ERIC Number: ED222609
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1981
Reference Count: N/A
Institutional Racism and Mental Health: An Asian-American Perspective.
Chin, Jean Lau
Positive stereotypes of contemporary Asian Americans have negative consequences for this minority group. The belief that Asian Americans are successful and have overcome prejudice and discrimination obscures the historical fact that legislation has curtailed Asian American civil rights and sanctioned harassment of Asians by public authorities and private citizens. Chinese Americans, for instance, currently have lower socioeconomic status than Whites, receive low priority on human services, confront distorted Asian American images in print, and face hostility from other groups. Traditional Chinese cultural values which serve to maintain a sense of Chinese ethnic identity become sources of identity crisis among Chinese Americans who are struggling to adapt to the new environment. Commonly held stereotypes about Asian Americans tend to intensify identity conflicts. These considerations have implications for mental health services for Asian Americans. Mental health professionals working with this group must: (1) recognize cultural differences that invalidate the definition of pathological behavior as behavior that deviates from that of the majority; (2) understand the damaging effects of stereotypes; (3) refrain from overgeneralizing and "double binding" (simultaneously encouraging and devaluing certain behaviors); (4) appreciate immigration as a traumatic process; (5) differentiate between individual and group identity; and (6) encourage the development of a bicultural identity through the integration of cultures. (Author/MJL)
Descriptors: Acculturation, Adjustment (to Environment), Asian Americans, Chinese Americans, Cultural Influences, Ethnic Discrimination, Ethnic Stereotypes, Ethnicity, Federal Legislation, Identification (Psychology), Mental Health, Psychiatric Services, Public Policy
Not available separately; see UD 022 565.
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers; Historical Materials
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Identity Crisis
Note: Paper originally given at the Annual Community-Clinical Workshop (6th, Lanham, MD, November 4-6, 1976).