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Basically Nobody Knows Who Counts As An Asian Person

By in Huffington Post on May 18, 2017

By Carla Herreria

Americans may have dedicated the month of May to the history, culture and accomplishments of Asian-Americans and Pacific Islanders for 25 years. But new research shows many people still don’t know who exactly can be considered Asian.

That includes Asians themselves.

The National Asian American Survey collected data in 2016 that found many people are confused about which ethnic groups fall under the category of Asian. And the research reveals that people tend to separate different Asian groups, which could be detrimental to America’s understanding of the Asian experience.

“When we perceive only some ethnic groups as Asian-American and exclude others, we see and hear only selective narratives,” wrote NAAS researchers Jennifer Lee and Karthick Ramakrishnan in an opinion piece for NBC Asian America Tuesday. “This selectivity affects our understanding of anti-Asian prejudice and discrimination.”

The new data was included in a larger study published this week, titled the 2016 Post-Election National Asian American Survey.

Piece w/ @JLeeSoc which, for the FIRST time, quantifies the exclusion of South Asians from Asian Am umbrella https://t.co/Ec3PFXDucw pic.twitter.com/8X2bpksmgk

— KarthickRamakrishnan (@karthickr) May 16, 2017

During their research, NAAS set out to answer the following question: According to the general public, who counts as an Asian or Asian-American person?

To answer this question, researchers surveyed participants after the election. They first read to the participants a list of different ethnic groups, which included Chinese, Korean, Japanese, Indian, Filipino, Pakistani and Arab or Middle Eastern people. Then they asked them: “Tell me if you think the group is very likely to be Asian or Asian American, somewhat likely, or not likely to be Asian or Asian.”

Some of the survey’s results were just as researchers expected. Most people ― whether […]    

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