Monday, November 19, 2012

Asian-American?

Steve Sailer: "Non-Tiger Mother Asian-Americans"

MB asked me when I last visited him whether there was a core Asian-American identity and culture. I didn't think there was one, since Confucianism no longer had a central role in (East) Asian culture. The label is  applied to various ethnic groups, who may be united by being in opposition to some other group or identity (or in competition for "race spoils"). Those who assimilate generally assimilate Yankee liberalism, with respect to belief and culture. I still use the label in so far as it remains useful in referring to how people self-identify.

There is a stereotype of East Asians as being hard-working and academically-oriented. "High achievers?" Their career and life trajectories may be marked by materialism and a desire for comfort for themselves and their children. They enter certain professions, less because those professions are considered noble, but rather  because they have status and pay. An accurate stereotype or generalization? I think it is.

One does see some influence of African-American pop culture upon the music in East Asia, especially in Korea; as far as I can tell, there is less of an influence on Vietnamese pop culture, though there is a Vietnamese version of the "thug life" - how much of that is influenced by depictions of thug life in popular culture I do not know. The commentors at isteve mention the import car scene and the car shows - plenty of SE Asians there, but you will see some East Asians there, along with Filipinos and Hispanics. There appears to be an embrace of ghetto fashion and mannerisms by participants in the import car scene. Do they eventually outgrow this, or do they dress and act like this at work?



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