Introduction The 2000 U.S. Census shows us that Asian and Pacific Islander Americans have evolved and become more complex. Between 1980 and 1990, the total Asian American population increased 107%. Asians and Pacific Islanders represent at least 23 ethnic groups and more than 100 dialects. With this growing population throughout the U.S. it is important to acknowledge, understand and respect their distinct cultural values.
Demographics Subgroupings for Asian and Pacific Islanders. (According to the 2000 U.S. Census)Asian Americans: Chinese, Japanese,Filipino, KoreanSoutheast Asians: Cambodian, Hmong,Vietnamese, Laotian, Thai, Malaysian, SingaporeanAsian Indian: Bengalese, Bharat, Dravidian,East Indian, GoaneseOther Asian: Bangladeshi, Burmese, Indonesian,Pakistani, Sri Lankan
Cultural Competence withClient Groups (social workers) Cultural awareness: The social workers’ understanding and identification of the critical cultural values important to the client system and to themselves. Knowledge acquisition: The social workers’ understanding of how these cultural values function as strengths in the client’s functioning and treatment planning. Skill development: The social workers’ ability to match services that support the identified cultural values and then to incorporate them in the appropriate interventions. Inductive learning: The social workers’ continued quest to seek solutions, which includes finding other indigenous interventions and matching cultural values to choose appropriate western interventions.
Discriminatory Experiences ofAsian Immigrants The first Asian immigrant group to enter the U.S. was the Chinese in the 1840s. Mostly single men looking for their “mountain of gold.” Their reality in California in the 1800s and 1900s was hostile confrontations, exclusions, and even fatalities because of riots against them. The next group of immigrants to arrive were the Japanese, Korean, and Filipinos who did not fare much better but did learn from the experiences of the Chinese. Japanese women were able to join their husbands and form a “family society” in the U.S., but many also came as “picture brides” or prostitutes.
Impact of Oppression “The United States Commission of Civil Rights reported that in the 1990s Asian Americans faced discrimination and barriers to equal opportunities because of the “model minority” stereotype that wrongly labels some Asian groups with high average family incomes, educational achievement, and occupational status as representing all or most Asian American family situations.”
Cultural Awareness Sanders predicted a decade ago that the services for API would include the following considerations:1. More changes and intergenerational problems impacting parents, children, and the elderly.2. A need for a more holistic perspective in services addressing “life, relationships, and services” and less of a “dichotomy between the body and mind, psyche and soma.”3. An emphasis on change that comes from a “preventive and development perspective” committed to “maximizing the strengths and capacities of individuals, families, and communities.”4. A cross-cultural, pluralistic perspective in working with clients and services.5. Greater emphasis on “total family and family support systems.”
Knowledge Acquisition In the Chinese culture, Chung offers the Confucian model of social transformation. It is a model for social change used in Asian countries that has been adapted for use in the universal generalist social work practice. There are seven steps in the model to change individuals and society.1. The investigation of things or variables2. The completion of knowledge3. The sincerity of thought4. The rectifying of the heart5. The cultivation of the person6. The regulation of the family7. The governance of the state
Conclusion Social and economic justice needs to be achieved for the Asian and Pacific Islander groups because so many discriminatory, racist, and oppressive experiences have been imposed upon these people and other ethnic minorities in the United States. Macro-level shifts in attitudes and policies need to be made in order to achieve culturally competent practice with Asian and Pacific islander clients.
“Unraveling the Model MinorityMyth of Asian AmericanStudents” Brandon Yoo This article discusses the stereotype that suggests that Asian Americans are more academically, economically, and socially successful than any other racial minority groups. People believe this because of their unique Asian cultural values that emphasize hard work, strong family values, and/or stronger belief in the American meritocracy.
Article continued… Although this is one of the less offense stereotypes, it is simply not true. There are three examples listed that debunk the model minority myth.1. The myth ignores the heterogeneity of Asian American groups and their significantly varied levels of success.2. The myth neglects history and the role of selective immigration of Asian Americans.3. The myth fails to capture the more complex representation of Asian Americans in the education system.
Article continued… The article goes on to discuss the implications of The Model Minority Label. There is a piece of this section that reallt stood out to me. Yoo states “The group comparison superficially compliments the success of one group, as it implicitly points to failure of another group. It creates a distorted portrait of all Asian American students as hard working, studious, persevering without complaint; while all other students of color are lazy, disruptive, and complaining.”
“Coping with Asian AmericanStereotypes” Linh Lam This article discusses Lam’s story being Vietnamese herself. He talks about encounters he has had with people that are ignorant about his culture and how to be culturally competent. My favorite part of this article is a fact that someone pointed out to Lam. “Just because people don’t have the luxury of being exposed to different cultures doesn’t mean that they are at fault.” It says he should be more worried about the people that grip onto that ignorance and are proud of it.
Article continued… Lam discusses his experiences with people while working at a bakery and waitressing. People would actually mime their orders to her because they assumed she didn’t speak english. When in actuality she speaks english very well and was born in Columbus, Ohio.
Question How can Asian Americans (and other groups) overcome stereotypes? Is there a way to help educate people better about other cultures so that we can all be a little more culturally competent?
References Lum, D. (2010). Culturally competent practice, a framework for understanding diverse groups and justice issues. Brooks/Cole Pub Co. Yoo, B. (2006). Unraveling the model minority myth of asian american students. Retrieved from http://www.education.com/reference/article/unravelin g-minority-myth-asian-students/ Lam, L. (2009). Coping with asian american stereotypes. Retrieved from http://www.adoptvietnam.org/parenting/asian- stereotypes.htm