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Asian American studies

As a student of Asian American studies exposed to the intricate weaving of the theories to explain and understand the dynamics of societies and cultures including social change and further narrowed down to specifics, such as change agents and how an individual can become one, I knew as a student that I wanted to get involved by spending part of my life to become a change agent. My graduation marked a committed engagement to become a change agent in my own right and in no matter how small ways.

In this endeavor, I am armed with the theories, the concepts, and a number of vicarious experiences through readings and class discussions in dealing with change as a vehicle towards greater cross-cultural understanding between the Asian Americans and others. There are still remains of the old attitudes of racial discrimination in some areas of the United States in the face of the new order of diversity or multiculturalism. In so many ways, the concern on racial issues has waned and slowly faded no doubt. However, some semblance of it or residue may be said to persist as it is with many racial groups such as with the Asian Americans.

Revisiting the racial formation theory will put light to the present discussion. Racial Formation Theory becomes valuable as it helps us look “at race as a socially constructed identity, where the content and importance of racial categories is determined by social, economic, and political forces. ” The same theorists further suggest that the racial order is sorted out and imposed by the continuity and reciprocity at the micro level social relations in understanding the intrapersonal and interpersonal relations and the arrangement of our practical activity at work and family as citizens and as thinkers.

The macro level social relations refer to the social structures (business organizations, the government, and the media) and the common ideologies (stereotyped beliefs on race, class, sexuality, and gender). The theory serves as the framework for “deconstructing race as it exists” by investigating the historical development of race in contrast to the usual discussions up to the present where race is perceived in terms of numbers based on physical criteria.

Corollary to the theory of racial formation is the theory on institutional racism that among others, some established institutions within the society through unconcealed discriminatory, sometimes built-in, mechanisms, disadvantage racial minorities such as is the case with Asian Americans. This is worth pondering and how an individual, through the possible collaboration and cooperation of other individuals or even organizations, may bring about a positive change of the persisting attitude on racial formation effectively removing the statistical concept anchored on physical criteria.

These minorities still fall prey to the deep-seated stereotypical images that bring about no pleasant consequences. To cite a case is on immigration laws discriminated against the Asians. Attitudes on racism or call it prejudice are perceived as still held by a population of the United States in their dealings with many other groups and not unique only with the Asian Americans. My thought was occupied of the feasible efficacy of an approach that I can embark on to make the difference in addressing the issue.

Some thought out plans require considerable expense thus, prodding me to settle for the least expensive yet effective and perhaps efficient way of doing it my way. The situation is definitely a difficult task and one can only aspire to give it a hard try to “change” a situation for my own self-fulfillment to say the least and my contribution to my community, to a wider extent if I should succeed. I am positive that the small steps taken forward will lead to strides. Games are activities that are appreciable to any age level of individuals.

They found their regular way to classroom teaching on account of its efficacy as a learning activity tool. The games in the workshops are fashioned after group counseling activities where the participants are each given ample time to share their reflections after each activity. With this as tools, I have mapped out a “Peace Building Program” that is made up by simple yet meaningful games aimed at stimulating the intrapersonal understanding of every participant and in their interpersonal relationships with others.

Under this scenario, Asian Americans, native English speakers, and American ethnic or racial groups are pooled to make up the heterogeneous groups for intercultural “transaction. ” Activities such as “mirroring one’s self” both by the individual himself and through others is an example of the cultivation of deep intrapersonal awareness. Games carried out through group works that necessarily require the cooperative efforts and minds of every group member is an example feature that delves into “group transactions” aimed at the improvement of interpersonal relations.

The latter is found effective when people forget about skin colors, stereotyping, and discrimination of any form and together transform each individual as a member of one community sharing the same institutions and common national goals. As such, the basic teachings of every world religion particularly on their stipulations on man-to-God, man-to-self, and man-to-man relationships is a must. As it is with Group Counseling sessions, the output is truly rewarding, meaningful, and found effective.

It will take much more time, even generations, to completely eradicate racism in the United States or elsewhere where plural societies exist. However, I am positive that for as long as understanding the dynamics of cultures laden with the theories to serve as frameworks for the better understanding of peoples and cultures, there will be more students who will similarly be avowed to commit themselves to the creation of societies who will look at the world as a community of humankind.

Any effort along this aspiration will truly make the difference in the peaceful coexistence of men – one race in the world of man. The program is a big step towards the improvement of the self as it relates to the individual himself and to the rest of those outside of the self. The struggle, however, is the responsibility of each and every member of any society in the world. Similar efforts can be encouraged to be carried out in other parts of the world. It is one of the sure ways to intercultural understanding and coexistence.

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