America, Our Home? A Qualitative Study of 1.5 Generation Asian Americans

Abstract

Background: As the population of Asian immigrants and their children continues to grow in the U.S., it becomes increasingly important to improve our understanding of how these individuals experience growing up and living as Americans. The term 1.5-generation refers to a group of immigrants that is neither first- nor second- generation; these individuals fall in between first- and second-generation immigrants in that they were born in a foreign country and migrated to the U.S. during adolescence. Purpose: The purpose of this study was to gain a more in-depth understanding of the growing up and acculturation experiences of 1.5-generation Asians. Design: A descriptive phenomenological research design is used. Sample: The purposive sample consists of six 1.5-generation Asian individuals. Method: Interviews were conducted, video-recorded, transcribed, and analyzed using Colaizzi (1978) descriptive phenomenological method. Results: Five major themes emerged: (1) “It is always just us, no one else”; (2) “We will always be perpetual foreigners”; (3) “I am in constant in-betweenness, but it’s a good thing” (4) “Others didn’t know any better”; (5) “I want to be a different kind of Asian”. Conclusions: Although 1.5-generation individuals articulated many challenges in their path to discover their identity and belongingness, they also described their own resourcefulness and strategies to overcome these challenges and shared many positive experiences that have helped shape their personalities today. Implications for Practice: An increased understanding of experiences of 1.5 generation Asians in the U.S. can help human service professionals to work more effectively with these individuals and other diverse populations.



Author Information
Nadia Benyamin, University of Northern Colorado, USA

Paper Information
Conference: ACCS2015
Stream: Education

This paper is part of the ACCS2015 Conference Proceedings (View)
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