Farah A. Ibrahim, PhD, LP (CO) Cynthia Chen, PhD Who is the Asian Sitting Next to You? Diversity Unmasked
LEARNING OBJECTIVE I Focus on Identification of Cultural O rigins of Asian Americans
Cambodia China India Japan, Korea, Malaysia Pakistan Philippine Islands Thailand Vietnam Who Are We and From Where Do We Come? who identifies their ancestry as originating from the Far East, Southeast Asia, & Indian subcontinent:
Cultural Origins Asian Americans are a distinctive group, and the population is by no means a monolith It is made up of immigrants or their descendants from dozens of countries in the Far East, Southeast Asia and the Indian subcontinent, each with a unique history, culture, language and pathway to America (Pew Research Center)
Asian Americans: Population Total population: 18,205,898 Six groups 83% of the total population Chinese 4,010,114 Filipino 3,416,840 Indian 3,183,063 Vietnamese 1,737,433 Japanese 1,304,286
Ratio of Asian Americans in CO United States Colorado Asian Americans 5.3% (>18.2 million) 3.0% American Indian & Alaska Native 1.2% 1.6% Native Hawaiian & Other Pacific Islander 0.2% 0.2%
LEARNING OBJECTIVE II Lived Experience of Asian Americans
Race/Ethnicity and Distress Ethnic discrimination of Asian American youth is a daily experience Higher discrimination from peers Asian American youth who participate in athletics are bullied and harassed more than Asian students Most Asian adults do not report high rate of discrimination, except for Filipinos South Asians have been subjected extreme racism and exclusion since 9/11 (Okazaki & Ling, 2013).
Microaggressions Towards Asian Americans ( Sue, 2007 ) Alien in Own Land (the Perpetual Foreigner) Ascription of Intelligence (All Asians are Good at Math) Denial of Racial Reality (the Model Minority) Exoticization of Asian Women (the Geisha, Mail Order Bride, and Thai Masseuse) Invalidation of Interethnic Group Differences (You All Look Alike) Pathologizing Cultural Values (Why Would You Choose to Use Chopsticks When You Can Use a Fork?) Second Class Citizenship (the Table in the Back Corner) Invisibility (We Should Have a Representative of Color)
Racism As Trauma People of Color subject to institutionalized, individual and cultural aspects of racism ( Landrine & Klonoff 1996) These experiences catalyze physical, social and psychological responses. High Blood Pressure, Risk for Heart Disease, Increased Risk for Negative Health Outcomes (Harrell, 2003) Increased risk for substance abuse (Martin, 2003) Intergroup tensions (e.g. Asian Americans perceived to be treated better in classrooms, causing tensions amongst communities of Color and poor intergroup relations) ( Rosenbloom & Way, 2004) Negative Impact on Families (e.g. stress, depression ( Murry et al, 2001) Poor Self Esteem ( Asamen & Berry, 1987; Fisher 2000 )
Asian Americans and Diversity The lack of Asian leadership in tech sheds light on a larger issue: Asians are excluded from the idea of diversity Tech companies believe that Asians and Asian Americans are smart and successful, so hiring or promoting them does not count as encouraging diversity It also says : there is no such thing as underrepresentation of Asians and Asian Americans The problem with this belief, historians and advocates assert, is that it not only obscures the sheer range of experiences within Asian and Asian American populations, but also excludes them from conversations about diversity and inclusion in leadership and non tech sectors (Linshi, 2014)
LEARNING OBJECTIVE III Stereotypes Encountered by Asian Americans
Stereotypes Encountered by Asian Americans of racism is linked to physical and linguistic differences as perceived and evaluated by the dominant culture and other minority groups (Yee, Huang, & Lew, 1998) and economic forces that heighten fears of 1998 ) One result of these perceptions has been the historical and persistent subordination and marginalization of Asian Americans throughout the presence of this group in the United States beginning in 1858 when Chinese labor was brought in to build the railroad (Chan 1991; Takaki, 1998)
Impact of Racism on Asian Americans Although, significant racism is directed at Asian Americans, there is not much research on their experiences, or the outcome and impact of these negative experiences (Liang, Alvarez, & Liang, 2007) Research does suggest that these negative experiences lower self concept (Asamen & Berry, 1987), lead to higher levels of psychological distress and academic problems (Chiu & Ring, 1998)
Impact of Racism on Asian Americans Recent study on the impact of racism with Asian American adults shows lowered self concept and greater depression among youth (Greene, Way, & Pahl, 2006) Perception, and experience of racism is also related to higher levels of psychological distress (Alvarez, Sanematsu, Woo, Espinueva, & Kongthong 2006)
Impact of Racism on Asian Americans Racism related stress is also positively related to problems with career development, interpersonal problems, and self esteem (Liang & Fassinger, 2008).
LEARNING OBJECTIVE IV Impact of Racism: Intersectionality and multiple identities of Asian Americans
Impact of Racism: I ntersectionality and multiple identities of Asian Americans Jun (2010) identified several negative outcomes due to racism and microaggressions on the intersections Identity has many aspects, these include: Ethnicity, gender, age, sexual orientation, religion, educational level, social class, region of the country, etc. Stigmatization by racism effects all aspects of a efficacy, as a person, as a worker, etc.
Impact of Racism: I ntersectionality and multiple identities of Asian Americans (cont.) When aspects of identity are stigmatized by ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, religion the individual already feels vulnerable in society with a dominant culture What is valued in US society: Euro Americans, Male, Protestant, highly educated, s uccessful (measured by wealth and achievements) Asian male physical characteristics are not valued Asian women who are oppressed within their ethnic culture (due to paternalistic values), are further oppressed in US society, and treated as exotic sexual beings
Impact of Racism: Intersectionality and multiple identities of Asian Americans (cont.) Gays and lesbians are not valued in most Asian cultures Transgender individuals are also not valued With stigmatization from primary culture and dominant culture, the impact of racism and microaggressions are much more damaging the dominant society results in internalizing and accepting racism and oppression and accepting it, which hinders effective coping, and results in higher distress
The Relationship Between Stress and Coping R acism is a source of chronic stress for racial/ethnic nondominant cultural groups (Dion, 2002) Understanding stress and coping theory from a psychological perspective helps in lowering the impact of this chronic stressor Lazarus and Folkman (1984) proposed the transactional life stress model, which is helpful in understanding differences in the way people respond to stress
Stress and Coping Lazarus and Folkman note that the experience of stress is the result of cognitive appraisal of the stressor or event and the effectiveness of the coping strategy employed Therefore stress is a behavioral, physical, or cognitive outcome associated with a resources to respond to an event that is deemed harmful
Stress and Coping Stress inducing events may be traumatic events, daily hassles, or chronic strains Coping mediates the relationship between a stressor and stress Coping constantly changing cognitive and behavioral efforts to manage specific external and/or internal demands that are appraised as taxing or exceeding the resources of 1984 p. 141)
Coping Styles Coping can be: Problem focused (Lazarus & Folkman, 1984) addressing the problem Emotion focused (Lazarus & Folkman, 1984) seeking support Negative coping (Dempsey, 2002) avoidance, aggression, violence
Coping Strategies Over the past decade, researchers have examined the influence of racism on psychological well being and adjustment problems Most research has focused on the moderating effect of coping with racism Liang, Alvarez, and Liang (2007) investigated the role of coping in mediating the relationship between the perception of racism and the level of racism related stress among Asian Americans
Coping Strategies Their results show: Men are more likely to report having experienced racism Women are more likely to to use support seeking coping than men B oth men and women indicate perceiving racism predicted racism related stress However, the research shows a differential relationship between perceptions of racism and coping strategies
Coping Strategies Asian American women used three forms of coping problem, emotion, and avoidance focused Asian American men used only avoidance and support seeking coping strategies Therefore, it appears that racism elicits different forms of coping in men and women
Outcome of Coping Styles Indirect coping (Lee & Liu, 2001), i.e., forbearance, distraction, mostly used often by Asian Americans for intergenerational and family conflicts resulted in higher distress Research shows that active coping strategies to address the problem resulted in positive outcomes Emotion focused, and avoidance were less effective
Strategies to Dismantle Racism Eliminating dichotomous, hierarchical and linear thinking in evaluating racial issues Helping people of color to take the role of an agent of change not to wait for others to get it, but take charge of the situation be proactive in addressing issues, instead of being reactive Process your feelings Be an advocate for yourself, do not take the path of least resistance
Strategies to Dismantle Racism To be effective at self advocacy, be aware of federal and state policies to help yourself Join grass root efforts to begin the process of change identify institutional, organizational, and individual racism to begin the process of change (Jun, 2010)
Strategies to Dismantle Internalized Racism Stigma results in internalizing racism/oppression directed at individuals Strategies that may help in coping with microaggressions and racist behavior directed at you Define your identity by the identifying positive aspects of your cultural heritage, the resilience of your people Establish community networks that recognize your strengths and challenges, and provide support, and help develop skills to cope with racism ad microaggressions Keep a journal of your thoughts about yourself check for negative attributions and if you have accepted them Practice mindfulness, and meditate to alleviate negative experiences
References Alvarez, A. N., Sanematsu, D., Woo, D., Espinueva, M., & Kongthong J ( 2006, August). impact on the psychological well being of Chinese Americans. Poster session presented at the annual convention of the American Psychological Association, New Orleans LA Asamen, J. K., & Berry, G. L. (1987). Self concept, alienation, and perceived prejudice: Implications for counseling Asian Americans Journal of Multicultural Counseling and Development 15, 146 160. Chan, S. (1991). Asian Americans: An interpretive history Boston: Twayne Chiu, Y. W., & Ring, J. M. (1998). Chinese and Vietnamese immigrant adolescents under pressure : Identifying stressors and interventions. Professional Psychology : Research and Practice, 29 444 449 Daniels Roger. 2001. "The Academic Side of Asian American History" Asian Nation: The Landscape of Asian America. http://www.asian nation.org/academic.shtml Dion K. L., (2002). The social psychology of perceived prejudice and discrimination. Canadian Psychology, 43 1 10 Greene, M. L., Way, N., & Pahl, K. (2006). Trajectories of perceived adult and peer discrimination among Black, Latino, and Asian American adolescents : Patterns and psychological correlates. Developmental Psychology 42 218 238. Lazarus, R. S., & Folkman, S. (1984). Stress, appraisal, and coping New York : Springer Publishing Company.
REFERENCES (CONT.) Jun, H. (2010) Social justice, multicultural counseling, and practice. Los Angeles: Sage. Liang, C. T. H., Alvarez, A. N., Juang, L. P., & Lingam. X. (2007). The role of coping in the relationship between racism, and racism related stress for Asian Americans Journal of Counseling Psychology, 54 (2), 132 141. Liang C. T. H., Fassinger R. E. (2008). The role of collective self esteem for Asian Americans experiencing racism related stress: A test of moderator and mediator hypotheses Cultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority Psychology (14), 19 28. Linshi, J. (2014). The real p roblem w hen i t comes to diversity and Asian Americans. Time, October 14 2014. Retrieved on March 23, 2015 from http ://time.com/3475962/asian american diversity / Okihiro G.Y. (2005). The Columbia Guide to Asian American History. Columbia University Press: Pew Research Center. Asian Americans Retrieved on March 23, 2015, from www.pewsocialtrends.org / asianamericans Sue D. W. (2005). Racism and the conspiracy of silence: Presidential address The Counseling Psychologist, 33 100 114. Takaki, R. (1998). Strangers from a different shore: A history of Asian Americans Boston: Back Bay Books. Yee, B. W. K., Huang, L. N., & Lew, A. (1998). Families: Life span socialization in a cultural context. In L. C Lee & N. W. S. Zane (Eds.) Handbook of Asian American psychology (pp. 83 135). Thousand Oaks, CA : Sage.