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Unformatted text preview: Asian American Studies 3 Psychosocial Perspectives of Asian Americans Ascribed and Achieved Credibility
Achieved Credibility Low High Client avoids Client avoids treatment; A Low treatment; if in if in treatment, S treatment, premature expectations exceeded C termination likely and may stay R Client likely to enter Client likely to enter I treatment; high Hi treatment; high B expectations not met expectations met by E so may drop out therapist skills so may D stay MAJOR AREAS OF CREDIBILITY 1. Conceptualization of the Problem 2. Means for Problem Resolution 3. Goals for Treatment 1 General Steps
1. Assess own stimulus value, awareness, and preparedness: Take steps to prepare 2. Assess client--culture and acculturation, experience with minority group status; gather information 3. Assess own knowledge of client’s background--adequacy and deficiencies 4. Pre-therapy intervention (what therapy is, confidentiality, process involved) 5. Hypothesize and test hypotheses using multiple sources 6. Attend to credibility and giving 7. Understand the nature of discomfort and resistances 8. Understand from client’s perspective: Goals, conceptions, means for resolving problems 9. Strategy or plan for intervention, incorporating understanding 10. Assess session 11. Willingness to consult SKIP General Steps in Assessment 1. Find tests that can be linguistically understood by clients. 2. See if test or assessment instrument has been standardized and normed on the particular ethnic group of clients. 3. If test has not been standardized and normed on the group and none is available, use caution in interpreting results. 4. If one is unsure of the validity of tests for a particular ethnic client, use the findings as hypotheses for further testing rather than as conclusive evidence. 5. Use multiple measures or multi-method procedures to see if test results provide convergent results. 6. Try to determine the cultural background (e.g., level of acculturation) and individual differences of the client, in order to place test results in a proper context. 7. Enlist the aid of consultants who are familiar with the client’s background and culture. Assessment
1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15. 16. 17. 18. 19. Origin history sociocult family structure role expectations values birth order sex role supports communication patters childrearing SES treatment history immigration culture shock acculturation support stress Esp: positions, roles, & sex roles 2 Strategies
1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. Use authority - "in my professional judgment", "Have seen others w/ same problem", display degrees but give patient respect & appropriate status Gain information on patient ahead of time so as not to waste time in assess & show you know patient. Directive so no dwell on self, self exploration (at least on conscious level); give advice Timing - no confront if lose too much face; no problem or demand self exploration right away, be indirect so patient can save face; don't process too much First session critical (may not return); no just eval or ask questions; gift give; otherwise all sessions the same Understand and act within power structure (shows you respect and familiar w/ values of family), no antagonize (so stay in treatment), can see if family discrepant from traditional and if conflicts over power. Unless family prob is overpower, help protect face and authority until confrontation can be withstood. Address the general, not private (watch alliances). Goals: problem focus, goal oriented, system relieving vs. internal, person, depth, disclose. Family not aware or unwilling to talk about its contribution to problem therefore A. assert patients problem is indeed problem (problem not problem of family), reinforce family concern to help B. they have role in helping (problem focus not patient or family), family's role important, increase chance of engaging family, no blame (no lose face). C. take role of teacher/educator D. past efforts futile, yes; consequences of problem great (so no quit treatment); work not easy or fast; family must help Reframe: seek treatment (courage, want to help, good name); no demand self disclose; family ignorant rather than resistant (reframe). End session when gift or something important is achieved. (May go over 1 hour session). No offer premature solutions (since family fail to solve, they may want therapy to fail). 7. 8. 9. 10. skip till here Derald Sue Definition of Microaggression “Old fashioned” type: Racial hatred overt, direct, and often intentional New forms of racism: subtle, indirect, and often disguised. Studies: new form of racism is most likely to be evident in well -intentioned White Americans who are unaware they hold beliefs and attitudes that are detrimental to people of color. “Racial microaggression”: this form of racism which occurs in the daily lives of people of color. So common and innocuous that they are often overlooked and unacknowledged: Microaggressions as “brief and commonplace daily verbal, behavioral and environmental indignities, whether intentional or unintentional, that communicate hostile, derogatory or negative racial slights and insults that potentially have harmful or unpleasant psychological impact on the target person or group.” 3 Microaggression Microassaults: Conscious and intentional actions or slurs, such as using racial epithets, displaying swastikas or deliberately serving a white person before a person of color in a restaurant. Microinsults: Verbal and nonverbal communications that subtly convey rudeness and insensitivity and demean a person's racial heritage or identity. An example is an employee who asks a colleague of color how she got her job, implying she may have landed it through an affirmative action or quota system. Microinvalidations: Communications that subtly exclude, negate or nullify the thoughts, feelings or experiential reality of a person of color. For instance, white people often ask Asian-Americans where they were born, conveying the message that they are perpetual foreigners in their own land. Examples Some examples of racial microaggressions include: (a) teachers who ignore students of color (b) taxi drivers who fail to pick up passengers of color (c) airport security personnel screening passengers of color with greater frequency and care. (d) Verbal statements such as, “You speak such good English,” “But you speak without an accent,” and “So where are you really from?” Because microaggressions often occur outside the level of conscious awareness, well-intentioned individuals can engage in these biased acts without guilt or knowledge of their discriminatory actions. These acts of discrimination can significantly harm the victims. Asian Americans and Latino/Hispanic Americans indicate that they perceive these statements as invalidating and insulting because they reflect a worldview that racial/ethnic minorities are aliens in their own country. 4 Racial Microaggressions
Commonplace verbal or behavioral indignities, whether intentional or unintentional, which communicate hostile, derogatory, or negative racial slights and insults. Mountain or Molehill "Implementing his theory would restrict rather than promote candid interaction between members of different racial groups.“ In the therapy relationship, having to watch every word "potentially discourages therapist genuineness and spontaneity.“ "The theory, in general, characterizes people of color as weak and vulnerable, and reinforces a culture of victimization instead of a culture of opportunity,“ (Kenneth R. Thomas, PhD, of the University of Wisconsin–Madison, one of the critics). Kenneth Sole, PhD, whose consulting firm Sole & Associates Inc., trains employees on team communication, agrees that microaggressions are pervasive and potentially damaging. Indeed, clients talk about them all of the time, he says. But instead of encouraging their anger, he works with them on ways to frame the incidents so they feel empowered rather than victimized. "My own view is that we don't serve ourselves well in the hundreds of ambiguous situations we experience by latching onto the definition of the experience that gives us the greatest pain —particularly in one-time encounters where one can't take more systemic action,” he says. For instance, if a white person makes a potentially offensive remark to a person of color, the person could choose either to get angry and see the person as a bigot or to perceive the person as ignorant and move on, he says. 5 Sue et al. Study 2007
Racial microaggressions were examined through a focus group analysis of 10 self-identified Asian American participants using a semistructured interview and brief demographic questionnaire. The narratives and descriptions from the group participants were analyzed qualitatively along the following domains: (a) identifying microaggressions from the perspective of the participant, (b) producing illustrative critical incidents, (c) analyzing the unintentional/intentional themes, (d) categorizing their impact, and (e) describing typical responses to microaggressions. Results
Results identified 8 major microaggressive themes directed toward this group: A ninth category, “undeveloped incidents/responses” was used to categorize microaggressions that were mentioned by only a few members. There were strong indications that the types of subtle racism directed at Asian Americans may be qualitatively and quantitatively different from other marginalized groups. Theme 1: Alien in Own Land Theme 2: Ascription of Intelligence Theme 3: Denial of Racial Reality Theme 4: Exoticization of Asian American Women Theme 5: Invalidation of Interethnic Differences Theme 6: Pathologizing Cultural Values/Communication Styles Theme 7: Second Class Citizenship Theme 8: Invisibility Theme 9: Undeveloped Incidents/Responses Theme 1: Alien in Own Land Asian Americans are foreigners or foreign-born: “Where are you from?” “Where were you born?” or “You speak good English.” The participants were often torn between whether the comments were well intentioned expressions of interest in them or perceptions that they were foreigners and did not belong in America--not possibly be “real” Americans. A study found that White Americans, on an implicit level, equated “White” and “American” with one another while Asian and African Americans were less likely associated with the term “American” (DeVos & Banaji, 2005). On the whole, the participants did not see the questions or “compliments” as benign and curious, but disturbing and uncomfortable. One Chinese American participant shared that while she was working in a restaurant, a White customer came in and attempted to converse with her in Japanese. She interpreted the behavior as the person perceiving her as a foreigner. 6 Theme 2: Ascription of Intelligence Many of the participants describe teachers and fellow students making statements such as “You are really good at math,” “You people always do well in school,” or “If I see lots of Asian students in my class, I know it's going to be a hard class.” The message conveyed is that all Asians are bright and smart, especially in math and science. The participants believed that the conscious intent of these statements was to compliment Asian Americans, since being good at math was perceived by aggressors as a positive quality. However, the impact of assuming Asian Americans are good at math can be harmful. Participants describe feeling pressured to conform One Korean woman describes her coworkers bringing every math question for her to solve. Not only did it seem to operate from a stereotype, but it added pressure to help them, and resulted in a heavier workload for the woman. Another major side effect: Asian Americans were viewed as intelligent while other people of color were perceived as less intelligent. It created tensions between her and other Black and Latino coworkers. Theme 3: Denial of Racial Reality Mcroaggressions invalidate their experiences of discrimination. In one case, a Vietnamese American male was told that “Asians are the new Whites.” The remark dismissed his experiences of racism, indicated that Asians experience no discrimination, suggested inequities do not exist for Asians, and that they have made it in society. While the intent of the aggressor may be to compliment the Asian American individual by saying that Asians are more successful than other people of color, the negating message is that Asians do not experience racism—denying their experiential reality of bias and discrimination. Theme 4: Exoticization of Asian American Women One Chinese American women stated, “White men believe that Asian women are great girlfriends, wait hand and foot on men, and don't back-talk or give them shit. Asian women have beautiful skin and are just sexy and have silky hair.” One Korean American woman indicated that she is frequently approached by White men who are very forthcoming with their “Asian fetishes” of subservience and pleasing them sexually. Again, participants felt that the intent of the aggressor in these situations may be to praise Asian women for their ability to take care of a man's every need. Many of the participants also suggested that the exotic image of Asian American women also serves as an unconscious backlash to feminist values and that it potentially creates antagonism with White women as well. 7 Theme 5: Invalidation of Interethnic Differences This theme is most closely associated with the statement: “All Asians look alike.” One Filipino American woman states, “I am always asked are you Chinese?” Another example of this is conveyed by a Chinese American who stated that new acquaintances oftentimes make statements like, “Oh, my ex-girlfriend was Chinese, or my neighbor was Japanese.” These microaggressions tend to minimize or deny differences that may exist between interethnic groups or the existence of other Asian American groups. Participants believed the microaggression suggests that all Asian Americans are alike and that differences between groups do not exist and/or do not matter. The intent of the aggressor in this situation is to express that they are familiar with Asians, but instead the message received is that the aggressor assumes that all Asians are Chinese or Japanese. Moreover, it is assumed by the aggressor that most Asians are familiar with each other, regardless of their Asian ethnic background. Theme 6: Pathologizing Cultural Values/Communication Styles Cultural values and communication styles other than that of the White majority as being less desirable or indicators of deficits. One Chinese American woman expressed exasperation at how class participation (usually verbal) is valued strongly in academic settings and that grades are often based upon it. Because of Asian cultural values that emphasize the value of silence, less verbal Asians are often perceived as lacking in interest, disengaged, or inattentive by the teacher. a Vietnamese American male who describes being derided and teased by friends for using chopsticks as a utensil. He stated that the message was quite clear; eating with forks, knives, and spoons is the right/correct way to eat and “the American way.” Theme 7: Second Class Citizenship A number of Asian Americans relayed similar stories of Whites being given preferential treatment as consumers over Asian American customers. A typical story involved a Korean American female who told of dining with White friends. Although she frequently ordered the wine, it is usually her friends who are asked to taste and approve the wine selection. She would often feel snubbed because Whites were believed to more knowledgeable about wine, and their opinions were more important. Another Asian American woman described how her eight family members were taken to a table to the back of the restaurant, even though there were available tables elsewhere. She interpreted the action to mean that they were lesser customers and did not deserve a table in the front of the restaurant. The message, they believed was that Asian Americans are not deserving of good service and are lesser than their White counterparts. 8 Theme 8: Invisibility This theme is used to label incidents that involve the experience of being overlooked without the conscious intention of the aggressor. Experiences with the theme of invisibility are commonplace among Asian American individuals of all ethnic groups who share that they were often left out whenever issues of race were discussed or acknowledged. One Chinese American female stated, “Like even most race dialogues are like very Black and White…like sometimes I feel like there's a lot of talk about Black and White, and there's a huge Asian population here and where do we fit into that?” Another example involved an Asian American appointed to a committee and having someone suggest that they needed “to appoint a person of color” to the group as well. The messages being conveyed were that Asians are not an ethnic minority group, experience little or no discrimination, and that their racial concerns are unimportant. In addition, the Asian participants felt trapped in that when issues of race are discussed, they were considered like Whites, but never fully accepted by their White peers. Theme 9: Undeveloped Incidents/Responses There were a number of stories told by participants that could not be categorized easily. For example, one Chinese American woman describes an experience she had while she was driving her mother's car, with her Chinese name and last name on the license plate. She recalls being pulled over despite the fact that she was in the middle of two cars, and they were all going relatively the same speed. The stereotype operating here was that Asians are poor drivers, and therefore, she was singled out. Another example of the stereotype theme occurs when a gay Vietnamese male shared that an online dating site posted a statement that read, “No Asians, real men only.” The message being conveyed in this situation is that Asian men do not fit the masculine qualities of Whites and therefore are not deemed as “real” men. Dilemma 1: Clash of Racial Realities The question we pose is this: Did the flight attendant engage in a microaggression or did the senior author and his colleague simply misinterpret the action? Studies indicate that the racial perceptions of people of color differ markedly from those of Whites. White Americans tend to believe that minorities are doing better in life, that discrimination is on the decline, that racism is no longer a significant factor in the lives of people of color, and that equality has been achieved. More important, the majority of Whites do not view themselves as racist or capable of racist behavior. Minorities, on the other hand, perceive Whites as (a) racially insensitive, (b) unwilling to share their position and wealth, (c) believing they are superior, (d) needing to control everything, and (e) treating them poorly because of their race. People of color believe these attributes are reenacted everyday in their interpersonal interactions with Whites, oftentimes in the form of microaggressions. 96% of African Americans reported experiencing racial discrimination in a oneyear period, and many incidents involved being mistaken for a service worker, being ignored, given poor service, treated rudely, or experiencing strangers acting fearful or intimidated when around. 9 Dilemma 2: The Invisibility of Unintentional Expressions of Bias How does one prove that a microaggression has occurred? Could the flight attendant be right? If she did act out of hidden and unconscious bias, how do we make her aware of it? Microaggressions: (a) tend to be subtle, indirect, and unintentional (b) are most likely to emerge not when a behavior would look prejudicial, but when other rationales can be offered for prejudicial behavior (c) occur when Whites pretend not to notice differences, thereby justifying that “color” was not involved in the actions taken. Color blindness is a major form of microinvalidation because it denies the racial and experiential reality of people of color and provides an excuse to White people to claim that they are not prejudiced. Dilemma 3: Perceived Minimal Harm of Racial Microaggressions
When individuals are confronted with their microaggressive acts, the perpetrator usually believes that the victim has overreacted and is being overly sensitive and/or petty. After all, even if it was an innocent racial blunder, microaggressions are believed to have minimal negative impact. People of color are told not to overreact and to simply “let it go.” Among African Americans, microaggressions found to have cumulative effects can be quite devastating (Solo´rzano et al., 2000), resulting in a negative racial climate and emotions of self-doubt, frustration, and isolation on the part of victims. Dilemma 4: The Catch-22 of Responding to Microaggressions
When a microaggression occurs, the victim is usually placed in a catch -22. The immediate reaction might be a series of questions: Did what I think happened, really happen? Was this a deliberate act or an unintentional slight? How should I respond? Sit and stew on it or confront the person? If I bring the topic up, how do I prove it? Is it really worth the effort? Should I just drop the matter? First, the person must determine whether a microaggression has occurred. Second, how one reacts to a microaggression may have differential effects, not only on the perpetrator but on the person of color as well. Deciding to do nothing by sitting on one’s anger is one response that occurs frequently in people of color. This response occurs because persons of color may be (a) unable to determine whether a microaggression has occurred, (b) at a loss for how to respond, (c) fearful of the consequences, (d) rationalizing that “it won’t do any good anyway,” or (e) engaging in self -deception through denial (“It didn’t happen.”). Third, responding with anger and striking back is likely to engender negative consequences for persons of color as well. They are likely to be accused of being racially oversensitive or paranoid or told that their emotional outbursts confirm stereotypes about minorities. 10 ...
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- Fall '08