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Title:Denial of Cultural Authenticity: Asian Americans' Negotiation of Bicultural Identities
Author(s):No, Sun Y.
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Hong, Ying-Yi
Department / Program:Psychology
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Sociology, Ethnic and Racial Studies
Abstract:Cultural inauthenticity results from the belief that one is not a "true" or genuine representation of the culture to which one is presumed to belong. As Americans continue to heavily rely on the framework of race for understanding social reality, cultural inauthenticity may result when one's cultural knowledge, values, beliefs, or behaviors do not match the expectations set forth for someone of a particular "race." Thus, the experience of cultural inauthenticity may be heightened when insides (e.g., identification, inner racial essence, psychological states) do not match outsides (e.g., skin color, hair texture, behavior). Four studies were conducted to explore the construct of cultural inauthenticity among Asian Americans. Study 1 revealed that both American and Asian cultural inauthenticity were recognized experiences which related in the expected manner with Asian and American cultural practices. Study 2 showed that American cultural inauthenticity was experienced more among Asian Americans who lack a critical justification for feeling "naturally" American---that is, being born in the United States. Studies 2, 3, and 4 also examined situational features of the environment that would momentarily trigger the experience of cultural inauthenticity. Study 2 showed that participants led to believe they were more knowledgeable about American culture than the normative baseline of American cultural insiders reported more Asian inauthenticity. Study 3 showed that belief in race as denoting an inner core essence reduces the experience of Asian inauthenticity when participants are given feedback that they are not "American enough". Study 4 provided further evidence of the causal link between racial essentialism and cultural inauthenticity. Participants primed with the racial essentialist mindset responded with greater American inauthenticity when asked to respond to questions about White Americans and American culture prior to questions about coethnic Americans and American culture. The implications of the findings are discussed in relation to globalizing multicultural societies, where anxieties abound regarding the maintenance of pure, authentic, and true cultures.
Issue Date:2008
Description:98 p.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2008.
Other Identifier(s):(MiAaPQ)AAI3337873
Date Available in IDEALS:2015-09-25
Date Deposited:2008

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