Cultural Identity for Asian Americans

Cultural identity is becoming an issue for Asian-Americans. Some are at a loss of who they are and cannot figure out who they should be. This article explains some of the major problems that influence on cultural identity.

One factor is that people would always ask “Are you Chinese?” That would be the first thing they would say and even if you say no, they would still group you along with Chinese people. Eric Liu, who was a White House speech writer, thinks that this factor damages Asian-American identities. In the article, Liu “stresses that there is no single set of “Asian” foods, philosophies, or traditions (Liu interview). This tends to result in “benign neglect” (Liu lecture). America may not realize that they are contributing to a more serious problem by simply grouping together all Asian-Americans.”(Dr. Ryan) This kind of grouping can also be harmful. One example is the Vincent Chin case. Back in 1982, Vincent was a Chinese-American who got beaten to death with baseball bats by two white males. The reason for this act; they thought he was Japanese.

Another factor is interracial dating.  The article states that “the ratio of white males married to Asian females to Asian males married to white females in the United States is 3.3:1. For second and later generation Asian-Americans, the ratio is 1.7:1. However, for first-generation Asian-Americans, the ratio is 4.8:1 and if you take Indian-Americans out of the equation, leaving Japanese, Chinese, Korean, Vietnamese, and Filipino, this ratio jumps to a shocking 7:1 (Tanaka 0.1).” (Dr. Ryan) This is surprising on how common interracial marriages can be. This kind of difference can cause cultural identity problems. Interviews were conducted and Asian-American females considered Asian men as “scrawny.” They also commented that a white female dating an Asian male is “dating down,” while an Asian female dating a white male is “dating up.” Another cause for the significant difference is the expected role of the female and male. In a typical Asian male/female relationship, the female works hard to make the male happy. However, in a white male and Asian female relationship, the female “are given the opportunity to grow and become stronger as individuals, making this relationship like “moving a level up.” (Dr. Ryan)

Another factor is the influence made throughout childhood. Children can be influenced by the environment at home. Children’s views and attitudes on their nationality are often formed within their preschool years. In the article, it shares stories from a variety of students of different races on how their culture was stressed within their household. One student is a Taiwanese-American and her household does not stress much since her parents are well adapted to the American society. Another student is Clara Voon, who is 3/4 Chinese and 1/4 Malaysian and her parents does emphasize her culture within the household; however, she does not pay too much attention because she is already influenced by American culture. Jung Hyun is a Korean-American and her mother stressed her immensely on how important her culture is. Her mother says, “Don’t lose your language”, so Jung Hyun speaks Korean with her mother. However, her younger sister Yoon is not proud of her culture; therefore, she commits her time to Japanese studies instead.  Even though some students get a chance to learn about their culture, many other students do not have the opportunity to learn about their culture.

The last factor is the entertainment industry. Unfortunately, Asian and Asian-Americans are under-represented in the world of music. “Increasing the number of Asian-Americans in positions of role-models frequently found in the entertainment industry has the potential to give Asian-American children a chance to identify with someone like themselves that’s famous.” (Dr. Ryan) Featuring more Asian artists into the world of music would help other Asian-Americans identify themselves; however, there are not many Asian artists in order to help solve this problem. Luckily, there are some who try to fix this problem. Steve Wei, who is a Taiwanese-American, formed a band with two others, Scott Jung and Chris Wang, which was called Mountain Brothers. Wei believes that “Asian-Americans need to make this move into the entertainment industry.” (Dr. Ryan) Other contributors who want to get Asian-Americans out into the entertainment industry are Andy Kawanami and Nelson Wong. They formed AArising Records, whose purpose was to reveal the talents of Asian-Americans. Wong states, “”Our goal is to diversify the APA (Asian-Pacific-American) images out there. The more images you have out there the less chance that someone will be able to stereotype Asian Pacific Americans as being a certain way.” (Dr. Ryan)

Reading this article, I made many connections within my own life. With the Chinese calling reference, I hate being asked “Are you Chinese?” I don’t know why exactly, but maybe it was to the point where I was asked that question so often that I just got tired of it. Another connection is the emphasis of culture within my household. My parents are strict when it comes to our Korean culture. They even sent my brother and me to a Korean summer school to learn Korean since we forgot how to read and speak Korean as we got older. I was also picked on when I was younger because I looked different. There were times when I was little when I did not like being Asian because it caused me to get picked on so often and it messed up with self-esteem and made me feel insecure. As a Korean-American, I question myself at times am I really Korean?

These factors help people see the struggles Asian-Americans go through for their cultural identity. With little kids, they often get picked on for being different, which forms a sense of fear of being different and develop of sense of insecurity. Families should emphasize their children on how important their culture is at an early age, so that they do not disregard it. Asian-Americans and other minorities should figure out who they are, so that they can go on with their lives and not question who they are.


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Food Inc.-Ethos, Pathos, and Logos

Is society aware of the hidden secrets of what goes in food processing factories? Most likely, most of society doesn’t know. This movie shows some of the truths of food processing, which is a huge wakeup call. Society needs to know what they are putting into their bodies, which could potentially harm them, event to the point of death. Throughout the movie, there are several examples of ethos, pathos, and logos presented.

Ethos is about trusting whoever is addressing the audience. Ethos answers how does the writer or narrator establish “good” character and his authority, demonstrate that he has good judgment, is knowledgeable, and understands the complexity of the topic? Ethos is present in multiple of ways in the movie. One example showing good character is that all of the narrators throughout the movie care about how food should be processed, so that the food will be healthy and safe for the consumers to eat. This would also develop trust since the narrators care for the good of the consumers. An example of good judgment is with an owner of a chicken house. She owns a traditional chicken house with windows, which is good in order to get air in and out. However, the company wants the owner to change the chicken house to a new style of houses that included no windows at all and dark inside. She refused to change her chicken house, therefore, lost her contract with the company. Even though her decision has a major consequence, she shows good judgment by not changing her chicken house to something that would suffocate her chickens without having good air and stuck in darkness.

Pathos is emotions. Pathos answers how does the author or narrator seem to indicate that he knows what his audience value, what examples does he use to create an emotional impact, what are examples of his tone? Pathos is a big part of this movie. Most of the pathos examples are portrayed by videos inserted in the movie to help get the emotions across. One example of knowing what the audience values is the whole concept of how food gets processed. People obviously value about the quality of their food, or at least they should. Therefore, the movie shows how most food gets processed, so that society knows the quality of the food one consumes. An example of an emotional impact is the story from the mother whose son had E. Coli and died 12 days later. She gets the emotions across to the audience by illustrating her story by using video clips of her son while he was healthy and then sharing the whole story along the way.  The fact that the story was tragic, it would get the audience emotional. Throughout the movie, the major tone present was anger. Those who know the ways the factories run are angry since the companies just don’t care about their products should be processed in order for it to be good for the public. One narrator shares his anger toward the companies because the workers would be the ones who would be getting arrested for faults that should be dumped onto the companies or at least the company managers.

Logos is about the type of evidence the narrator or writers shares. Logos answers what are the key claims, what kinds of evidence does he use to support his claim, and what seems to be his conclusion? The key claims in the movie are how companies run their factories and how they are ignorant about changing their policies for the good of society, and how food gets processed and wrongs that go along with it. The narrators within the movie reveals statistics to help support their claim like there are usually 280,000 to 300,000 chickens in one single chicken house, which seems a bit for one chicken house, and that the amount of food safety inspections decreased from 50,000 to around 9,000. Also another kind of evidence that the movie uses is the information given point of views from farmers. The conclusion of the movie is to be careful of what society chooses to eat and to be aware of how food is actually processed. We need to be careful or else we could end up being seriously ill.

In conclusion, Food Inc. shows the hidden truths of the process of how food is made. Ethos, pathos, and logos are easily presented within in the movie. Those elements help to trust the movie, identity how emotional the information can be, and sum up the conclusion. This is a movie that society should watch in order to realize what he or she is eating.

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Consumption values and habits: Americans Vs. Koreans

Most of society knows that American consumers are having problems with consumption. Consumers are starting to not know the difference between “want” and “need,” credit card debt is rising, and they consume and consume in order to show their status as wealthy. However, have you ever thought about other countries with their consumption habits and values?

South Korea has their own consumption habits, but some are similar to those in the US. At, there is an article that explains how consumption runs in South Korea. Korean consumers strongly value the power of a brand, the quality of a product, and the insane sales on products after a certain time. Korean consumers prefer to be knowledgeable about their products because they want to spend their money on the quality.

Most of the homes in South Korea are either wealthy or very wealthy. They value brands very strongly because Koreans see others by what they wear or how they present themselves. Therefore, it is “necessary” to follow the latest trends and the trend setters like famous singers and actors.

In view, there are similarities between the values of American consumer and Korean consumers. They both value the quality of their products and would spend the money for it. Another similarity is that they both value brands. Americans and Koreans both consider brands important, buy them in order to show their status, and reflect themselves in a positive way.

The main difference I see is that there are more extravagant homes in South Korean compared to America. Usually when I watch Korean TV, the majority of the homes are extremely elegant and a little above the average for middle class. However, there seems to be more similarities than differences between the two countries when it comes to consumption habits and values.

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