On several indicators of success, for example, income and education, Asian Americans, though a distinct minority, outshine the Whites in America. Asian Americans are more highly contend than the general public with their lives, funds, and the growth of the country. Also, Asian Americans more strongly regard marriage, parenting, hard work, and professional achievement than the Whites. People as such have a common belief in the fruits of hard work. They believe that individuals can prosper in life by working hard and might occasionally go overboard in emphasizing hard work. For the same reason, Asian American parents can furthermore pressurize their children to excel in education.
Presently, two major sociological accounts to the attainment differences between Asian Americans and the Whites exist. The first explanation ascribes Asian American’s academic advantage to their more advanced family background measured by social and economic status, while the second explanation stresses the role of the education and effort-oriented culture shared by Asian Americans. Despite the fact that the majority of immigrants from Asia to the U.S. before the World War II came to fill low-wage and low human capital labor needs, transformations in immigration laws and demand for scientific and technical personnel imply that more recent Asian immigrants are likely to be well-trained professionals.
Studies indicate that Asian American immigrants come with home country’s pro-educational cultural values, which influence their daily home practices to the educational benefit of their succeeding generations. For instance, the proof shows that contrasted to parents in other U.S. racial/ethnic groups, Asian American parents are strongly inspired to make sacrifices for their young ones’ education, stress on educational effort and achievement, and have higher standards for children’s academic achievement. Additionally, Asian American students are likely to have stricter work ethics and higher educational ambitions compared to their white peers (Lee & Zhou, 2014).
Many Asian immigrants initially arrived in the U.S. mostly as low-skilled male workers who mined, farmed, and constructed railroads. They tolerated generations of formally authorized racial bias and laws that forbade the immigration of Asian women. In their entire history, Asian Americans have encountered a long legacy of segregation and unfairness in association with school policies and practices, particularly during times of changing demographics, economic recession, or war. Though minor reforms in immigration law propelled by changing international relations permitted few Asians to enter the United States after the World War II period, the United States legislation was still discriminatory toward Asians up to 1965 when non-restrictive yearly quotas of 20,000 immigrants for every country were developed because of the civil right movement. Many Asians were able to enter the United States as families (Pong, Hao, & Gardner, 2005).
However, some researchers argue that neither the Asian “culture” nor any other quality of ethnicity has contributed to this success. Rather, it is an exclusive type of favor, which is based on the socioeconomic roots of some Asian immigrant groups. U.S. immigration law prefers learned and trained immigrant applicants from Asian nations. Such influential groups of immigrants are among the highly learned individuals in their countries, and in most cases, they are more highly educated compared to the general U.S. population. When skilled immigrants live in the United States, they create an “ethnic capital. Such capital comprises ethnic institutions similar to after-school coaching programs and school academies considering that trained immigrants have the resources and know-how to recreate for their children. Such arrangements multiply in Asian neighborhood, and their advantages also reach working-class immigrants from the same group (Pong, Hao, & Gardner, 2005).
A purposeful lack of directness in conversation is preferred by individuals from many Asian cultures since maintaining harmony between people is usually more significant than reaching the exact truth. Asian cultures are normally high context ones whereby gestures, body language, eye contact, pitch, intonation, word stress, and use of silence are as significant as the actual words being spoken in a conversation. Asians are naturally polite in social encounters, while the Whites, as very low setting communicators, prefer direct queries and responses and usually seem sudden to individuals from high setting cultures. Other Asian traditions have a highly relaxed approach towards time compared to the Whites. It is partly due to a polychromic time framework, which denotes that different interactions can take place at the same time. It differs from the Western monochromic time that requires events to be planned in advance. Additionally, in the American culture, individuals find it hard coping with normal circumstances, which results in a lot of tension and anxiety. Contrarily, Asian Americans strongly believe that uncertainty is natural in life, and each day is taken as it comes (Pong, Hao, & Gardner, 2005).
Asian Americans strongly stress on the family. They believe that having a successful marriage is one of the most essential things in life. However, few American adults agree to that. Additionally, most of Asian American adults state that being a good parent is among the most important human values. Their living arrangement is in line with those. Asian Americans also like staying in multi-generational family households. Approximately 28% stay with a minimum of two adult generations in one house, twice the share of the whites and slightly more than the share of the blacks and Hispanics who tend to use the same practice. Asians are highly group-oriented individuals who greatly highlight family connection as the main source of identity and protection against the challenges of life. They have an extended family pattern, which entails nuclear family and relatives, and everyone is anticipated to be loyal to the family. The reasons behind the creation of extended family households include the aspiration for progenies to support their parents and grandparents, expansion of language and culture, enhancement of economic constancy, and promotion of family reintegration arrangements.
Asian Americans highly regard filial respect, and most of them believe that parents should have a lot of influence in selecting one’s career and marriage partner. Traditionally, parents are in charge of the law, and kids are anticipated to conform to their needs and requirements. Moreover, respect for one’s parents is very vital. In the majority of traditional families, it is revealed in regulations of conduct requiring, for example, to speak only when spoken to, and only if a person has something vital to say (Xie & Goyette, 2003).
All the assertions above show that migrations of highly educated Asians started in the 1960s. From 1972 to 1988, many Asians skilled in scientific professions arrived in the United States from the four main sending nations. Engineers and physicians came mostly from India, health consultants – from the Philippines and Korea, and inventers mainly originated from China. East Indians were the richest, extremely educated, and most of them were English-proficient. As experts with middle- and upper-class jobs, the group resulted in the stereotypic myth of the “model minority” who have assimilated and yielded well-educated, successful offspring.
Lee, J., & Zhou, M. (2014). The success frame and achievement paradox: The costs and consequences for Asian Americans. Race and Social Problems, 6(1), 38-55.
Pong, S. L., Hao, L., & Gardner, E. (2005). The roles of parenting styles and social capital in the school performance of immigrant Asian and Hispanic adolescents. Social Science Quarterly, 86(4), 928-950.
Xie, Y., & Goyette, K. (2003). Social mobility and the educational choices of Asian Americans. Social Science Research, 32(3), 467-498.