Second Generation Chinese Americans

Second Generation Chinese Americans
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I Am My Own Person’: a Comparison of Value Changes between First and Second Generation Chinese American Characters in Three Novels by Chinese American Writers. , n.d.. Internet resource.
This thesis compares three fictional novels written by Chinese writers: the Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan, the Promised Land by Gish Jen and a Free Life by Ha Jin. I chose this source because it is a comparison of stories by three Chinese writers. It therefore offers diversity of thought and opinion. The source is also credible in that it is from the view point of writers who are themselves Chinese.
The thesis limits itself to the themes of the gap between first and second generation Chinese immigrants in America and the conformity to the ideals and ideas of the American society. The thesis goes ahead to discuss the specific difficulties experienced by second generation Chinese immigrants in becoming American. In particular the book highlights the continuity of values between the first and second generation Chinese Americans as a hindrance to second generation Chinese immigrants being fully assimilated. The ethnic background of second generation Chinese Americans, the continuity of traditions and worldviews makes it difficult for them to effectively assimilate according to this thesis. The thesis goes on to assert that each of the writers of the fictional novels being compared had hope that individuals could decide their own values. The amount of choice in doing this differs from individual to individual.
Mollenkopf, John, Philip Kasinitz, and Mary Waters. Immigrant Second Generation in Metropolitan New York. , 2011. Internet resource.
This is a study that analyzes the factors that lead to or impede the assimilation of 18 to 32 year old second generation immigrants. The study goes ahead to pick study subjects from different races including Chinese backgrounds. This source is trustworthy in its assertions because one can see that the study was conducted objectively while observing all the rules of credible research. The subjects are questioned about growing up in an immigrant family.
According to the study first generation Chinese immigrants usually have little education while young Chinese immigrants who have their parents in China usually have more education, come from high income families and speak English more fluently. Second generation Chinese immigrants had more likelihood of being assimilated into American culture majorly because they were born in America or have lived in America since they were very young. According to the study, assimilation for second generation Chinese Americans is easy because they speak English fluently, have gone through American education system and generally have higher income than first generation Chinese immigrants.
Lin, Ko-Han C. The Impact of Acculturation and Generation Status on the Degree of Resilience in Chinese American Adults. , 2010. Print.
This is a study that explored the relationship between acculturation and generation status of Chinese immigrants into America. As far as assimilation goes, this is a source that offers great insight into why second generation Chinese immigrants will or will not be assimilated. Acculturation is change in one’s attitude, behavior, beliefs and values as a result of contact with another culture.
According to the study, second generation Chinese immigrants do not have a lot of resilience when it comes to holding on to the culture of first generation immigrants. Second generation Chinese immigrants can more easily incorporate and adapt the American culture into their lives than first generation immigrants. Second generation Chinese immigrants experience a breakdown in support, communication and identification with main systems of support such as Chinese community and family. Their level of resilience goes down as a result of this breakdown. Second generation Chinese immigrants move towards a more Eurocentric culture which in turn makes them less collective, more individualistic and more American. According to the study therefore, second generation Chinese immigrants are getting assimilated into the American culture.
Alumkal, Antony W. Asian American Evangelical Churches: Race, Ethnicity, and Assimilation in the Second Generation. New York: LFB Scholarly Pub. LLC, 2003. Internet resource.
This article by Alumkal examines the life experiences and beliefs of Chinese Americans born or raised in America in the context of American evangelism. I chose this article because it gives a religious touch to the assimilation debate. This is very important as many Chinese immigrants are religious and religion is bound to affect their worldview.
According to the article, American evangelism has influenced the worlviews of second generation Chinese Americans. Alumkal concluded that the religious beliefs of second generation Chinese Americans was not different from those of white evangelicals. Second generation Chinese Americans unlike their first generation counterparts also consent that their Christian identity was more important than their ethnic identity. However, they also argued that their ethnicity was also significant and churches gave them the opportunity to strengthen their ethnic ties. This ultimately means that second generation Chinese Americans have not completely given up their ethnic identity although they find it easier to blend into the American culture than first generation immigrants. Assimilation is therefore not yet a prospect and there is need for new theoretical approaches to understanding second generation Chinese Americans.
Min, Pyong G. The Second Generation: Ethnic Identity Among Asian Americans. Walnut Creek, CA: AltaMira Press, 2002. Print.
This is a book that contains a series of essays on ethnographic research. The essays drawn from ethnographic research examine the peculiar identity issues for second generation Chinese Americans. I chose this book because it gives valuable insights into the Asian American culture, ethnicity, race and the American society.
According to this book, second generation Chinese immigrants see culture, ethnic attachment, language retention, transnational ties and pan-Asian friendships as important. Second generation Chinese immigrants still maintain their cultural awareness and gender traditionalism. In spite of either being born or raised in America, in spite of their educational and occupational achievement that is different from first generation immigrants, second generation Chinese Americans still want to retain their ethnic identity and ties.
Jen, Gish. Typical American. Boston: Houghton Mifflin/S. Lawrence, 1991. Print.
This book is about how Chinese immigrants into the United States cope. Incorporated into the story is a short story What means Switch. What Means Switch is about how a second generation Chinese immigrant girl desires to be accepted by her American eighth grade counterparts. This source is particularly useful in the debate about assimilation as one is able to examine this debate from the viewpoint of a second generation Chinese immigrant teenager. As such, the source is a firsthand narration of what goes on in the minds of second generation Chinese immigrants.
The girl in the story wants to act the way her American peers want her to or expect her to. She manipulates her background in order to fit in. in so doing, she becomes ignorant of the importance of her culture. The girl views herself as an American who has cultural benefits and this makes her pees like her. This is a story about a second generation Chinese American who blocks out the truth so she can be popular. She ignores her own cultural identity and only uses it to gain popularity. Perhaps this is how other second generation Chinese Americans are going through.
Kibria, Nazli. Becoming Asian American: Second-generation Chinese and Korean American Identities. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2002. Print.
This is a book about racialization of Asian Americans. I chose this source because it draws from interview narratives. The voices of the informants make the basis of the central arguments in this book. 64 in depth interviews were carried out and this makes its assertions more credible.
The book examines the debate of the possibilities and limits of a pan ethnic identity. The conceptualization of race in America is also examined in this book. Contradictions and tensions in perceptions of race as well as ethnic identity are revealed. According to the book, ‘race socialization’ in immigrant families passes on important ideas, lessons and strategies of race. The book argues that it is not about whether or not Asian Americans should hold on to their traditions, it is about race education. The book points out that emphasis on education achievement by Asian immigrants is a contradiction as it shows that meritocratic achievement is the only way out while at the same time recognizes racial barriers that are present in the U.S. society. If second generation Asian Americans are to be assimilated, race education has to be revisited.

Works Cited
I Am My Own Person’: a Comparison of Value Changes between First and Second Generation Chinese American Characters in Three Novels by Chinese American Writers. , n.d.. Internet resource.
Min, Pyong G. The Second Generation: Ethnic Identity Among Asian Americans. Walnut Creek, CA: AltaMira Press, 2002. Print.
Alumkal, Antony W. Asian American Evangelical Churches: Race, Ethnicity, and Assimilation in the Second Generation. New York: LFB Scholarly Pub. LLC, 2003. Internet resource.
Lin, Ko-Han C. The Impact of Acculturation and Generation Status on the Degree of Resilience in Chinese American Adults. , 2010. Print.
Mollenkopf, John, Philip Kasinitz, and Mary Waters. Immigrant Second Generation in Metropolitan New York. , 2011. Internet resource.
Kibria, Nazli. Becoming Asian American: Second-generation Chinese and Korean American Identities. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2002. Print.
Jen, Gish. Typical American. Boston: Houghton Mifflin/S. Lawrence, 1991. Print.

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