The Pew Research Center has developed *gasp* startling new conclusions on Asian Americans!!! Something about Asian Americans being better educated, wealthier, more likely to integrate, blah blah blah blah blah.
To give the Pew report some credit, they are generally pretty thorough and professional at creating the survey and gathering the data. Except for the fact that many Asian American subgroups, including half a million Hmong, have spontaneously combusted, the survey did manage to reach about 3,500 Asian Americans, with more than 500 devoted to each of the six subgroup (Chinese, Indian, Filipino, Japanese, Vietnamese, Korean). Moreover, the survey did have a plethora of questions and responses so when in doubt, always go back to examine the raw data.
However, the Pew report and many others have concluded that Asian Americans are some type of high-achieving, wealthy, cybernetic, adamantium-boned super duper supermen!!!
JA, WE ARE DIE ÜBERMENSCH!!!! ACHTUNG!!!
From the report, bloggers have concluded that Asian are quote “the superior race.” The report says that Asians are more wealthy than every other race. This is not true given the fact that Pew (and other researchers) have used median household income to calculate wealth. This doesn’t exactly work because Asian families tend to have more income earners. In addition, Asian tend to live on the coasts where the cost of living, and therefore wages, are generally higher. Plus, factors like the “bamboo ceiling” may prevent very high incomes among Asian Americans, which can’t be represented through median household income.
The Asian Americans being happier with themselves and the state of the nation may not be true. Remember, Asian Americans live in places like the Silicon Valley and New York where the satisfaction with how the country is going and their own lives is better than the American Heartland. If Asians started to congregate on Youngstown, Ohio, the answers maybe different. Moreover, satisfaction with how the nation is doing might be linked to the fact that Asian lean democrat and we have a Barack Obama in office, which is illustrated by Obama’s approval by Asians as stated in the same report. In addition, the report fails to state mental health issues within the Asian American community, like the fact that young Asian American women have the highest rates of depression.
The study explicitly wanted to test the Amy Chua hypothesis if Asians or “Americans” place too much to succeed academically. The study found that more than half of BOTH Asian Americans and “Americans” think that “Americans” put not enough pressure for their kids to succeed academically and only 10% thought they put too much pressure. However, 40% of Asian Americans thought that people in their respective ethnic groups place too much pressure on education (although only 20% of Filipinos and Japanese thought their ethnic group placed too much pressure on education). However, what this tells ME is that Asian Americans are self-aware about how much pressure they are putting on children academically, and in the future, parents and future parents will lessen this pressure and allow children to cultivate other aspects of their lives.
In addition, academic success doesn’t always mean success in the long run. Many in the Silicon Valley are starting to question the value of academic success, including Peter Thiel, who is offering $100,000 in grant money for DROPPING OUT OF COLLEGE. After discussing this topic with industry professionals at a local corporate event, they agree with Peter Thiel, that young men and women should start applying what they learn as soon as possible. Although I don’t fully agree with this sentiment, it does highlight the limitations of formal education.
The study also glanced over “other Asians.” They did mention that “other Asians” had a poverty rate of 17%, much higher than overall populace, but failed to delve into the topic as they did with the success of other Asian subgroups.
There were some other really interesting data within the survey results which the report glanced over. Like Asian Americans are more willing to have bigger government with more services. This maybe because Asian Americans generally lean towards the left, or the fact that Asian Americans do rely on, if not welfare services, than government services in general. This goes against the Horatio Alger, “bring’em up by the bootstrap” rhetoric of the report.
Contrary to what the report says, apparently Asians like to have fun too! 57% of Asian Americans think free time as a very important or one of the most important aspect of their lives, compared to 53% of the general population. By far, Koreans actually are the most likely to place emphasis on free time [insert Starcraft joke here].
The cherry on top is this sentence from the report:
When newly minted medical school graduate Priscilla Chan married Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg last month, she joined the 37% of all recent Asian American brides who wed a non-Asian groom.
I think I shat myself when I read that.
Priscilla Chan . . . LoL.
So Pew Research Center, please review your data and erase your preconceived stereotypes before you conclude that Asian Americans are some kind of superior, super duper duper race, ja? Danke.