Racial Consciousness of Blacks and Asians

According to a new study Asian Americans are less attached to their racial identity than Black Americans.

This finding confirms that minority politics in the United States today is more complex than generally realized and that understanding the increasingly multicultural nature of the U.S. requires perspectives that incorporate, but go beyond, the Black historical experience.

The study which led this finding was conducted by political scientists Jane Junn (Rutgers University) and Natalie Masuoka (Tufts University). It is entitled “Asian American Identity: Shared Racial Status and Political Context,” and appears in the December issue of Perspectives on Politics, a journal of the American Political Science Association (APSA). Asian Americans exhibit relatively high levels of economic and residential integration with mainstream White America, leading to predictions that they are assimilating more rapidly than Black Americans and other minority or immigrant groups.

They are also among the fastest growing minorities in the United States, having grown from less than 1 million people in 1960 to 14 million today.

In political terms this growth has made Asian Americans a decisive swing vote in states such as California, New York, and Washington.

Yet, despite their differences with Black Americans, Asian Americans do exhibit racial consciousness in politics.