Evaluation of Ethnic Groups in America

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An ethnic group is defined as a population category, with significant similar characteristics, such as ancestral history, language and common cultural and national experiences. In America, for example, there are a number of ethnic communities which show certain similarities. Black Americans, Hispanic Americans, Indian Americans and Asia Americans, among others are the most prominent and well-known examples of ethnic groups in the United States (Light, Lieberson, & Waters, 1990). In this paper we are going to majorly discuss the history,migration,the assimilation and the connection of Asian Americans with other ethnic groups in particular in America.
Asian Americans and White Americans among others(Light, Lieberson, & Waters, 1990).In this paper we are going to majorly discuss the history,migration,the assimilation and the connection of Asian Americans with other ethnic groups in particular in America.

Asian Americans traces their roots back into Asian countries mainly East Asia, South Asia, Central Asia, Southeast Asia and parts of the middle east countries. The Asian immigration to the united states occurred in the late 19th century when there was an exclusion by law from the united states that prohibited the neutralization as immigrants were considered as aliens until in 1965 when the Immigration and National Act was revived leading to more new immigrants from Asia to the united states in the year 2010.The amendment of the constitution marked a tremendous achievement in the fight for racial equality in the United States as it granted citizenship to anyone born within the boundaries of the U.S without considering their race and parental geographical origin. This immigration process came at a time when largest sending countries had undergone a drastic change in their standards of living while some remained undeveloped during that time of migration era. In-text: (Gans, 1979)


The first Asian American people reached North America during the onset of colonization by the Europeans while Indians whom were part of the group ended in Spanish environment.in the year 1930s the American missionaries and capitalists established plantations and settlements of which the early immigrants were contracted as workers. With the conquest of Hawaii by the United States in 1893, more population of Asians continued to migrate that led to the initiation of sugarcane plantations in Hawaii. (Odo, 1996) The American capitalists used Chinese as a cheap source of labor that erupted to laborers protests over low payment wages thereby building tension between the natives and the immigrant groups that made the plantation owners to import more labor from different Asian countries. Most laborers had intended to be sojourners to work partially in U.S then to back on their countries but due to the low payment levels and the continuous low economic reports in China made them to extend their stay to permanent. The Chinese interest to remain in the United States developed a great concern to the American population as their immigration level rose highly creating a competition in job opportunities as there were also other ethnic groups migrating in the process. In-text: (Gans, 1979)

In continuation, the rising number of Asians in the United States formed a major group forming new identities based on group solidarity and similarity in their experiences. They identified themselves differently based on their own national origins which comprised of Chinese, Japanese and Korean among others which was eventually merged forming the pan-Asian identity of ‘Asian Americans’. The group shared experiences and the commonalities of having Asian ancestry forming the process of assimilation. Asian Americans assimilated in different ways one being by their behaviors in America. The Asians mimicked the beliefs, values, cultural norms including the language used by the host community but in the process they decide whether to retain their Asian culture and traditional norms or discard them in favor of the complete assimilation with the American society. (Gilbert, 1990)

The second major assimilation process involves socio-economic and structural, assimilation whereby Asian Americans are associated allowed to participate in the formal political, economic, social and cultural institutions as members of American society. This portrayed their full citizenship as having attained their socioeconomic mobility and status similar to other members of the mainstream American society. (Lieberson, & Carter, 1979) The whole process undergoing behavioral, structural and socioeconomic occurs in an organized manner in that with time the succeeding generations’ leads to the simultaneous increase in both social, economic, political and member integration in the American society.

The final reason as to why the Asian Americans assimilated faster in the American society was due to the difference in class levels as some ethnic groups have higher educational standards, job skills and proficiency in English language usage. This gave them a quick start in socioeconomic breakthrough which enabled them acquire high rank jobs with better paying levels hence increasing their living status than other ethnic groups.to add on, cultural assimilation that is when the different ethnic groups maintain their cultural norms, behaviors and traditions and on the same, sharing common national values, goals and institutions thus representing the history of assimilation in America.

Despite the attainments of the assimilation of Asian Americans into the American society and continued significance of race for Asian Americans, there exists internal and external conflicts due to numerous myths and misconceptions. To begin with, it is stated that Asian Americans are weak, compliant and passive which is quite untrue in that Asians are being depicted as being mysterious and passive in most African films as they cast non-white men as being unattractive for women. The women are casted as either Dragon Lady Types and the men ugly and fierce gang or murderers or the unattractive and weak. This shows how Asians are rarely portrayed as normal human creatures as the Asian beauty is level as the standard to attract and maintain a man thus never being allowed to win over the Americans.

Furthermore, the other myth is that Asian Americans have made it to the mainstream by forming a section of the accepted American society. (Woon, & Knoll, 1983) During the first years of Asian Americans stay on American soil, they were victimized and discriminated by the laws according to the American constitution and the behaviors of the settlers as if they were aliens. (Daniels, 1996) They were not even allowed to own land, witness against a Whiteman in court and above all denied marriages out of their own ethnic groups among other mistreatments. All this above show the evidence on what the Asian Americans underwent in their stay in the United States.

To sum up, it is viewed that Asian Americans are well educated and had more knowledge of both social and economic status. This information is a contrary in that Southeast Asians had high levels of school dropouts in the country while large number of Asian Americans students had cases of not graduating on time and early dropouts from school. The above statements forms part of major arenas of myths that evolved around Asian Americans as an example of ethnic group in the United States. (“Asian Americans information directory: a guide to organizations, agencies, institutions, programs, publications, and services concerned with Asian American nationalities and ethnic groups in the United States”, 1993)


Gans, H. (1979). Symbolic ethnicity: The future of ethnic groups and cultures in America*. Ethnic And Racial Studies, 2(1), 1-20. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/01419870.1979.9993248

Light, I., Lieberson, S., & Waters, M. (1990). From Many Strands: Ethnic and Racial Groups in Contemporary America. Social Forces, 68(3), 992. http://dx.doi.org/10.2307/2579406

Lieberson, S., & Carter, D. (1979). Making it in America: Differences Between Eminent Blacks and White Ethnic Groups. American Sociological Review, 44(3), 347. http://dx.doi.org/10.2307/2094879

Odo, F. (1996). Asian Americans in Hawai’i. OAH Magazine Of History, 10(4), 46-47. http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/maghis/10.4.46

Daniels, R. (1996). Asian Americans and the Supreme Court: A Documentary History Hyung-chan Kim A Legal History of Asian Americans, 1790-1990 Hyung-chan Kim. Pacific Historical Review, 65(1), 143-144. http://dx.doi.org/10.2307/3640839

Gilbert, G. (1990). Christa Schwartzkopff, Deutsch als Muttersprache in den Vereinigten Staaten, Teil III: Germon Americans. Die sprachliche Assimilation der Deutschen in Wisconsin [German as a mother tongue in the United States, Part III: German Americans. The linguistic assimilation of the Germans in Wisconsin]. Stuttgart: Franz Steiner Verlag, 1987. Pp. ix + 446. Language In Society, 19(01), 137. http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/s0047404500014299

Asian Americans information directory: a guide to organizations, agencies, institutions, programs, publications, and services concerned with Asian American nationalities and ethnic groups in the United States. (1993). Choice Reviews Online, 30(05), 30-2405-30-2405. http://dx.doi.org/10.5860/choice.30-2405

Woon, Y., & Knoll, T. (1983). Becoming Americans. Asian Sojourners, Immigrants, and Refugees in the Western United States. Pacific Affairs, 56(2), 385. http://dx.doi.org/10.2307/2758703

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