Smith, Shaunette; Rong, Nancy; Kim, MinSoo; Chwe, Minjung; 09spAAS199
Series/Report Name or Number
AAS 199 Undergraduate Open Seminar: Discovery Course
Prof. Soo Ah Kwon
Asian and Pacific Islander (API) youth make up one of the fastest growing populations in the United States. According to the 2000 census, approximately 90% of the API population are either foreign born or are second-generation with immigrant parents. A large portion of this population are the 1.5 and second-generation who have come of age in the 21st century in the post 1965 immigration era. These API youth represent an extremely heterogeneous population including Cambodian, Chinese, Hawaiian, Filipino, Japanese, Indian, Korean, Laotian, Mien, Samoan, Thai, Tongan, and mixed race youth. In this course, students explored the ways that second-generation youth are actively shaping the U.S. landscape in terms of identity formation, youth culture, and education. These experiences were examined within larger historical, economic, racial, social and political forces in the United States. Students also compared and situated the unique (and not so unique) experiences of API youth with young people of different racial and ethnic backgrounds.
In addition to an engagement of texts from different academic disciplines to provide students with theoretical perspectives of young people, this course provided students with first hand research experience as part of The Ethnography of the University Initiative (EUI) by engaging students in the research process and meaningfully interrogated the U of I. Students were expected to conduct ethnographic (field research and/or archive based) project that takes up some aspect of Asian American youth at the U of I.
A desired outcome of the course was that engagement with both theory and research practice of issues concerning youth, Asian American youth in particular. This course was aimed to allow students to gain a fuller understanding of race, class, culture, diversity, and gender in U.S society, through the research on Asian American youth. Moreover, in conducting research related to Asian American youth on campus such as student organizations, sororities or fraternities, student housing life, religious life, and cultural houses, the course provided students with the opportunity to closely examine issues of student racial diversity at the University of Illinois. Also as part of the EUI project, students critically examined an institution that is closest to their daily experience: their university. As such, students investigated the role of the university in student life and different purposes and outcomes of college education.
This collection examines ways in which the U.S. university and the American college experience are affected by diversity, and difference. In particular, these student projects examine experiences of diversity on campus, including important contemporary social, cultural, and political debates on equity and access to university resources.