Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

A unique racial experience: Examining Asian American and Pacific Islander college students and campus climate
by Choi, Daniel K., Ph.D., New York University, 2011, 258; 3439412
Abstract (Summary)

The purpose of this in-depth interpretive case study was to capture the racialized experiences of Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) college students and their perceptions of campus climate. It identifies, through the voices of AAPI students, how stereotypes are imposed and internalized. The study will also seek to understand AAPI students' racial consciousness and how the awareness of their experiences with race impacts their development. Further, it will help explain how AAPI student perspectives and experiences influence their involvement, connectivity, and willingness to engage with an institution. The study deconstructs how AAPI students are situated in higher education research and provides better understanding of this population without the juxtaposition of other racial groups.

Using the methodological framework of critical race theory and interpretive interactionism, six students were interviewed over the course of one academic semester for this case study. Through their lived experiences, we see the ways in which race is salient in the way they view their place at the institution. Their stories uncover how race is constructed on a college campus and the images of AAPI students are socially situated through interactions with faculty, administrators and peers. Images related to the model minority stereotype and being outsiders surfaced as predominant themes related to how AAPI students are socially constructed on campus. To further reveal how AAPI students are racialized on campus, additional factors related to the main findings are shared including invisibility and the pathologizing of culture. The students in this study internalized these messages received by the campus community shaping how they viewed their sense of belonging. In order to manage these experiences, students shared ways they responded through the internalization of images and resistance.

This study takes a step further into helping faculty and administration understand racialized experiences of AAPI students and the extent to which they impact various elements of student life. Findings from this study will contribute to how we can improve services provide to all our students. Paying greater attention to the uniqueness of student experiences will broaden our understanding of student life and the complex ways students from various racial groups need support.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Teranishi, Robert T.
Commitee: Larson, Colleen L., Suzuki, Lisa A.
School: New York University
Department: Administration, Leadership, and Technology
School Location: United States -- New York
Source: DAI-A 72/03, Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Asian American Studies, Multicultural Education, Higher education
Keywords: Asian-American, Campus climate, Pacific Islander, Race
Publication Number: 3439412
ISBN: 978-1-124-44574-8
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