To What Extent are Pan-Ethnic Appeals Mobilizing? An investigation of pan-ethnic and national origin identity appeals on Latinos and Asian Americans in the U.S. (Dissertation)

Do pan-ethnic (e.g., Latino/Hispanic; Asian American) identity appeals mobilize Latino and Asian American electorates? To what extent and for whom are these appeals effective? I problematize the assumption that pan-ethnic identity appeals, which politicians and community elites frequently employ, are effective given that a significant proportion of these community members prefer their national origin identities. I employ a series of experiments to gather evidence for whether and for whom pan-ethnic appeals are and are not effective for political behavior. Findings of my research enrich our understanding of mass Latino and Asian American political behavior by shedding light on the importance of immigrant socialization factors as additional, but certainly significant, layers for understanding Latino and Asian American electoral and non-electoral behavior. More directly, findings of my research have implications for effectively mobilizing and incorporating these voters into American politics.



Bring Your Own Voters - The role of political institutional contact and political mobilization among non-white voters

In my other collaborative work, my co-authors (Garcia-Castanon, Huckle, Walker) and I have examined the effect of institutional contact on political participation among minority communities. We argue that community-based organizations serve as supplements to facilitate political incorporation and engagement. Using the 2008 Collaborative Multi-Racial Post-Election Survey (CMPS) we find that while contact by a political institution, like a political party or campaign, has an overall positive effect on political participation for all voters, contact by a civic or community group is substantively more important for Latino and Asian American voter mobilization. (forthcoming at the Journal of Race Ethnicity, and Politics).

The Waning of Vietnamese American Republican Exceptionalism: Partisanship among Vietnamese Americans in Orange County, California

How durable is the Republican Party identification among Vietnamese Americans? It is hypothesize that their "exceptionalism" as majority Republican identifiers is anchored in anti-Communist sentiments affiliated with the Republican Party from the early 1960s. This paper provides insight to the party identification structure of new citizens, and how the process of assimilation modifies their affiliation. We (with Ong) draw on work from the American partisanship literature, immigrant political incorporation, and spatial assimilation to argue that partisan affiliation is malleable and is depend on individual and contextual factors. We use Orange County's voter registration data and the American Community Survey to test whether Vietnamese American's Republican affiliation is durable across year of registration and immigrant generations. We find that Vietnamese Americans who are registered to vote in earlier years are more likely to be registered with the Republican Party, and U.S. born individuals are less likely to be registered with that party. Lastly, living away from their ethnic enclaves is associated with decreased likelihood of registering with the Republican Party. Findings of this research support the assumption that homeland politics is replaced by domestic concerns. In conclusion, these results demonstrate the need to innovate traditional models of partisanship by considering assimilation factors to better understand the political socialization of new citizens. (manuscript in progress).



 A Wedge between Black and White:

Korean Americans and Minority Race Relations in Twenty-First-Century America

How do we understand the dynamics and implications of the so-called “black–Korean conflict” of the early 1990s in the United States? Scholars in Korean American studies, sociology, and ethnic studies have attempted to explain this problem from varying disciplinary perspectives. While their frameworks have been critical for understanding the contours of the conflict as well as identifying the various economic interests at stake, we argue that these explanations should be supplemented with a more explicit recognition of the racial hierarchy and superstructure that position whites at the top of all racial groups in the United States. Racial minorities, particularly Asian Americans, have long been situated in the US racial hierarchy between whites and blacks, and in many ways have been used as a wedge between the two racial groups. The emergence and development of conflict between blacks and Korean Americans can be most fruitfully analyzed when taking into account the racial hierarchy and the dynamics of power differentials between racial groups in the United States. In this book chapter in A Companion to Korean American Studies, we revisit Claire Jean Kim’s racial triangulation theory of the racialization of Asian Americans to explain the inevitability of the conflict. (in print June 2018).

Blood is Thicker than Association: An investigation of the persistence of national origin identity on voting for Kamala Harris

Do national origin affinities persist? If so, how do they matter for politics? We investigate this question by employing an experiment in the 2016 pre-election National Asian American Survey on voting for candidate Kamala Harris. We (with Shah) find that Asian Indians overwhelmingly and significantly supported candidate Harris in the California Senate race compared to other Asian ethnics in the sample. In addition to vote choice, we find consistent behavior among Asian Indian donors vis-a-vis other Asian ethnic donors in their giving to Kamala Harris. The findings of this research have implications for understanding the extent to which national origin affinities might influence American politics. (manuscript in progress).