Historical Analysis of Asian Americans

Racial identity – Development of Biracial Models

In 1990, two scholars, Carlos Poston and Maria Root were the first to publish models for the development of healthy biracial identity. Past racial identity models were centered on a person having one race they can identify with. These psychologists challenged that belief and presented models that enable the possibility of healthy resolution of racial identity in biracial individuals.

Biracial Identity Development (Poston, 1990)

Poston theory comprises of six stages:

  1. Personal Identity: sense of self unrelated to ethnic grouping; occurs during childhood.
  2. Choice of Group: as a result of multiple factors, individuals feel pressured to choose one racial or ethnic group identity.
  3. Categorization: choices influenced by status of the group, parental influence, cultural knowledge, appearance.
  4. Enmeshment/Denial: guilt and confusion about choosing an identity that isn’t fully expressive of all their cultural influences; denial of differences between the racial groupings; possible exploration of the identities that were not chosen in stages 2 and 3.
  5. Apprication: of multiple identities
  6. Integration: sense of wholeness, integrating mulitple identities

Multiracial Ethnic Identity Development (Root, 1990, 2003)

Root (2003) proposed five potentially positive resolutions for the tentions of biracial identity

  1. Acceptance of the identity society assigns. Family and a strong alliance with an acceptance by a (usually minority) racial group provide support for identifying with the group into which others assume the biracial individual most belongs.
  2. Identification with both racial groups. Depending on societal support and personal ability to maintain this identity in the face of potential resistance from others, the biracial individual may be able to identify with both (or all) heritage groups.
  3. Identification with a single racial group. The individual chooses one group, independent of social pressure, to identify himself or herself in a particular way (as in resolution 1).
  4. Identification as a new racial group. The individual may move fluidly among racial groups but identifies most strongly with other biracial people, regardless of specific heritage backgrounds.
  5. Symbolic racial group. Hyperdescent identification, only recognizing one’s racial heritage intellectually (2003).

The psychological impact of multiracial identity includes higher self-esteem, a higher sense of efficacy, and lower stereotype vulnerability (Research on Biracial and Multiracial Identity Development: Overview and Synthesis).

Racial identity gives an important outlook on how it impacts individuals on personal and psychological level. Most US laws and regulations are written more or less based on race, but more importantly in th form of oppression if necessary.

Let’s take a look at the outline of the immigration history of Asian Americans.

Overview of Asian American History

Overview of Asian American History

Why “The China Virus” has always been a part of U.S. history

Asian Americans have always fought for their place in the U.S.

Asian Representation in Media: Past, Present, Future

Asian Doesn’t Start With A+

After Decades of Brownface, South Asians Fight for Better Representation

Asian: How You See Me

Asian American Myths from “Getting Real About Race

Essay #11 and #16 talk about how well most Asian Americans are doing well and Asian American culture that values education respectively. These myths tend to create a stereotype that all Asian Americans or households are doing great because they have strict discipline or good values.

These myths are more of a generalization that applies to every Asian American person or household. The videos above have already debugged some of the myths that they want to be seen and consider individuals. Not all Asian families came here with resources and connections. Some come to the US as slavery, rail workers, and refugees. When you have nothing, you will have to work hard to attain it because nothing is free. These translate to high value and discipline to raise.

Good luck!

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