When ethnic deviance is desired: The curious case of the “perpetual foreigner”

Michael Thai (2011). When ethnic deviance is desired: The curious case of the “perpetual foreigner” Honours Thesis, School of Psychology, The University of Queensland.

       
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Author Michael Thai
Thesis Title When ethnic deviance is desired: The curious case of the “perpetual foreigner”
School, Centre or Institute School of Psychology
Institution The University of Queensland
Publication date 2011-10-12
Thesis type Honours Thesis
Supervisor Dr Fiona Barlow
Total pages 91
Language eng
Subjects 1701 Psychology
Abstract/Summary Asian people in Western nations are often denied their national identity (i.e., they are perceived as not really American, or not really Australian). The following thesis proposes that one way that Western Asians deal with this problem is by strategically blurring group boundaries through accepting other Asian ingroup members who conform to stereotypically White norms for attitudes and behaviour. That is, through accepting ethnic deviance. Study 1 used Asian Australian participants (N = 36) to establish White and Asian Australian stereotypes. In Study 2 (N = 269), Asian Australian participants were presented with a Facebook profile of an individual who was either Asian or White, and had stereotypically Asian Australian or White Australian characteristics (i.e., as per Study 1). Participants‟ perceptions of the ease with which Asian people could penetrate White society (permeability) were also measured. It was found that participants who believed that they could permeate White society were more likely to accept the friend request of a stereotypically White Asian (ethnic ingroup deviant) or a stereotypically Asian White individual (ethnic outgroup deviant). For participants who comparatively saw the boundary between the groups as impermeable, however, no differences in friendship acceptance was observed. Interestingly, liking for the individual in the Facebook profile did not follow the same pattern – participants only liked the individual more if they possessed stereotypically Asian Australian traits. The theoretical implications of these findings are discussed.
Keyword Ethnic deviance
Asian people in Western nations

 
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