Discriminatory Transformations: Consequences of the Racialized Assimilation of Asian Immigrants

Thu, Sep 26, 2019, 12:00 pm


About Ryan Gibson
Ryan Gibson’s research is centered around the question of: How does adversity shape who we are? How do structural oppression and interpersonal discrimination shape the social psychology of racial and ethnic groups? In what ways does the relationship between discrimination and identity affect our health? To answer these questions (and many more), Gibson draws on both classical and contemporary social theory and quantitative methodologies, such as path analysis and structural equation modeling, to analyze the links between structural inequalities, social psychology, and health for minority groups in the US.


"Asian immigrants, as a group, tend to have higher educational status and incomes, yet still combat experiences of discrimination daily. This paper investigates how discrimination shapes the social boundaries of Asian immigrants, and in so doing, highlights racialized assimilation – a phenomena where racial transformation and assimilation co-occur for immigrants. Relatively little research has examined the processes that may contribute to racialized assimilation. The current study emphasizes how experiences of discrimination act as a mechanism to explain the racializing beliefs of Asian immigrants. Using data from a nationally representative sample of Asian immigrants in the United States, this research focuses on perceptions of immigration-related discrimination on a specific form of racialization –what I term “closure ideology” – at higher and lower income levels.  Findings from ordinal logistic regression models demonstrate that discrimination does shape the way Asian immigrants view their group boundaries at above average incomes but not at below average levels. The perception of discrimination at higher incomes predicts more restrictive beliefs, whereas discrimination at lower incomes has no effect. The results suggest that Asian immigrants, especially at high socioeconomic status levels, are not immune to the co-occurring racialization and assimilation processes. These findings lend credibility to arguments concerning the racialized assimilation of Asian immigrants in the U.S. and suggest that aspects of assimilation and racialization are more closely linked than previously thought."

165 Wallace Hall