Washington, December 20 (ANI): A team of political scientists have found that Asian Americans are less attached to their racial identity than black Americans, confirming that minority politics in the U.S. is more complex than generally thought.
The research team-comprising Jane Junn from Rutgers University and Natalie Masuoka from Tufts University-say that understanding the increasingly multicultural nature of the U.S. requires perspectives that incorporate, but go beyond, the black historical experience.
Published in the journal Perspectives on Politics, the study has shown that Asian Americans exhibit relatively high levels of economic and residential integration with mainstream white America, leading to predictions that they are assimilating more rapidly than black Americans and other minority or immigrant groups.
The study employess data drawn from the 2004 Ethnic Politics Survey, which included comparison groups of 354 Asian and 416 black Americans. The survey further divided the respondents into two groups, one of which was exposed to questions crafted to accentuate racial identification and measure the resulting sense of group identity.
The researchers observed that while the overall proportion of Asian Americans, who said that race was important in their racial consciousness, was smaller than for blacks, in the experiment "Asian Americans showed strong results from the experimental manipulation, demonstrating substantial malleability."
In their analysis, the authors identify three factors that drive Asian American group identity: state-sponsored racial classification, immigration policy, and racial stereotypes.
They have also assessed how such factors structure the ways in which Asian Americans identify with their group.
"We argue that racial identity for Asian Americans exists as a more latent identity compared to blacks, and we find Asian American group racial consciousness much more susceptible to the surrounding context. In the multi-racial U.S. polity today, we now have the opportunity to consider racial dynamics beyond the binary of black and white," the authors say. (ANI)