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Asian American Study


In the APAE textbook (co-edited by Dr. Edith Chen & Dr. Eunai Shrake), Chapter 1, “Inter-Change,”   author Philip Tajitsu Nash discusses why the term, “Oriental” is a problematic term.  Integrate this week’s class readings, lectures, and discussion posts, incorporate the following questions and develop an essay:

As a "racialized" term, how is “Oriental,” problematic? Why does it evoke controversy?  When is it okay to use?  What is the sociohistorical implications, its  political implementation, its social use, its use as "compass," etc.) ?  

What does this term tell us about  American society's views of Asian Pacific Americans and the social location of Asian Pacific peoples here in the U.S. and abroad?    

Asian Americans have been referred to as:  Oriental, Asiatics, Mongolian, Malay, Asian-Americans, Asian Americans, Asian Pacific Americans, Asian Pacific Islander Americans, Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, Americans of Asian and Pacific Islander ancestries, etc.   What do these names and labels say about “race” and racial formation,”  in the United States?  

Has anyone ever called you “Oriental?”  Do you refer to yourself as one?   Have you referred to someone as one? How have you seen or heard it used?  How so?  In what context(s)?  Do you agree with Philip Tajitsu Nash that a term other than “Oriental” that is more well-thought out must be used to refer to APIs?  Please support your views.

Textbook requir :

  • Asian American Dreams:  The Emergence of an American People.  
    by Helen Zia.  (Farrar, Staus and Giroux)   2000
  • Asian Pacific American Experiences:  Past, Present & Future (paperback) by Eunai Shrake and Edith Chen (Kendall-Hunt Publishing) 2012

Here are some links from previous discussions:

Henry Cho:   Southern Asian American (born and raised in Tennessee):

Governor Nikki Haley:

 Asian American Governors Bobby Jindal and Nikki Haley:

 Fastest growing group in the South:  Asian Pacific Islanders:

 Sociologist James Loewen on the history of the Chinese in Mississippi:

Asian Americans & the Confederate Flag:


Title: Asian American Study
Length: 2 pages (625 Words)
Style: MLA


Asian American Study

As a racialized term, Oriental has been a problematic term because of the effects that it causes people it refers. Such as the in case of Asian kid who were mostly affected by the discussion that was carried out. The whites were privileged as compared to the Asian people that left the Asian kids just crying because they would not be in a position to hold those entire world directed to them. The word evokes controversy because of the political opinion and policy preferences that it creates that are not appropriate or friendly. Arguments raised suggest that Oriental is an American product because most of the Asians in America are dominant when it comes to immigration. The question that it triggers is how it can lead to all these from occurring as generations pass. The paper analyzes on effects of Oriental on the Asian American (Zia 108).


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