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'Raced' perspectives on college opportunity: The intersectionality of ethnicity and social class among Asian acific Americans

Опубликовано на портале: 19-05-2004
Организация: University of California, Los Angeles
Подтип: PhD
Тематические разделы: Социология, Экономическая социология, Экономическая социология: Социально-экономическая дифференциация. Бедность, Социальная стратификация

Asian Pacific Americans (APAs) have often been excluded from racial discourse pertaining to educational opportunities because of a lack of belief that there is need to address the educational issues of this population. The APA population has also been misrepresented by way of categorization and treatment as a single, homogeneous racial group when, in fact, the APA population is quite diverse with ethnic sub-groups that encounter different social and institutional experiences. Using Critical Race Theory (CRT) as a guiding framework with the structural elements of Social Capital Theory, this study explores how ethnicity, immigration, and social class shape postsecondary opportunities and decision-making processes for APA students.

Specifically, this study examines the expectations, guidance, and support Chinese and Filipino high school students' received from their protective agents (parents, extended relatives, and peers) and institutional agents (teachers and counselors) in their process of developing and realizing their postsecondary aspirations. The data were drawn from interviews with 80 Chinese and Filipino American male high school seniors in four public high schools in California. From a CRT perspective, this study challenges the dominant culture and deconstructs traditional notions of the APA educational experience by demonstrating ethnic, immigrant, and social class differences among the APA population. Specifically, I illustrate that APA students, from different ethnic and social class backgrounds, experience different historical, social, and institutional realities, which result in differences in their educational experiences and postsecondary opportunities. Through the use of social capital theory, I demonstrate that Chinese and Filipino students live among and are influenced by a network of individuals that shape the ways by which students' form and negotiate their college aspirations, plans, and decisions. More specifically, I examine how the expectations, guidance, and support from socializing agents (protective and institutional agents) determine where a student applies to college, or whether the student decides to go to college at all. There are implications for theory and practice that emerged from this study. In particular, as much as educational scholarship and policy continue to treat the APA population as the invisible Americans their size and growth in many colleges and universities across the nation demands closer attention. However, scholars and policymakers must be precise in their attempts to conceptualize the educational experiences and opportunities that exist for APAs. In particular, educational theory and practice should be aware of the social and institutional realities that affect APA students, which yield differences in the educational experiences and outcomes of ethnic, social class, and immigrant populations among APAs.

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