Major and Classification
Law, History, and Culture
Rhacel Parreñas, Ph.D., Department of Sociology
Research Gateway Project
“Climbing the Proverbial Ladder: The Intergenerational Mobility of Filipino Americans”
Asian Americans compose roughly five percent of the entire United States population; however, they are often discriminated against in American Society. (It was only in the 1950s that Asians could become naturalized citizens with the McCarran-Walter act of 1952; moreover, immigration finally opened up to more Asian countries with the Immigration Act of 1965.) Be it through the model minority myth—the idea that Asian-American’s achieve a higher degree of success compared to other minorities—or lack of research on Asian Americans, many things contribute to discrimination. To help change the Asian American stereotype, studying Filipino American communities will progress the discourse of the Asian American. The Filipino American perspective is especially pertinent—not only because Filipino Americans are the second largest Asian population in the United States— but also because of its neocolonial history with the United States. Furthermore, the Philippines’ centuries worth of colonial rule (Spain, United States), has an effect on the negotiation of the Filipino American identity. More specifically, to study the negotiation of identity amongst Filipino Americans will help discover the level of intergenerational mobility amongst this group; thus, contributing to the discourse of the model minority myth.