Mediating Asian-ness: How and why does Asian Identity Salience vary by Biracial Status?
The following study explores how and why Asian identity salience may vary between biracial and monoracial Asians. This study further aims to find potential mediators—including daily Asian contact, linked fate, group solidarity, and microaggressions—that might explain any group differences in Asian identity salience. I used the 2016 Post-Election National Asian American Survey to explore these research aims. Contrary to expectations, I found that biracial Asians have higher Asian identity salience than monoracial Asians. As expected, linked fate and microaggressions were positively associated with Asian identity salience. Surprisingly, daily Asian contact was negatively associated and group solidarity was not significantly associated with Asian identity salience. Both microaggressions and daily Asian contact can help us understand the higher levels of Asian identity salience among biracial Asians compared to monoracial Asians. In contrast, linked fate suppressed these group differences.
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[00:00:02.760]name is Kaitlan Wong,
[00:00:03.900]and I'm going to be talking about
my study on how and why Asian
[00:00:08.370]identity salience varies
by biracial status.
[00:00:15.620]So just a little bit of
background to start off with.
[00:00:20.000]There is currently, not a lot of research
on biracial individuals in general,
[00:00:23.810]and there are even fewer studies that
specifically compare group differences and
[00:00:28.040]Asian identity salients between
biracial and monoracial Asians.
[00:00:32.720]This was a big reason as to why I
thought this study was important.
[00:00:36.650]There is a lot of research about how
identity salience is shaped based on
[00:00:42.140]which is the theory that our interactions
and connections to others help shape
[00:00:45.770]our identities. However,
[00:00:47.510]there is not a lot of research on
whether these factors explain differences
[00:00:50.960]between biracial and monoracial Asians.
[00:00:55.700]I had two research questions.
[00:00:58.370]My first question was how does Asian
identity salience vary by biracial status?
[00:01:03.590]I defined Asian identity salience as
the degree of importance an individual
[00:01:08.390]assigned to their Asian identity.
[00:01:11.330]My next question was what are potential
mediators that might explain any group
[00:01:18.470]I had several hypotheses.
[00:01:20.960]The first part of my conceptual model
focuses on Asian biracial status or
[00:01:25.790]whether an Asian is biracial
or monoracial and how
that status is connected to
[00:01:30.410]my potential mediators.
[00:01:32.780]I hypothesized that monoracial Asians
would have higher levels in each of my
[00:01:37.010]potential mediators. So for example,
[00:01:39.230]I predicted that monoracial Asians
would have what experience more
[00:01:42.860]microaggressions than biracial Asians.
[00:01:46.970]Part of my model focuses on how these
potential mediators affect Asian identity
[00:01:52.160]I hypothesized that there would be a
positive association between all of my
[00:01:55.940]mediators and Asian identity
salience. So for example,
[00:01:59.300]the more microaggressions
a person experiences,
[00:02:01.850]the higher their Asian identity
salience will be. Overall,
[00:02:05.330]I hypothesized that monoracial Asians
would have higher Asian identity salience
[00:02:09.710]than biracial Asians.
[00:02:14.630]used the 2016 post-election
national Asian American survey.
[00:02:19.100]This survey is a nationally
[00:02:22.280]I narrowed my sample to only include
people that self-identified as Asian or
[00:02:25.910]Asian American in some way. After
I removed all missing data,
[00:02:30.770]there were 3,378 monoracial
Asians and 152 biracial
[00:02:35.480]Asians in my sample.
[00:02:38.660]biggest limitation with my
data was the sample size.
[00:02:41.180]Since there were only 152
biracial Asians. However,
[00:02:44.900]the sample was similar to most other
surveys and is representative of the US
[00:02:50.120]I also wanted to note that in order
for a person to be coded as a biracial
[00:02:53.960]Asian, they had to self identify
as more than one racial group.
[00:03:00.010]onto my measures,
[00:03:01.870]I had a single item measure for my
dependent variable Asian identity salience.
[00:03:06.340]The question asked to
measure Asian identity
[00:03:08.800]salience was: How important is
being Asian to your identity?
[00:03:12.850]The attributes for this variable were
"not at all important", "somewhat important",
[00:03:16.990]"very important" and "extremely
[00:03:18.700]important." I tested
[00:03:21.070]for four potential mediators. Daily
[00:03:23.290]Asian contact, linked fate, group
solidarity, and microaggressions.
[00:03:27.640]The question asked to measure daily
Asian contact was: In your daily life,
[00:03:31.750]How much contact do you personally
have with people who are Asian?
[00:03:35.770]The question asked for linked fate was:
[00:03:38.080]do you think what happens generally to
other Asians in this country affects what
[00:03:42.010]happens in your life? And if so,
how much? For group solidarity
[00:03:46.150]The question was: what, if anything,
[00:03:48.190]do Asians in the United
States share with one another?
[00:03:51.070]Would you say they share a
common race, a common culture,
[00:03:54.310]common economic interests
or common political interests?
[00:03:58.090]And then finally the question used to
measure microaggressions was: in an average
[00:04:02.830]do any of the following things happen
to you? and then listed a set of choices
[00:04:06.490]such as "people act as if you don't speak
English" or "people mispronounce your
[00:04:12.010]And then I also
[00:04:12.700]Controlled for gender, birth
country, educational attainment,
[00:04:16.510]political affiliation, and age.
[00:04:20.920]To test my hypotheses, I first ran an ANOVA.
[00:04:23.400]This bar chart shows the mean differences
in mediators by biracial status.
[00:04:28.800]The mean group difference
in microaggressions was the
only significant finding.
[00:04:32.700]And then interestingly,
[00:04:33.810]the group difference in
microaggressions was in
the opposite direction of
[00:04:37.410]what was expected with
biracial Asians reporting
[00:04:40.470]experiencing more microaggressions
on average than monoracial Asians.
[00:04:45.390]The trends for linked fate and group
solidarity were also in the opposite
[00:04:48.750]direction of what was
expected, with biracial Asians
[00:04:51.540]having a higher average than
monoracial Asians for both.
[00:04:55.290]There didn't seem to be many
differences in daily Asian contact
[00:04:58.410]but the mean for monoracial Asians
was just slightly higher than biracial
[00:05:01.710]Asians, which is in the
direction of what I expected.
[00:05:07.380]I ran an ordinal regression to test
for mediation for my four potential
[00:05:12.300]one shows that biracial Asians had
higher Asian identity salientce than
[00:05:15.690]monoracial Asians at 0.54, which is
the opposite of what I was expecting.
[00:05:20.460]In model two,
[00:05:21.510]I added all four mediators that might
explain differences in biracial status and
[00:05:25.260]Asian identity salience. As expected,
linked fate and microaggressions were
[00:05:29.100]positively associated with
Asian identity salience. However,
[00:05:32.730]daily Asian contact was negatively
associated with Asian identity salience,
[00:05:36.640]which I was not expecting.
[00:05:38.610]I also thought that group solidarity
would have an effect on Asian identity
[00:05:42.510]and it did have an effect in an earlier
model without all of the other mediators
[00:05:46.110]being added, but it had
no effect in this model.
[00:05:49.890]If we compare model one and model two,
[00:05:52.020]we can see that there was a decrease
in the difference for Asian identity
[00:05:54.900]salient between biracial and
monoracial Asians from 0.54
[00:05:58.790]to 0.52. My previous models
indicate that it was primarily
[00:06:03.080]microaggressions that accounted
for this difference.
[00:06:08.050]So in conclusion.
[00:06:10.630]Unexpected group differences between
biracial and monoracial Asians were
[00:06:15.430]and there could be a few different
explanations as to why there are these
[00:06:19.000]differences. For example,
[00:06:20.890]the differences in linked fate and
group solidarity might suggest that
[00:06:23.800]monoracial Asians do not see Asians as
being connected or similar as a group,
[00:06:27.970]which makes sense if you think about
it because Asians are not a monolith.
[00:06:31.960]I was also surprised with the mean
difference in microaggressions.
[00:06:36.310]The mean difference may be
a result of biracial Asians
[00:06:39.100]interacting less with other Asians and
interacting more with non-Asian people
[00:06:43.090]which could influence them having
a higher Asian identity salience
[00:06:46.120]if those interactions with non-Asian
people make them more aware of their Asian
[00:06:52.690]of my main effects are consistent with
identity theory, with daily Asian contact
[00:06:56.500]being the exception. My study
had several limitations.
[00:07:01.180]The sample was a limitation because
there were only 152 biracial Asians.
[00:07:06.370]Differences in ethnicity may have
also accounted for differences.
[00:07:09.580]There are lots of ethnic
differences between Asians,
[00:07:11.860]so these differences in ethnicity
probably impacted the results.
[00:07:15.220]And my findings may have been different
if I had focused more on ethnicity
[00:07:18.400]rather than race. The survey also excluded
certain ethnicities from the study,
[00:07:22.540]so that likely influenced the results.
[00:07:24.970]It's also hard to really
assess differences between
monoracial and biracial
[00:07:28.630]Asians using surveys because many
biracial people do not mark themselves as
[00:07:32.860]being more than one race
on surveys. And finally,
[00:07:36.220]I would like to acknowledge my thesis
advisors, Dr. Falci and Dr. Dance.
[00:07:41.200]Thank you for watching my presentation.
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