Two (2) essay. The study questions below are intended to spur your thinking about how the
course materials—what we’ve read, and the films that we’ve watched—might be related to
each other as well as to the overall course goals.
Please answer all the four questions of Part1 and Part2 in essay, so you need write TWO
essay (one for Part 1, and another for Part 2).
Each essay need to use at least two Reading Reserves (Please not use quote). If the
Reserves cannot open please let me know.
Each essay 800 words.
1. How (in what main ways) have Asian American communities viewed multiethnic Asian
Americans? Why have they viewed them in those ways? Are these attitudes, that Spickard
called “the subdominant discourse” racist, according to racial formations theory? Why or
2. How do you explain / account for the very negative responses that some Asian Americans
had to Eric Byler’s film, charlotte sometimes?
3. Does the film charlotte sometimes challenge or reinforce the stereotypes that impinge on
the heterosexual intimate relationships of multiethnic Asian American men and women?
In your answer, be sure to identify and analyze all of the relevant stereotypes discussed in
the readings, which include, but are not limited to, those we discussed in lecture and in
4. Who’s getting together with who, and why? What roles do race and gender play in the
main patterns of Asian American intimate heterosexual relationships that we have
Reading Reserves for Part 1:
Hall, "Eurogamy among Asian-Americans: A Note on Western Assimilation” File (PDF)
Shinagawa and Pang, “Asian American Panethnicity and Intermarriage” (PDF)
Valverde, “Doing the Mixed-Race Dance” (PDF)
Yu, “Mixing Bodies and Cultures” (PDF)
Byler, "Race, Sex and the 'Charlotte Sometimes' Controversy”
Cheung, “Negative Attraction”
1. Why did the dominant society’s attitudes towards mixing and mixedness change over the
course of the twentieth century? What do you think explains the shift, in other words, in
the discourse of multiraciality from overwhelmingly negative to highly positive? Overall,
would you say that the change represents real progress, a reinscription of White
supremacy, or something in-between?
2. How does Heidi Bub identify, and why? Compare her story to that of Hyun Sook Lee /
Natasha (as recounted in “Rick Smolan tells the story of a girl”). What circumstances
might account for the very different ways these two individuals negotiate their
multiplicity? Is Heidi Bub a multiethnic Asian American? Why / why not?
3. Where does multiethnic discourse, and in particular multiethnic Asian American
discourse, go from here? Is an Asian America that recognizes and embraces its
multiplicity possible, in your view? Why or why not? Is the idea of the 3rd space a viable
option? Why or why not? Should the U.S. Census have a “multiracial” category? Why or
4. What does the reimagined Battlestar Galactica television series—and especially the
various characters played by Grace Park—suggest about contemporary attitudes towards
multiplicity in general, and Asian American multiplicity in particular? How much have
these attitudes changed compared to the early twentieth century? Does the figure of Cylon
model #8 constitute a racist racial project in the tradition of the “tragic mulatt@”? For
example, in what ways might #8 be understood as a descendant of the “invisible monster”
Cynthia Nakashima discussed in her earlier work? Does the figure of Cylon model #8
function as what Nakashima later called a “servant of culture”?
Reading Reserves for Part 2:
McIntosh, “White Privilege and Male Privilege (PDF)
Deis, “Erasing Difference” (PDF)
Nishime, “Aliens” (PDF)
Pegues, “Miss Cylon” (PDF)
Spencer, “Assessing multiracial Identity Theory and Politics” (PDF)
Videos Natasha's Story / Rick Smolan Tells the Story of a Girl URL
Videos Daughter from Danang https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2AU_VUe2HX0
Eurogamy Among Asian-Americans:
A Note on
RONALD E. HALL*
Michigan State University
Quality of life in the United States is contingent upon assimilation into the mainstream of American
is the preferred
stigmatized by their dark skin are prohibited from immediate membership.
strategy is Eurogamy: a form of exogamy in which Asian-Americans
select EuroAmerican spouses as a method of sharing in the Euro gene pool. In this way they
alter the stigma of dark skin. Via offspring they expect full assimilation into the
mainstream and its commensurate
quality of life.
In the context of assimilation Asians’ preferred exogamy with Euro-Americans put the
“American Dream” within reach. Exogamy with people of color can have the opposite
effect requiring compensation as penalty for the loss in assimilation potential. A superior SES frequently serve the stigma associated with non-Euro-Asian exogamy
(Aldridge, 1978). Immigrants from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka once
settled in the US constantly seek ways to prove themselves “white” (Mazumdar,
1989). In the process vehement forms of denigration are acted out against people of
color, particularly black Americans.
Asian-as per Mongoloid-includes
an extensive array of ethnics (Logan, Alba &
McNulty, 1994; Ashilova, 1971). It connotes the various groups that comprise the
race. It is less threatened by the Euro gene pool although purity is valued. While
Asians are Mongoloids who can be very different culturally, racially, they are brought
together by common genetic traits. Furthermore, within each Asian ethnic exists
*Direct all correspondence to: Ronald E. Hall, David Walker Research Institute/Department
Michigan State Universitv.
East Lansing. Michigan 48824- 13 17. Teleohone:
The Social Science Journal, Volume 34, Number 3, pages 403-408.
Copyright 0 1997 by JAI Press Inc.
All rights of reproduction in any form reserved. ISSN: 0362-3319.
(5 17) 353-3014.
of Social Work,
beliefs and practices that further complicate the process of assimilation. One practice,
however, that does seem to be indicative of a large number of Asian groups in the US
and elsewhere, is their tendency toward endogamy (Kikumura & Kitano, 1973). In
countries such as Canada, Great Britian, and Australia, the phenomenon is fastly
fading in the quest for Western assimilation (Hall, forthcoming).
As a matter of the human condition marriage between potential mates is based upon
the individual’s ability to be not only perceived as attractive but particularly for men
by women, a worthy prospect (Aldridge, 1978; Rhee, 1988; Sung, 1990). For AsianAmerican women who marry exogamously, the ability to court and marry men in the
US who have light skin is regarded as an invaluable asset in their quest for assimilation
(Hall, forthcoming). That makes Euro-American men a worthy prospect. It further
increases or reduces the frequency of exogamy between Asian-Americans and the
various ethnics of color (Hall, 1995; Hall, 1994). It also necessitates that exogamy
between American citizens and immigrated Asians having equal socioeconomic status
be contingent upon the ability of the citizen via off-spring to lighten the skin color and
Westernize the features of their Asian counterpart. It is most apparent among foreign
students who express a desire to become citizens. When the socioeconomic status
between they and the potential partner is unequal, an “exchange” theory based upon a
proximity to Euro skin color will be used as the selection criterion (Haslam, 1995).
The darker the skin, the more will be required in socioeconomic status. This is true
whether either of the couples are foreign or citizen.
Asians who marry exogamously-persons
of Asian descent who exchange wedding
vows with a non-Asian partner-do
so in the midst of unprecedented social change.
The “war bride” image, a stereotype of the humble, submissive Oriental mistress, is
becoming oboslete. An objection to her traditional “war bride” mentality has undoubtedly influenced some to ignore the custom of selecting partners from within the ethnic
group. Furthermore, video technology and jet propulsion have made it virtually impossible to remain isolated. When groups are isolated geographically, they are also
isolated socially. As people come together via technology, social isolation-otherwise
known as segregation-is
viewed with less tolerance. The earlier isolation of Asians in
the US hindered any effort at becoming comfortably assimilated into the mainstream
of society. Access to educational opportunities and a better quality of life suffered
because assimilation was less forthcoming. The unique features and “minority” status
of Asian-Americans marked them as ineligible for participation in the Euro gene pool
(Kaplan, 1990). That participation would have been a consequence of normal assimilation as evidenced by the relative ease of the mainstream in accepting members from
among the various European ethnic groups (Bolger, 1985). The ultimate for AsianAmericans was instead limited to the economic rewards of society and a quality of life
commensurate with those limited rewards.
Marriage, from the beginning, has stood as the true test and enabler of complete and
total assimilation (Gurak & Fitzpatrick, 1982). But for members of Euro ethnic groups,
being physically similar to the mainstream, assimilation was of less concern. That is,
while Euro-American groups experienced discrimination initially, assimilation
required of them to merely embrace American ideals (Alba, 1981). The status of their
gene pool had already satisfied assimilation criteria. For Asian-Americans, the decision to embrace American ideals did not satisfy criteria for acceptance. They were left
Eurogamy Among Asian-Americans
with the task of somehow altering themselves to affect less Asian or more European
(Wong, 1978). The difference in the process for Euro-American groups and AsianAmericans then required that assimilation of Euro-Americans be little more than the
decision to learn a new language, practice new customs, or develop a taste for different
foods. In most cases by the second or third generation they were fully assimilated.
Exogamy for Euro-Americans thus became a result of the assimilation process
whereas for Asians-Americans it remains a strategy of, making for the concept of
Eurogamy is originally an extension of various forms of European domination vis a
vis imperialism and/or coloniztion. In the US it is manifested in the marital patterns of
minority groups who must assimilate into a Euro mainstream. Eurogamy is the
preferred marital pattern of a less powerful group, Asian-Americans, to a more
powerful group, Euro-American. In acquiring Euro genes, the stigma of Asian features
is minimized via offspring. The idealized light skin and round eyes then qualify AsianAmericans for assimilation and the commensurate quality of life. It occurs most
frequently among those who settle in large urban centers. In the city of New York,
Asian-Americans who marry eurogamously tend to be second generation or later, born
in America, female, older, better educated, of higher occupational status, and have
higher, incomes (Sung, 1990). Such urbanized Americans are associated less with the
more customarily closed Asian community. Whether or not their marrying eurogamously adversely affects their children has not been established as fact of research, but
their children do appear to have problems psychologically (Sung, 1990).
Eurogamy on the part of Asian-Americans is also gender biased (Shingawa & Pang,
1988). For females the participation is more obvious. For males the prospects of
marriage imposes differently given the tasks of assimilation. As a result, marital
choices for both may be more controlled by the influences of assimilation because
assimilation of less powerful groups into more powerful groups represents a form of
domination (Allen & Jewell, 1995). In the US that reduces the status of Asian males
who are not members of the Euro power structure. Limited mate selection from among
the marriage minded Euro-American population is one way Asian-Americans attempt
to conform to what is idealized (Cunningham, 1993).
By way of eurogamy, full assimilation for Asian-Americans becomes immediately
accessible. In the process they may develop ill notions relative to dark skin that
discourages civil assimilation in toto. Such notions are quite common as reflected in
the negative media portrayals of black men (Hall, 1993). All understand that dark skin
is regarded by America’s various institutions as an obstacle that might otherwise
afford the opportunity for assimilation and a better quality of life (Keowan, 1986).
Although it may appear illogical, such methods of embracing Eurocentrisms has been
a tradition for the successful assimilation of immigrant groups into the mainstream of
American society. Those wishing to assimilate under the auspices of domination must
not only idealize Eurocentrisms, but alter themselves to conform to a frequently
contrasting phenotype. In the aftermath a motivation for eurogamy among AsianAmericans is incurred.
As a social phenomenon, eurogamy is not unprecedented. Survival and the possibility of assimilation into the mainstream is greatly enhanced by the ability to idealize
Eurocentrisms (Wortham, 1992). While blacks and Hispanics tend to congregate at the
Vol. 34/No. 311997
lower rung of the American socioeconomic ladder, Asian-Americans as a group enjoy
one of the highest per capita incomes in the country, including that for many EuroAmericans (Hirschman & Wong, 1984). Those who aspire to assimilation dictated by
domination then invest their efforts in attaining the Euro ideal without respect to the
psychological and emotional costs incurred over time. By engaging in such efforts,
they expect-but infrequently acquire-full assimilation into the society and the quality of life associated with it.
eurogamously is inferred extensively in
the work of Kitano. Much of it suggests the fact that in order for women to assimilate
into a patriarch, power is gained indirectly via marriage; and Euro-American men are
the holders of power in both the US and Canada (Sewell, 1992). While men are less
likely than women to marry for power, except for Asians, high SES men of color seem
to marry Euro-American women at increased rates (Kalmijn, 1993). In particular that
includes black and Hispanic men. The eurogamy is quite obvious if such males have
some unusually large amount of wealth or power that draw attention from the media
(Warner, 1995; Coleman, 1995; Kozol, 1995).
The praticality of light skin for mainstream assimilation is readily apparent. It is
apparent not only in the frequency of Asian-American eurogamy, but the perception
of resulting offspring. A Eurasain child-part-Asian,
viewed as having greater assimilation potential than an Afrasian child-of Asian and
black parentage (Bose, 1979). This is a very critical factor-although
not always a
conscious one-for Asians who make the decision to marry eurogamously. Furthermore, the “marginal” status of Eurasian offspring make for a greater inclination to
idealize light skin-as well as more acceptable-because
they may be but a shade
from the possibility of sharing in the Euro gene pool. As the result of becoming more
acceptable, eurogamy among Asian-Americans continues to increase dramatically.
Furthermore, such esteemed institutions as the US Bureau of the Census verify the
gender factor among Asians who marry eurogamously. In the states with the largest
New York, and Washington-the
Asian-Euro marriages tends to be Asian Female to Euro male (Sung, 1990). The fact
that women tend to marry men who are their social and economic superiors may
mean that men of color are not considered eligible unless they are endowed with
some compensatory trade-off. On the other hand, marriage to Euro-American men is
presumed by Asian-American women to lighten their skin psychologically in the
present via identification with their spouse and in the future via offspring. If the
increasing rate of eurogamy does in fact reflect a disdain for dark skin, the psychological implications may eventually impair Asian self concept. The off-spring of
these interracial marriages will be less facilitating to race relations in lieu of the
historical concept of European having been defined as “pure” (Grove, 1991).
Given the existence of eurogamy as a factor of assimilation, the task is clear.
Asian-Americans must idealize and define for themselves the worth of Asian identity. Assimilation into the mainstream must come as the result of an equally valued
exchange of culturisms. In the aftermath the process of American assimilation will be
enhanced. The process will become more conducive and capable of absorbing the
diversity of all people.
Eurogamy Among Asian-Americans
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