher education. Their article, The Impact of Cultural Validation on the College Experiences of South east Asian American Students (2014), focuses on the culture of success of Southeast Asian American students. Their study finds that many Southeast Asian students felt that the low number of other Southeast students who look like them influenced the ways in which they spoke of cultural knowledge, cultural familiarity, cultural expression, and cultural advocacy (Maramba

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20 and Palmer, 2014). Students who took a course on their family history found themselves more likely to be activist s on college campuses, co nn e ct to their own families, and learn about other Asian communit ies . Students also felt more validation from professors of color who looked like them. Southeast Asian students also felt that they need a space and a community on campus to express their cultur al background. This emphasizes the importance of ethnic organizations on campus for Southeast Asian to find a sense of belonging. This is also important for their cultural advocacy as many Southeast Asian students in the study express the need to maintain connection to their community outside of school and to help younger generation s . Understanding that belonging on campus is an important factor in fostering students, these studies can provide insights into the way campus can respond to the needs of Southea st Asian students and provide support for these students. English Language acquisition and Identit y Formation (Re)constructive history basis is the purpose of changing the invisibility of Asian Americans by creating a collective Asian American historical narrative and reanalyz ing existing histories to include the voices and contributions of Asian Americans ( Iftikar and Museus, 2014). In the following, I compare studies which show voices of Asian American students. Little research is done on how A API student s struggle in forming identities due to language acquisition in educational institution s . In particular, the loss of one 's own heritage language often time s create s a strange dynamic for family expectation s and self remorse from immigrant child ren. In a collection of "linguistic autobiographies" collected by Leanne Hinton in her article Trading Tongue, she showcases the human side of language shift for 250 Asian American s at the University of California Berkeley. Students from her collection rep orted feeling pressure to keep

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21 their parents' heritage language while learning English with little to no help as they navigate their own identities in learning the new system. Students in the collection felt that their school inadequately prepared them for learning English as strange solution s were often offered. For example, in the collection a student stated that in her school the only program that was offer ed for ESL was for Spanish speaker s and Sign Language for the deaf. She had to learn English on her own through her interaction with her classmate s (4883). These students learn from a young age how learning English has not only become their own struggle, it was a responsibilit y they carry for their family. This can create high stress level in Asian Amer ican students who are trying to navigate the educational system. One of the biggest factor s contributing to heritage language loss is through rejection of their own cultural language as Asian American students start to feel a sense of shame from their own language from the mocking of their peers. This often leads to them dealing with l anguage attrition, the loss of their first language , as they no longer feel a strong connection to their native language. This often comes through the form of passive knowled ge, understanding the language but unable to speak it, mixing English and native language and/or i lliteracy, speaking the native language but unable to read or write in it (4945). This can cause a stress of frustration as they are unable to effectively co mmunicate to relatives and often face criticism from others from their country as they have lost their first language. This collection of narrative s reveals the conflicting forces and complexities of how language can have a com pounding effect on forming id entity for Asian American students. English as Second Language (ESL) students who are also first generation students and immigrant s faced multiple barriers to accessing proper education as their identities play a role in the ways they were perceived by their teacher s and their own sel ves . Steven Talmy studied

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22 students in an ESL class for a whole academic year. He observed classroom interactions to note how ESL students form their own self identity through their language acquisition as ESL students. H e f ound that ESL students were placed in essentially the same classroom despite being at different language levels . T he teacher in the study was required to attend to the needs of all level s of proficiency. Student s beg a n to resent the "forever foreign" co ncept of learning English among their peers. In this study, the teacher designed a project where students had to present a project on their own country's holiday s to show th is case. Two student s were denied their request to talk about Christmas and New Yea r as a holiday because these holiday s did not culturally represent them according to the teacher. Essentially the teacher had outed these students as foreigners. Going back to the forever foreigner narrative, Asian American students in this class were sile nced as foreigners as their background as ESL students complicates their roles as Asian Americans. This study supports the assertion that Asian American students who are second language learner s begin to posit themselves on a hierarchy against other studen ts to resist against their "fresh off the boat" label as a lower status of "newcomer" is often considered un American. Talmy argue s that this in group r esist ance against the out group of the real FOB allows some Asian Americans to posit themselves against being perceived as less then and also as othered. This form of resistance is what Talmy calls a challenge to the "reductive conflation of language with culture, country, and personality " which in turn subverts multiculturalism (5328). These narratives rei nforce my argument that Asian American students are more complex than suggested by aggregated data reported on Asian Americans.

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23 Personal Narrative s Looking at the literature which provides evidence that the narratives placed on Asian Americans are harmf ul, it is important to use this information to understand the experiences of Asian American students. Applying Asian Critical theory, the following is an analy sis of first hand account s of Asian American students at the University of Colorado Denver throug h video interview s about the effects of the model minority on their self image. Their voices serve as the biggest support as to why APPI are not a monolithic group because their identities var y in myriad ways. Research Questions 1. Research Question: Is the Model Minority a Positive Stereotype for AAPI students? 2. How do the AAPI students perceive their identity through the Model Minority Narrative? 3. How will disaggregated data help AAPI students? Participants The participants in this project are five AAPI students from the University of Colorado Denver four females and one male. Participants ; ethnicit ies consisted of Hmong, Indonesian American, East Indian American, Nepali, and Lao American. Four of the students were undergraduates and one o f the student s is a graduate student. All the students were recruited through personal connection to researcher by emails, common courses, and through the Asian American Student Services office. They were intentionally chosen with different ethnic backgrou nd to show diversity. Methodology Narrative Analysis, Interviews, Survey/Questionnaire, ethnography

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24 Method The interviewer introduced the purpose of the research project to the participants before starting. The participants filled out a media release fo rm and a questionnaire before starting the interviews. The questionnaires consisted of questions asking participants about their background including ethnicity, income, financial aid, and general concerns, etc. After they were done, the interviewer recorde d the interviews and asked a series of guiding questions. The participant s knew that they would be addressing questions in regard to the model minority and Asian American identity. The interview s took place in one of the small study room s in the Student Co mmon s building at the University of Colorado Denver. Only the interviewer and the interviewee were in the room. The material used in this research is a camera from the CU Denver media library, microphone, and video editors to capture the conducted intervie ws. Some of the participants did not want to share their video s so photos were taken instead. I nterview lengths varied from 15 30 minutes. The interview ended with the student answering the question : what do you want others to know about being Asian Ameri can ? The researcher came back to watch the video later to analyze for common themes in the interviews. Multiple Marginalized Identity Maimalle Her, a senior majoring in communication a nd a second generation Hmong American, talked about how her multiple m arginalized identities have shaped the ways people have treated her. She talked about how she was not sure whether people treated differently due to

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25 her Asian American identity or due to her visible physical disability. When asked if she ever felt that she was discriminated against due to her Asian American identity, she told the interviewer: "Uh yes and no because um, throughout my school everyone been saying Asian students are smart so by default, I had group created for me because everyone wanted to be friends with Asians, but then again um I was also born with a disability so it kind of played against me and people would have looked at me for my disability. They said even though she's Asian she disabled, she less able than the average Asian so I guesse d it played a good and a bad role . " She described an example of a time when she was placed in a group. Due to her physical disability there were doubts from other members of the group about her performance as a student. She mentioned that these student s assumed her disability would negatively impact her contributions to the group's work . Maimalle had to challenge these stereotypes by becoming the leader of the group and defining her roles to surpass what people thought of her. She expressed moments of p ride where her peers came to apologize to her after proving herself to the group that she was more than her disability. "I don't take anything as offensive. I've been through this my entire life." Her identities of being both Asian American and a person with disability really shaped her upbringing in how she saw how others treated her. She mentioned that although she had a community within the Hmong community she felt alone and isolated in the same community because she was physically different from them . The stigma of living with a disability made it difficult for her to feel included in her community:

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26 "Part of growing [up] Asian was kind of hard because I, even though I had that Asian community, I felt lonely because no one else had a disability. Nobo dy else understood what I was going through so I got excluded from stuff . " Messages that she received from her community emphasized that she was different and it often produced confusion in her self identity as to whether people discriminated against her due to her Asian American identity or due to her disability. For her the model minority narrative was not a positive stereotype as she tried so hard to live up to it. However, she was never sure if she was able to live up to the stereotype as she also had a disability. It really limited her spaces as she must place her disability before her Asian identity when in these spaces. AAPI s Face Discrimination Chelsea Situmeang is an Indonesian woman studying Public Health and Ethnic Studies. She talked about how the model minority does not let Asian Americans talk about the discrimination that they face. When talking about facing her own discrimination Chelsea pointed out that these stor ies are deeply ingrained in our memories. She mentioned that there was a mess age of otherness from the beginning. Chelsea felt this messages of otherness currently when she told a recent story about her food. "An example would have to be food, an embarrassment. I know like it still happens when I bring traditional food from home t hat my mom or dad cook s and you know, not a lot of students are familiar with um Indonesian food cause if you think about it the most famous food are like Chinese, Thai food or Korean food. I remember bringing in this fish type food and I microwave it and everyone was complaining about the smell and I was just like yea I'm not going to bring this next time but I shouldn't be embarrassed cause it's like a unique traditional food that has been passed down generation. It was just, you know always these people who judge by the smell you don't know. Thy don't think outside the box to not judge first and think about lie it's their culture food and they acknowledge like it different from American food but yea . " Chelsea points out that due to the model minority my th she is unable to talk about her issues as it does not seem as important as the issues that other racial minorities face . The model minority is

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27 not a positive stereotype for her and in fact was negative as it minimize s her struggle s . She talks about how she is frustrated with the ways Asian Americans students are unable to share their stor ies and how this limit s the spaces they can take up. Navigating Both Culture s Swarnima Chaudmary is South Asian woman in the school of Public H ealth getting her M aster 's degree . She talked about the struggle of coming to accept herself as a queer wom a n of color in both communit ies . She struggles a lot with her identity as she fought between the two cultures. "I remember always feeling like I was stra dd ling 2 different worlds. It was, you know, I'm always afraid of being too Indian for the Americans kids or too American for the Indian community" "That feeling of otherness. Again it was always an undercurrent of otherness. It was never out right um I did not face outrigh t racism um but it was always like that different culture. I'm eating different food, I'm growing up with certain moral values that might now align with the um American dreams . " Swarnima Chaudmary was often seen only through the successes of her parents a nd her school. She was unable to talk about her struggles as they are often minimized. She talked about the first time she was happy to finally see representation. However, her representation was met with a negative response from the community. "So I'm a queer Asian American and I remember coming out as being gay was very rough because in my culture, it's not accepted. It's not really talked about um it's criminalized in the country as least as far as I know. I remember that when I was first struggling w ith my sexuality, there was a woman in my community who was quite a bit older and she had come out as queer and there was like you know newspaper article where she came out. The Indian community knew about it and they ostracized her quite a bit um I rememb er feeling scared and not proud at all because in so many ways you know Indian s are known as hospitality, loving, and being extended family open with open arms. She was completely fine and doing things to make her way in life. Just because of the fact that she was gay and came out as so, was ostracized and I remember being on the sideline as a young person struggling with their sexuality and realizing that oh, you know, there are part of my culture and identity that aren't the best and the most accepting"

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28 " My parents found out when I was 14, not of my own choice. When they found out it wasn't received well at all. My dad held a knife to his throat because he was like I'm so ashamed that my daughter is gay. I'm happy to say this has been better." Swarnima Ch audmary stated that the model minority myth did not allow her to come to term s with the different identities that she held. She stated that she tried very hard to live up to the model minority myth but was often struggling to live up to that expectation. I n this case, the model minority was not a positive stereotype for her. She saw herself as a failure when trying to live up to the model minority narrative. The way that she occupies social justice spaces now is through talking about her position as a queer brown woman. Her queer brownness is the way in which she is a ble to take up that space. Differing Cultur al Value s Sabitra Niroula is a senior studying P sychology and Biology. She talked a lot about how others do not perceive her to be Asian as she does not phenotypically look Asian American according to what others perceive to the Asian American. Her struggle comes a lot from how other s perceive her for her Brownness. "They thought we were very dumb, we didn't know anything. They though t that we came t o America with like without knowing anything like some of my teachers even thought that I came to America to learn English which wasn't true" "I am Asian but I don't look like you know stereotypical Asian, what they said, um so they thought I was Arab beca use I'm brown skin and it easy for people to pick on people who look different. " For Sabitra, the model minority narrative made the struggle of her community and her struggle invisible as it was not a stereotype that affected her because she did not look Asian. She has a hard time reacting to it as she has never felt it unless people knew she was Asian American. She never need ed to live up to the model minority as she was perceived as Brown. A lot of her experiences came from her being a refugee and trying hard for others to see her as Asian

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29 American. Her experience is an interesting look into what it means to occupy space as a Brown Asian woman a nd the political nature of what it means to be Brown in social justice spaces. Her brownness complicates the way she can take up social justice spaces. Non Conforming: Breaking the Asian stereotype Alex Pong is a Lao American senior studying Ethnic Studies with a minor in I nternational Studies and Communication. As a student in the Ethnic Studies program, he was we ll aware of what the model minority myth does to students of color. Alex talked a lot about how he never was the model minority and how he continues to fight these spaces. " I was an Asian America student that did not try hard in school, middle school and high school. It was a rough time for me. Didn't know where I fit in in the food chain you could say. I didn't know who I was for my cultural identity. I did not know where to place myself. I did not know what to consider myself especially with the group of friends that I had. " As someone who grew up not fitting this role, he stated that there are times when A API do try to play into that role. He stated that often time A API conditioned themselves to lower their strength because of this myth. "Just people were all Asian, doesn't mean they were all the same people" "Most of the time as Asian Americans when have we ever been taught to praise ourselves or when have we ever heard praise s from other in a genuine matter . " However, he stated that, often time A API are expected to represent their group. That makes him aware of how he acts and how other A API should act. He mentions a lot about representation of the whole group. " As an Asian American you going to be predispose certain things, you're going to be ster eotypes in certain ways. If were trying to fight that we should about how we act sometime. I'm not saying we should conform or assimilate to White culture or anything like that. Take a step back and try not to be a kid."

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30 For Alex, the model minority was not a positive stereotype and in fact does not fit anything about him at all. He talked about breaking the stereotype as a student w ho struggl ed with his education. His perception of self through the model minority was that he had had no sense of cultural identity as he was never fitting into this stereotype. He mentions that when in social justice spaces, he likes to sit back and take it all in all before speaking. Asian Critical T heory suggests that conversations about racial identities are becoming more complicated beyond the White and Black paradigm as Asian American students are not quite White but not quite Black. As the model minority is used as the dominant narrative to uphold White supremacy, " exclusion that results from the model minority myth migh t hinder the development of Asian Americans' critical consciousness and racial justice advocacy for other communities of color" (Iftikar and Museus, 2018). A common theme among the Asian American students in the interview is as their racial consciousness be came more complex they realized that the model minority does not accurately represent them as a whole but rather play s a smaller role in how they perceive themselves. For example, they want to be perceived as the "model minority" but they still felt a se nse of "otherness." This was expressed by Sabitra Niroula when she stated that she i s Asian but did not look the part since she i s brown skin ned and she know s that being brown skin ned means others perceive her as a different racial identity. This becomes m ore complicated as brown skinned people ar often associated with being different in the United States which impacts how other s treat her and how she perceive s her racial identity. The model minority narrative is then not representative of her story as an A sian American student. Critical Asian Theory also argues that sharing stories of historically marginalized people can challenge dominant narrative s . The intersecting identities can serve as resistan ce to the

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31 narrative that they are one mono lithi c group as suggested by the model minority narrative. Maimalle Her states that her identities are shaped not only by her identities as a n Asian American but as someone who has a physical disabilit y . Chelsea Situmeang states that she still faces discrimination. The m odel minority often mask s how Asian American students face racial discrimination. Swarnima Chaudmary talks about how she not only navigat ed two worlds as Indian and American but also as someone who is queer. Those multiple identities conflict but determine the way she can act in both culture s . Sabitra Niroula talks about how being a refugee and being an Asian American does not quite fit into the model minority narrative because she is Brown . Alex Pong talks about t he challenges the model minority narrative presents for him as someone who was not interested in school in the beginning. All these identities show the complex nature of Asian American racialized identities and how research that disaggregate s data will offer a better understanding of the intersect ing identities that shape Asian American identities as a whole. Positionality of the Author Story, theory, and praxis are founded on C ritical R ace T heory scholars' claims that racially marginalized people's experiential knowledge can serve to challenge d ominant, White, European epistemology and offer an alternative and empowering epistemological perspective that is grounded in the realities of people of color ( Iftikar and Museus, 2018). Scholarship that focuses on the realities of people of color needs t o center the voices of people of color themselves to understand the importance between theory and advocacy. To understand my stance on disaggregated data, I wanted to center the importance of my story and my purpose for writing this thesis.

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32 I am a 1.5 ge neration Vietnamese American female graduate student in the M aster of S ocial S ciences program with an emphasis on E thnic S tudies. 1.5 generation for me means I was born in the country of Vietnam and have been raised here since I was 3 years old. I came fro m a low income family in the city of Aurora, where the majority of immigrants and refugees reside in the state of Colorado. I recognize d my racialized identity early on as my family are often target s of racial discrimination in the neighborhood I grew up i n. Thus I grew up with a skewed sense of what it means to Asian American. I felt the model minority narrative placed on me through various encounters of m i croaggressions in school and around the peers I grew up with. Despite feeling like I should be able t o exce l as an Asian American student, I often felt behind because of my inability to reach th e model minority narrative I had internalized of being an exceptional student in school. I beg a n to reject my Asian American identity and to internalize thoughts t hat I am simply not smart enough to be in higher education as I did not fit into the model minority narrative. Yet I internalized th is stereotype and ke pt pushing to meet what I felt was expected of me , resulting in t he deterioration of my mental health. When I enter ed the M aster of Social Science program at CU Denver , I thought I found my niche as someone w ith a passion for social justice who would be surrounded by a community which fosters that passion. However, I was disappointed and made to feel not q uite "successful" because the challenges I faced as a person of color w ere not addressed while in the program. I sometime s even question ed my placement in the program as a student. I found a community outside the program through the Ethnic Studies departme nt where I was able to express my feelings of discontent and un belonging. That community is the reason that I am able to write this thesis today. This person al narrative is a challenge to the dominant model minority narrative that Asian American students are all the same.

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33 Conclusion In this chapter, I focus ed on the structural barriers and challenges that Asian American students face when dealing with the model minority narrative. I open ed by describing how the stereotypical narrative s lea d to misconception s about the success levels between each ethnic subgroup. There are disparities in educational attainment between the different ethnic sub groups of Asian Americans. I went into the challenges of navigating higher education with the inters ecting identities of being first generation with immigrant status and describe the invisible pressure from family and school. I explain that Asian immigrant families who come from countries that emphasize Confuci an values may lead to pressure on their chil dren to focus on group goals, relationship harmony, or interdependence rather than their own personal goals, needs, or independence . In turn, this leads to more pressure as these students navigat e both Western and Eastern culture. I then talk ed about reten tion rates among first generation students to understand how we can help Southeast Asian American students who are often ignored to remain in school. Next, I talk ed about how children form identity through language acquisition. Immigrant children often go through language loss of one 's own heritage language and feel shame from losing their native language. ESL students reject the notion of being "fresh off the boat" by re in forcing the "othering" process on other ESL students creating a hierarchy based on Wh iteness and English as norms. Finally, I share d and analyze d first hand narratives from students from the University of Colorado Denver and how they have managed to navigate the model minority narrative. The studies that disaggregate data presented here an d the interviews show that Asian Americans are a diverse population that should be studied from a vari ety of different factors.

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34 CHAPTER III PUBLIC HEALTH The homogenized image of Asians as one successf ul group leads to the misconception that one subgroup's group wellness is representative of all subgroups. Asian Americans are aggregated into the same category without addressing subgroup differences in health concerns. The power in access to health servi ces is an important factor in maintaining the overall well being of one's health. The lack of studies that focus on Asian American subgroups' health needs continues to contribute to the gaps in addressing these disparities which can lead to negative health impacts. The model minority narrative groups all Asian Americans together and creates systemic challenges to Asian Americans in accessing healthcare. In the following, I discuss those structural barriers of being perceived as the model minority in public healthcare. I will first focus on the mental health concerns of certain Asian American groups and their access to mental health. Next, I discuss studies that talk about the lack of health insurance of certain Asian American groups and the consequences of l acking health insurance. In an effort to bring to light the differences in health concerns of Asian American groups, this chapter explores different health concerns of Asian Americans. The first tenet in Asian Critical theory, Asianization, suggests tha t the dominant narrative, White narratives, groups all Asian Americans together under one monolithic racial group, to discount any variations and culture within the population (Museus & Iftikar, 2013). The model minority is the Asianization of Asian Americ ans in healthcare access. The model minority narrative has the power to discount any variation within the health disparities among APPI subgroups. Aggregated health data in the past have shown that Asian Americans are overall a lot healthier than other ra cial minorities. However, these studies suffer from the

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35 limitation of having small sample sizes and rely on surveys often conducted in English which do not give a clear picture of health needs of Asian Americans in detail (Jang , & Surapruik 2009). The pus h for disaggregated data in the AAPI community has been very strong in the public health sector, as many scholars recognize how disaggregated data have helped health care providers understand health access for various Asian American. The following will co mpare mental health access between Filipinos, Chinese and Vietnamese community based on culture. Mental Health Access The transnational tenet in Asian Critical theory draws attention to the significance of how White Supremacy works through the network of global relationships, individual and larger policies and structural levels in racializing Asian Americans. Past and present global economic, political, and social processes are important in understanding how racism has shaped Asian American experiences (I ftikar and Museus, 2014 ). In this section on mental health, I want to understand how immigrants from countries with a strong Confucianism teaching may differ in seeking mental health care as opposed to immigrants from countries who do not. The cultural sti gma of mental health may impact how certain Asian sub groups may not choose to seek mental health services. I focus this section on the comparison of Vietnamese, Chinese and Filipino populations. As a result of Confucianism, Chinese Americans and Vietnames e Americans seek mental health care differently from Filipino Americans. The Philippines was influenced by U.S. colonization as a U.S. territory. Comparing the two cultures' differences may lead to insights on how each group chooses to access mental health care. In Chinese culture and medicine, the mind and body are seen as integrated, therefore illness of the mind and the body are also seen as one and cannot be separated (Ying, 2002). Due to Confucius' teachings, Vietnamese Americans and Chinese Americans often associate mental health issues with a lack

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36 of harmony of emotions or by evil spirits or sadness (Lipson, 1996). Mental health problems are not seen as real medical issues or hold the same level of importance like physical sickness. When a study exam ined the association between self rated mental health (SRMH) and diagnosis of psychiatric disorders among Asian American adults in a sample of Vietnamese and Chinese participants, SRMH is not significantly associated with having any psychiatric disorders w hen compared to the other group studied (Kim , Bryant, and Crowther , 2012). Studies that focus on Chinese Americans and Vietnamese Americans show that with age, Chinese and Vietnamese are associated with a decrease in the likelihood to seek mental health s ervices ( Nguyen, D., & Lee, R. (2012). In their study, Kirmayer et al. (2007) indicate that individuals with a Vietnamese background are one third less likely to utilize mental health services than other ethno cultural groups. Vietnamese participants beli eve that mental illness is reflective of weakness and interferes with self control (Liang, 2004; Nguyen, 1985). Vietnamese are more likely to initially seek help from a member of their own community, especially religious leaders, in response to difficulty with acculturation and exposure to Western practices (Kirmayer et al., 2007; Luu, Leung, & Nash, 2009). Vietnamese participants who have mental health concerns are often female, unmarried, unemployed, and experienced family relationship concerns, health is sues, or income losses. Seeking a mental health professional is often not their first preferred option (Leung ,2010). Compared to Vietnamese and Chinese population, a study done on Filipino participants shows that cultural traits, such as the perception of mental health problems as a disease of the family and the tendency to be overly optimistic about the severity of the mental health problem and its impact on their life, are factors in shaping how Filipinos perceive mental

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37 health. These Filipino particip ants may not seek mental health care due to the negative association of people who suffer from mental health problems. They believe it will reduce their social network and opportunities, threaten the economic survival of their entire family, and make their mental health problems even worse (Tanaka and al, 2018). Risk factors and cultural stigma may prevent many Filipinos in wanting to seek help as they weigh the negative as more harmful than the positive outcomes. Due to Confucius' teachings, Chinese and V ietnamese community members may view mental health problems as a disconnect between mind and body and therefore stigmatize seeking mental healthcare as failure of the whole self. On the other hand, Filipino Americans with mental health problems believe tha t resilience and optimism under difficult situations will make the mental health problem better which can prevent Filipinos in wanting to seek care. Additional studies done on the different cultural stigmatized factors in these groups can further the field on why Asian American subgroups may not want to seek mental health care. Health Insurances Our current understanding of Asian Americans and access to health insurance has been distorted by the historic aggregation of diverse Asian subgroups on access to health. It masks the important differences in the leading causes of lack of adequate healthcare in each subgroup. There are various studies which show that having health insurance has profound effects on access to healthcare for most Americans. Having hea lth insurance is shown to improve depression ( Murray CJ, Atkinson C, Bhalla K). Additional studies show that having health coverage can help earlier stages of diagnosis for breast cancer ( Robbins AS, Han X, Ward EM, Simard EP, Zheng Z, Jemal,) and increase overall physical and mental wellbeing for patients ( Finkelstein A, Taubman S, Wright B). A lack of health insurance is a strong

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38 independent risk factor for death in many of the communities that are studied. Beginning with the Institute of Medicine's (2002 ) report, Care without Coverage, studies suggest that lack of insurance causes tens of thousands of deaths each year in the United States. Low coverage rates, however, still persist among disadvantaged populations, particularly immigrants. While having h ealth insurance is not directly correlated with better health, understanding Asian American subgroups' access to health insurance is a policy tool that can be used to encourage healthier decision. In a study called Disparities in health insurance coverage among the largest six Asian Americans, the differences in the rates of uninsured among Asian Indian Americans, Chinese Americans, Filipino Americans, Japanese Americans, Korean Americans, and Vietnamese Americans are identified and attributed to five dist inct socioeconomic and acculturative factors. The study finds Asian Americans with higher median income per year are the less likely to be uninsured. When considering ethnicity, Vietnamese American and Korean American communities have the lowest median ho usehold incomes among all Asian American subgroups surveyed. When considering education, Vietnamese Americans have the lowest percentages of high school graduates, which may account for their higher uninsured rates. However, Korean Americans have high perc entages of high school graduates but still demonstrate higher uninsured rates as well. Asian American communities with greater percentages of native born individuals are less likely to be uninsured . The study also finds that subgroups with limited English have a positive correlation with percentages of uninsured people (Huang, 2013). The study shows the differences in rates among these six factors for this six Asian American groups. AsianCrit also examines the dynamic of intersectionality as the understandi ng that White supremacy and other systems of oppression and exploitation intersect to shape the conditions

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39 within which Asian Americans exist ( Iftikar and Museus, 2014). Using this theory, there are social factors which can account for these differences. W ith a low median income, many Vietnamese Americans and Korean Americans often go into blue collar jobs or are self employed, which may account for lower median income. This can lead to lower rates of being insured as they are less likely getting insurance from employers or they need to buy private insurances themselves. The percentage of native born individuals correlates with a higher number individuals who are culturally assimilated because their families have lived in the United States for multiple gener ations. This can account for the reason why Japanese Americans are more insured than other groups. They are in community with higher rates of Asians who are insured as five out of the six Japanese American communities surveyed in the United States had a p ercentage of native born that was over 60 percent . Language access is also strongly correlated with educational attainment. Limited English proficiency can be correlated to lower educational attainment ( Huang, 2013). Many Asian Indians and Filipinos are f rom countries with a history of Western colonial influence and may have a higher level of English proficiency. Chinese, Korean, and Vietnamese American communities have the highest percentages of limited English proficiency, translating into higher percent ages of uninsured ( Huang, 2013). These intersecting identities play a role in why Asian American subgroups are not uninsured. Asian Americans are highly diverse across demographic characteristics. Educational level and socioeconomic status among Asian Ame rican ethnic groups are highly diverse. Chinese Americans have some of the highest national averages of educational attainment while being grouped together with groups such as Vietnamese Americans who have some of the lowest levels of educational attainmen t and income compared to the national average overall (Cook WK, Chung C, Tseng W, 2011). Understanding that there is a positive correlation between education

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40 and income level and obtaining health insurance that means that Asian American ethnic groups with high education and income levels are also more likely to obtain healthcare and health insurance. For example, Council of Community Pediatrics 2013 notes in a study done on the Affordable Care Act (ACA), that Pakistanis have a 20.9% insured rate, Koreans have a 20.5% insured rate, Cambodians have a 18.9% insured rate, Vietnamese have a 18.5% insured rate, Micronesians have a 18.3% insured rate, Bangladeshis have a 18.2% insured rate, and Samoan have a 16.9% insured rate (The Impact of the Affordable Care Act on Asian Indian, Chinese, Filipino, Korean, Pakistani, & Vietnamese Americans, 2015) Without health insurance, Asian American subgroups find themselves at a disadvantage in obtaining proper healthcare when compared to other American groups. Cancer is one of the highest causes of death among Asian American groups (McCracken, M., Olsen, M., Chen, M. S., et al 2007). Asian Americans are one of the largest groups to not get early cancer screening. Difficulties in obtaining health insurance have been li nked to low cancer screening rates in Asian American groups (Klabunde, C., Brown, M., Ballard Barbash, R., et al, 2012). A study done on the relationship between acculturation and three different types of cancer screenings among Chinese, Korean, and Vietna mese Americans finds that health insurance had a large confounding effect on the association between acculturation and all cancer screenings. Those who have health insurance or have a regular physician are significantly more likely to have screened for col orectal, cervical, and breast cancer in the past two years. The percentages of having health insurance, a regular physician, and good health status are also significantly higher for those born in the United States. Having health insurance was strongly asso ciated with colorectal cancer screening. Both health insurance and having a regular physician are strongly associated with having a pap smear, which is used to diagnose cervical cancer. In the current

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41 study, significant ethnic differences are seen for Kor ean American women, who are less likely to have pap smears than Chinese and Vietnamese women ( Lee, S., Chen, L., Jung, M.Y. et al. J Community Health, 2014). Understanding the disparities in getting insurance for Asian American subgroups is crucial in unde rstanding their access to proper, adequate care. Conclusion In this chapter, I focus on the structural barriers that Asian American subgroups face in access to healthcare. I first focus on the ways in which Chinese and Vietnamese differ in accessing men tal health care when compared to Filipinos. I argue that the teachings of Confucius plays a role in how some communities may view mental health care. Additionally, there are disparities between the uninsured and insured in different Asian subgroups. I argu e that uninsured immigrants are more likely to experience negative health outcomes. There are factors that may cause lack of health insurance. Overall, this chapter continues to push for disaggregated data.

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42 CHAPTER IV POLITICAL PARTICPATION There is an emerging interest in the way Asian Americans are politically engaging in the United States. Previous studies on voter participation have shown that high er level of education often leads to higher voter particip ation (Verba, Sidney, Kay Lehman Schlozman, and Henry Bra dy, 1995). Yet, Asian Americans on a whole have the hi ghest level of education attainment but the lowest voting rates. P olitical participati on among Asian Americans continue to puzzle many researche rs as current studies reveal that motivation in political participation are just as diverse as Asian Americans themselves. Asian Americans var y in their languages, migration stories, culture s and education attainment s. W hen the factors are broken down betw een the subgroups there are indications that each group h as many different factors affecting why they may or may not part icipate in U.S. politics. This chapter focus es on research that explore s the different patterns of political participation among As ian Americans. These studies not only focus on voting but also examine non formal political participation such as community activism and campaign donation. Looking into these areas, the chapter account s for factors which le ad to less political engagement am o ng Asian American subgroups. This chapter will factor in immigrant socialization, racial identity formation (ethnic group membership) and collective mobilization, and language barriers as contribution to political participation among Asian Americans. This chapter argue that when we are studying Asian American participation patterns, we must dis aggregate data because the factors affecting the ways Asian American s vote in U.S. politics rely on a myriad of variables. This chapter utilizes the AsianCrit tenant of Strategic (anti ) essentialism which builds on CRT's anti essentialism that states that there is no essential experience or attribute that defines

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43 any group of people . Put simply, there is no singular Asian American experience so the nature of pa n ethnicity is oppressive towards fights for racial justice. However, the AsianCrit tenant of Strategic (anti )essenti alism also suggest s that researchers should also makes a purposeful decision about which Asian American groups to include in analyses to g enerate the most useful understanding of thi s population and their struggle ( Iftikar and Museus, 2014). Building on this foundation, this chapter talks about the importance of the collective Asian American political identity and how it is a powerful label that built power for historically marginalized Asian Americans . However, I will also discuss studies that focus on the political identities of certain Asian subgroups. This chapter will provide studies on the political identities of Japanese Americans to show how this group ha s grown politically compared to other Asian subgroups . I will also discuss studies on the largest Asian p opulations in the United States: Chinese, Filipinos, and Vietnamese. By focusing on intersecting identities of immigrant status, generations removed from the immigrant homeland, and ethnicities in disaggregated stud ies, this chapter hope s to reveal some important details masked by the aggregated data about the political patterns among Asian Americans. Immigrant Assimilation and Gen erational Patterns Certain studies in the past have hypothesized that there is a positive relationship in how long an immigrant group ha s stay ed in the United States and their level of involve ment in the U . S . political process, in particular voting. Ramakrishnan , Professor of Political Science and Public Policy at University of California, Riverside and founder of AAPIDATA.com and Thomas Espenshade, researcher of social demography s howed in their study Immigrant Incorporation and Political Participati on in the United States (2001) that when studying generational differences among immigrants, the studies suggest that first generation immigrant s

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44 in all ethnic minority groups tend to vote more when they have been in the United States longer (882). Howeve r, when looking at different generation s across racial minority groups, there are some differences in voting patterns. W hen studied as one whole group, Asian Americans tend to have a linear voting patterns with 2 nd generation Asian Americans more likely to vote than first generation Asian immigrant s (883). T his pattern is similar to White , Black and Latino immigrants. T he study also noted that voting participation t a per s off after the 2 nd generation for Asian Americans, showing that after 2 to 3 generations in the United States, the voting pattern of Asian Americans does not grow as quickly as it does for Latino s and Afrcan Americans. What factors can account for the drop in voting after the 2 nd and 3rd generation of Asian Americans? Some point to the strate gy of mobilizing Asian Americans under a collective oppressive group identity. Group Membership/ Racial identification Previous studies on a collective oppressive identity focus largely on African Americans. While there are opposing findings, in ge neral these studies indicate that identity oppression may have an impact on the strong collective identity consciousness of Black minority groups which may have a relationship to participation rates. There have been studies which use pan ethnicity in Asian American s to predict political participation outcome . One study by Tae Eun Mi n, a researcher who studied The impact of panethnicity on Asian American and Latino political participation (2014) finds that panethnicity decreases Asian American voting activiti es but increases their non voting political participation over generation s . In his study, panethnicity is defined as the psychological solidarity among individuals from diverse national or ethnic origins. He argues that this may be due to stronger educatio n in Asian American s, leading them to see non voting participation a s a better way to get their political message across (Min, 2014). Thus,

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45 they may choose not to vote but instead make a differences through non formal political participation. In Jang 's (2009) article Get Out on Behalf of Your Group: Electoral Participation of Latinos and Asian Americans , she stud ies how different features of racial contexts interact to influence the voting turnout of individual Latinos and Asian Americans . S he finds that growth in local Asian communitie s leads to a higher rate of voting because Asian Americans are individually more likely to vote when surrounded by an Asian community (525) which pressure s them to be politically involved. I n this study panethnic ity is defined as different ethnic group s together based on the shared structural cons traints of shared experiences of marginalized identities. Jang emphasize s that even though there are significant cultural and linguistic differences, Asian American s cont inue to be "lumped" by race in employment practices, cultural and political representation, and as victim s of hate crime . Therefore, there is power in identifying as "Asian American." This study supports the idea of pa ne thnicity as a strong factor in polit ically mobilizing Asian American s as a whole. While collective identity oppression and group mobilization is understudied in scholarship on Asian Americans, studies in common oppression theory in Black minority groups can lead to some direction in understa nding why Asian Americans voters are not united in their voting patterns. More studies in this area among different subgroups can provide better understanding on how pan ethnicity plays a role in mobilizing Asian American politic al participation. Racial i dentification and individual subgroup membership may play a role in how Asian American s participate politically in ethnic organization s . There are studies which question whether consciousness and membership within an ethnic community increase the likelihoo d to vote because they identify with the interest s and agendas of their group. Having a tie to one's

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46 own ethnic group can lead one to be more politically involved with the political interest of the group. Previous studies such as S tructural Assimilation, Ethnic Group Membership, and Political Participation (1985) about Japanese American and their level of involvement in different political activity found that Japanese Americans that have varying degree s of e thnic g roup m embership are more likely to politic al engaged. For example, the study found that having a Japanese friend as a third generation Japanese American is positively correlated with higher political participation because it is a link with formal involvement in Japanese American voluntary associat ion s; however it does not have a strong correlation with the same generation with larger societ al political participation (993). This study supports the notion that being involved in an ethnic community leads to higher political participation among Japanes e American s with the interest of the group as a focus but does not support overall participation in political activity on a national level. Taking into account that Japanese Americans have higher percentages of American born individuals who are many genera tions removed from Japan and thus one of the most assimilated Asian American groups, assimilation may play a role in their political involvement as well. Professor Pei te Lien at the University of Florida whose primary research interest is in the politica l participation and representation of Asian s an d other nonwhite Americans reveals that Asian Americans who have a better understanding of the problems that those in their racial identity group face are more likely to be engaged in all formal and informal a ctivi ties of political participation ( Lien, 1994). Her more recent studies showed that Asian Americans who have a strong shared identity with their ethnic group may be involved in politics more informally with their group, however, they may not prefer to b e individually involved in formal participation such as voting. Membership in an ethnic organization with a strong sense of ethnic

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47 consciousness encourage s some Asian Americans, citizens or not, to get more involved in politics outside of formal channels, such as voting (Wong, Lien, and Conway, 2005). These studies support the argument that having a strong racial identity in ethnic community groups tends to correlate to certain Asian American ethnic groups be ing more likely to vote or be engaged politically . Asian Americans on a whole do not have a c ollective oppression identity on the same level as African Americans and thus mobilization through a collective identity may be just as complex as shown by these studies on panethnicity. U nderstanding the role o f membership within an ethnic community can lead to a better understanding o f how to mobilize certain Asian American subgroups to be more politically engaged. Strong Party Affiliation Scholarship that studies the o utcome of partisanship and party affi liation on political participation indicates that political affiliation often is passed down from one generation to the next at a young age. However, with Asian American s being one of the groups with the highest percentage of immigrants, partisanship i s complicated because many children o f Asian immigrants encounter a different political system than the one their parents encountered in their homelands . The re are many studies that show the patterns of party affiliation of immigrant s fleeing from Communis t country . Asian American subgroup s' party affiliation can vary depending on their own immigrant patterns. In a study done by Loan Kieu Le and Phi Hong Su , Party identification and the immigrant cohort hypothesis: the case of Vietnamese Americans (2017) , t hey find that the first wave of Vietnamese refugees are more likely to be affiliated with the Republican party versus the Democratic party. However, this pattern disappears by the third generation that is more likely to prefer Democratic affiliation. This may be a result of the Republican party focusing more on individualism which appeals to Vietnamese refugees who

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48 fled a communist country. This tapers off in later generations of Asian Americans which indicates that the Democratic party should spend more ef fort recruiting and mobilizing younger Asian Americans. In a study done by Oh Sookhee , Group Membership and Context of Participation in Electoral Politics among Korean, Chinese, and Filipino Americans (2013), she found that over time there are higher number s of Asian Americans who identify with the Democratic party (31%) than t he Republican party (14%). In particular, during the 2008 election 58% of Filipino Americans , who have traditionally vot ed Republican , helped elect Obama to the presidency (Oh, 2013). The lean towards Democratic affiliation continued to increase over the last two U.S. presidential elections in 2012 and 2016 . Mor e studies in how parties have mobilized these different A sian American groups can provide some understand ing of why Asian American s have changing political attitude s over time. Language Barrier Language may pos e a structural barrier to voting for some Asian American subgroups. The Language Minority Provisions of the Voting Rights A ct was established to increase APPI vote r participation as long as a jurisdiction is covered under Section 2 03 and the re is a certain minimum number of United States citizens of voting age i n a single language group within the jurisdiction. However, many counties remain invisible in providing adequate translation of election materials other than English ( Pew Res earch Center). I n Colorado, there is still no requirement to translate ballots in to any languages other than English. There are many services which provide language help to Asian communities such as translators and interpreters. Nevertheless, language rema ins a barrier for certain Asian Americans to be politically involved.

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49 Pei te Lien, Christian Collet, Janelle Wong and S. Karthick Ramakrishnan state in their article Asian Pacific American Public Opinion and Political Participation (2004) that Vietnamese immigrant s may have a higher motivation than other Asian ethnic groups to participate in election s because they want to integrate but they may have difficulty doing so because inadequate language resources prevent them from registering to vote (Lien, 2004) . A nother study done by Michael Jones Correa , researcher of political participation and civic engagement at Harvard university, indicates that when data is disaggregated, Vietnamese Americans living in areas where voting materials are provided in their lan guage show ed a significant increase in voter turnout compared to other Asian ethnic groups (Jones Correa, 2005 ). This may be a direction to look to for increasing Vietnamese Americans voting participation. While some Asian sub groups may have a higher vote r registration rate than others , there is no indication that higher voter registration rates lead to increased voting. Filipino Americans have high rates of voter registration. I n his book Strangers from a Different Shore: A History of Asian Americans , Ame rican historian Ronald Takaki stat es that Filipino Americans were subjects of a U.S. territory rather than immigrants from another country between 1898, when the United States annexed the Philippines , and 1946 , when the Philippines was granted political in dependence (Takaki 1989). One legacy of U.S. colonialism in the Philippines is a higher level of proficiency in English , even today . This could explain the higher rates of voter registration among Filipino Americans who are less likely to require translati on services. However, Filipino Americans on a whole do not vote more than other Asian subgroups. Sookhee Oh 's study found that f irst generation Filipinos are more likely to register and vote than their first generation Chinese and Korean counterparts however both registration and voting decrease over time among later generation s (Oh 2013). Knowing English does not account for why there is less

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50 voter participation for Filipino Americans. Further research in this area can provide more insight into the effectiveness of translating ballots to increase Asian American voter participat ion. Mobilizing Organization There have always been mobilizing efforts t argeting Asian Americans to get out to vote. Asian and Pacific Islander American Vote, APIAVOTE, and the Asian American Justice Center are just a few organizations that w ork towards unders tanding how AAPIs vote nationally. Local organization s in Colorado , such as The Immigration Rights Coalition , have continued to push for more Asian American r epresentation by advocating for more diverse language usage and including APPI i ssues in elections. Colorado's AAPI population may be low at only 3 5% of the entire state population , i n her article Group Based Resources and Political Participation among Asian Americans ( 2005) Wong argues that efforts such as phone calls and remainders to AAPI voters can help increase the number of Asian Americans who vote. Thus the efforts to understand how to mobilize AAPIs to vote remains difficult but extremely important. Conclusion Despite Asian Americans being seen as highly educated, th ey remain one of the racial group s with the lowest voter participation rates. In this chapter, I reviewed the findings of research highlighting political participation rates among Asian Americans. F irst the studies show ed different Asian American immigrant generational patterns of voting compared to other racial minorities . These studies indicate d that voting among 2 nd and 3 rd generation Asian Americans is not as strong over time compared to other racial minorities . Next , I reviewed studies exploring whethe r pan ethnicity and collective oppressive identity play a role in effective ly mobilizing Asian Americans politically . These studies indicate that the relationship

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51 between panethnicity and political participation is complex because while panethnic identifica tion does not increase voting, it does play a role in non formal political participation among Asian Americans. H aving a racial identity and being involved in an ethnic community is often correlated with increased political participations for Japanese Amer ican in studies but this research is not representative of other Asian Americans groups. Next, party affiliation differs for Asian American subgroups. Asian American s tend to lean more towards the democratic party over time, while the level of non affilia t ed voters remains the same. Finally, look ing at English language proficiency as a barrier to voter participation reveals that the language barrier may play a role in Vi etnamese turnout rate, but English language proficiency rates does not explain why Filip ino Americans have low voter rates despite have high rates of registration . AAPI and immigrant advocacy organizations actively seek out ways to effective ly mobiliz e Asian American s and provide better language resources to encourage voting . The studies prov ided demonstrate how disaggregated data can provide better insight into the d ifferent factors that im pact if and how Asian Americans vote.

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52 CHAPTER V CONCLUSION Asian Americans have historically been margin a lized by racial stereotypes, first the coolie stereotype, then the yellow peril stereotype, and later the model minority stereotype. All these narratives homogen ize a diverse Asian American population as one group and keeps the m invisible in conversations about race relations and social justic e . This creates challenges for Asian Americans that are often invisible to other Americans. Disaggregated d ata can offer insight into these masked challenges that aggregated data hide . In this thesis, I discuss how the model minority narrative mask s the ba rriers and challenges Asian American s fa ce in education, access to health care, and political participation. In the education chapter , I argue that when Asian American students are seen as the mo del minority they often face challenges that are rendered in visible . I present some disaggregated studies which show the intersecting identities of being first generation students in higher education who also come from families that emphasize Confucian teaching. These students may feel a different type of pressure in navigating higher education and family expectations compared to students who may not come from this cultural background. While there are conversations about Asian Americans in school, there are less conversations about their overall campus experiences i n higher education. These studies show that first generation students are less likely to remain interested in higher education. Using Asian Critical Theory, I bring in my own interview data to showcase the voices of Asian American students to help demonstr ate how Asian American students understand their own identity in relation to the model minority stereotype. Disaggregated data will help dispel the narrative that all Asian American students are high achievers and bring to light the different challenges th at Asian American students face.

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53 In the access to health care chapter, I argue that Asian Americans have a harder time accessing proper health care when aggregated and seen as one homogenous groups. In particular, it is important to see why there is stil l a stigma for certain Asian Americans to seek mental health care when studying Asian American subgroups. Studies using disaggregated data show that there may be different social factors impacting an Asian American immigrant's likelihood to seek mental hea lth care, including those who come from countries influenced by Confucianism versus those from countries which were once a US colony. I find that understanding these differences can help explain what social factors may cause stigma in seeking mental health care for these communities. Addressing these perceived stigmas may help Asian Americans receive the mental health care they need. Later, I present disaggregated data findings on Asian Americans with health insurance. Studies using disaggregated data show that employment plays a role in who has health insurance and how that leads to increased rates of health care access for some Asian Americans. I argue that understanding what accounts for different insured rates of Asian Americans and how this impacts thei r health outcomes can aid us in crafting policies that will address these discrepancies and facilitate Asian Americans procuring health insurance. When aggregated, these differences are not accounted for and this chapter argues that disaggregated data is e ssential to understanding and addressing the needs of Asian Americans. In chapter 4, I argue that there are many varying factors explaining why Asian Americans choose not to vote, factors that are not clear when Asian Americans are studied as one homogeno us group. Disaggregated data shows that there are generational differences among the voting patterns of Asian Americans, specifically that increased rates of voting participation taper off after the second and third generations in relation to other immigra nt groups. There is also some variation in voting patterns that can be attributed to panethnicity. Also disaggregated data

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54 suggests that political mobilization, strong political party affiliation, and language barriers all contribute to Asian American voti ng patterns. This research highlights the diversity among Asian American subgroups and why stereotypical assumptions about Asian Americans as a whole fail to produce strategies for encouraging Asian Americans to vote. Rather, when we look at the differenc es among Asian Americans , disaggregated data can reveal some important information. This thesis revealed many factors that are important to understan d the diversity of Asian Americans and their lived experiences . Moving forward, further research that coll ects and analyzes disaggregated data on Asian Americans could prove quite beneficial to improving the Asian American student experiencing, increasing Asian American access to health care, and increasing Asian American political participation . First, unders tanding the intersecti onality of Asian Americans and gender ed and sexual identities can provide some insight into how patriarchy and heteronormativity interact with whiteness to impact the experiences of Asian American women and LGBTQIA Asian Americans . Se cond , further work is required to understand how P acific I slander s and Native Hawaii ans are differentially included (or excluded all together) in the Asian American category to really understand the ir different needs. Lastly, to illuminate the experiences of Asian Americans in the area s of health care access and political participation , interview data will definitely strengthen the push for disaggregated data and bring up concerns of diverse Asian American s . Breaking down and exploring these different topi cs will help move research on Asian American s in a direction that will provide a better understanding of the racialized experiences of Asian Americans in the United States. Asian Americans are a growing and diverse population . As they grow, we should be gin to understand Asian American lives more critically, especially where they stand racially because

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55 they have the power to challenge narratives about themselves in discussions about race . Aggregated data th at seemingly confirms the yellow peril and model minority stereotypes does not show the diversity of Asian Americans. Through the course of this thesis, I argued that o nly through the collection of disaggregated data and hearing the voices of Asian Americans personally can we achieve a more holistic unde rstand ing of race and where Asian American s are positioned in conversation s about racial relations.

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60 Wong, J. S., Lien, P. T., & Conway, M. M. (2005). Group Based Resources and Political Participation among Asian Americans. American Politics Research , 33 (4), 545 Ð 576. https://doi.org/ 10.1177/1532673X04270521 U.S. Census Bureau. (2010). Educational Attainment in the United States: 2010. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office. Ying, Y. (2002). The Conception of depression in Chinese Americans in K.S. Kurasaki, S, & S. Sue (Eds.), Asian American mental health: Assessment theories and methods : Kluwer Academic Publishers. York Anderson, D. C., & Bo wman, S. L. (1991). Assessing the college knowledge of first generation and second generation college students. Journal of College Student Development, 32 (2), 116 122.