Balancing Two Worlds
Asian American College Students Tell Their Life Stories
Introduction by Russell C. Leong
Afterword by Vernon Takeshita
"Those who find themselves living in the Americas, no matter what their ethnic, educational, or economic background, must ultimately 'become their own personalities,' melding their point of view with their points of origin and their places of settlement. For immigrant or refugee families and their children, this 'process of becoming' often means struggling with the contradictions of race, generation, economics, class, work, religion, gender, and sexuality within the family, workplace, or school. . . . Perhaps nowhere is the struggle more raw, poignant, and moving than in the words of the younger generation at the cusp of such becoming. We readers can also find insights within the candid accounts of their personal lives and in the experiences of their family and friends."—from Balancing Two Worlds
Balancing Two Worlds highlights themes surrounding the creation of Asian American identity. This book contains fourteen first-person narratives by Asian American college students, most of whom have graduated during the first five years of the twenty-first century. Their engaging accounts detail the students' very personal struggles with issues of assimilation, gender, religion, sexuality, family conflicts, educational stereotypes, and being labeled the "model minority." Some of the students relate stories drawn from their childhood and adolescent experiences, while others focus more on their college experiences at Dartmouth.
Anyone who wants to learn about the changing concept of race in America and what it's like to be a young American of Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Vietnamese, Burmese, or South Asian descent—from educators and college administrators to students and their families—will find Balancing Two Worlds a compelling read and a valuable resource.
Robert Kilkenny is Executive Director of the Alliance for Inclusion and Prevention. He is coeditor of I Am Where I Come From; Mixed; Mi Voz, Mi Vida; and Balancing Two Worlds, all from Cornell.
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