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CHINESE AMERICANS AND JAPANESE AMERICANS. CHAPTER 13. Chinese Americans. Americans held conflicting views on Chinese immigration from the beginning Settlers unwilling to tolerate alien culture Labor was welcomed Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 - 1943 Gradual immigration from 1943 - 1965

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CHINESE AMERICANS AND JAPANESE AMERICANS

CHAPTER 13

Copyright © 2010 Pearson Education, Inc., Upper Saddle River, NJ 07458. All rights reserved.


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Chinese Americans

  • Americans held conflicting views on Chinese immigration from the beginning

    • Settlers unwilling to tolerate alien culture

    • Labor was welcomed

  • Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 - 1943

  • Gradual immigration from 1943 - 1965

  • Increase in immigration came with the passage of the 1965 Immigration Act

Copyright © 2010 Pearson Education, Inc., Upper Saddle River, NJ 07458. All rights reserved.


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  • Significant component of Chinese in US are those adopted by American non-Chinese couples

    • Chinese adoption laws loosened to promote adoptions of children

    • Mainly girls abandoned under China’s one-child policy

    • Faced complex issues of cultural and social identity

  • Chinese Americans is a collective term

    • Vast diversity within the group

      • Language, nationality, and region of origin

      • Divisions are sharply expressed

Copyright © 2010 Pearson Education, Inc., Upper Saddle River, NJ 07458. All rights reserved.


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Occupational Profile of American non-Chinese couplesChinese Americans

  • Early on discriminatory laws were passed making it difficult for Chinese to enter certain occupations

  • Early on gravitated toward service occupations or low paying jobs that whites found undesirable

  • Chinese sought relative safety of Chinatowns and the tourist industry

    • New immigrants find it difficult finding jobs outside of Chinatown

    • Lack of English is another reason for new immigrants seeking work in Chinatown

Copyright © 2010 Pearson Education, Inc., Upper Saddle River, NJ 07458. All rights reserved.


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Chinatowns Today American non-Chinese couples

  • The economic paradox of Chinatowns

  • The impression of glitter and wealth hidden among economic deprivation and poverty in Chinatown

  • Rich history of organizational membership

  • Clan or tsu organization and functions (Surname Association)

    • Membership based on clan and family ties

    • Provided mutual assistance

Copyright © 2010 Pearson Education, Inc., Upper Saddle River, NJ 07458. All rights reserved.


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  • Hui Kuan (Huiguan) American non-Chinese couples

    • Benevolent associations that help members adjust to a new life

    • Based on person’s district of origin rather than kinship

  • Hui kuan associations are part of a larger organization, Chinese Six Companies, (Chinese Consolidated Benevolent Association)

  • Tongs or secret societies

    • Formed on the basis of common interests

    • Some are political, others protest exploitation of Chinese workers, others provide illegal services

Copyright © 2010 Pearson Education, Inc., Upper Saddle River, NJ 07458. All rights reserved.


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  • Conclusions reached about the various social organizations American non-Chinese couples

    • All have followed patterns created in traditional China

    • All three types have performed similar functions

      • Providing mutual assistance and representing interests to a sometimes hostile dominant group

    • Because all groups had similar purposes and operated in the same locale, conflict was inevitable

    • Old associations have declined significantly

    • When communicating with dominant society, all groups downplayed problems of Chinatown

Copyright © 2010 Pearson Education, Inc., Upper Saddle River, NJ 07458. All rights reserved.


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Social Problems American non-Chinese couples

  • Myth that Chinese Americans and Chinatowns have no problems

  • The tourist industry in Chinatown as double edged sword

  • Jobs but at substandard pay

    • Poverty

    • Poor health care, especially for the elderly

    • High suicide rates

    • Poor and run-down housing

    • Rising crime rates

    • Poor working conditions

    • Inadequate care for the elderly

    • Weak union representation of laborers

Copyright © 2010 Pearson Education, Inc., Upper Saddle River, NJ 07458. All rights reserved.


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Family Life American non-Chinese couples

  • Change in family life is the most difficult cultural change to accept

  • Domestic violence is a problem that recently surfaced

  • Another problem is rise in gang activity

    • Chinese American youth are not part of the model minority

Copyright © 2010 Pearson Education, Inc., Upper Saddle River, NJ 07458. All rights reserved.


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Cultural capital: American non-Chinese couples Noneconomic forces such as family background and past investments in education that are then reflected in knowledge about the arts and language

Social capital: Collective benefits of durable social networks and their patterns of reciprocal trust

Copyright © 2010 Pearson Education, Inc., Upper Saddle River, NJ 07458. All rights reserved.


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Japanese Americans American non-Chinese couples

  • Initial Japanese immigrants came around 1885 (Push and pull factors)

  • Came from a very stratified society

  • Most came from the lower class in Japan

  • Initially many found employment in forestry, agriculture and then migrated to cities along the West Coast and established small businesses

  • Feelings of “yellow peril” also directed at the Japanese

Copyright © 2010 Pearson Education, Inc., Upper Saddle River, NJ 07458. All rights reserved.


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  • Japanese Americans distinguish themselves according to number of generations a family has been in the US

  • Each succeeding generation more acculturated and less likely to know Japanese

    • Issei (pronounced “EE-say”)

      • First generation born in Japan

    • Nisei (“Nee-say)

      • Children of first generation born in US

    • Sansei (“SAHN-say”)

      • Third generation must go back to grandparents to reach their roots

    • Yonsei (“YAWN-say”)

      • Fourth generation

    • Kibei (“KEE-boy”)

      • Nisei sent back to Japan for schooling and marriage then return to US

Copyright © 2010 Pearson Education, Inc., Upper Saddle River, NJ 07458. All rights reserved.


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Early Discrimination number of generations a family has been in the US

  • Laws were passed prohibiting Issei from becoming citizens

  • California Alien Land Act of 1913

    • Prohibited anyone who was ineligible for citizenship from owning land and limited leases

    • Economic impact on agricultural land owned by Japanese Americans

  • Adjustments to the act led many to transfer ownership to their American born children

  • Many left agriculture and migrated to cities and established small businesses catering to both the Japanese and dominant group

Copyright © 2010 Pearson Education, Inc., Upper Saddle River, NJ 07458. All rights reserved.


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The Wartime Evacuation number of generations a family has been in the US

  • Executive Order 9066, signed by President Roosevelt on February 13, 1942

    • Defined strategic military areas and authorized the removal of people considered threats to national security

  • Economic cost to the evacuees was in excess of $400 million or in current dollars $3.7 billion

  • Psychological impact and weakened family ties

  • The way out and the loyalty test

    • Questions were ambiguous

Copyright © 2010 Pearson Education, Inc., Upper Saddle River, NJ 07458. All rights reserved.


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  • Japanese Americans demonstrated their loyalty to the United States by participating in the war effort

  • Racism and internment

    • German and Italian Americans were not interned

    • Japanese in Hawaii left alone because they were and integral part of the economy

  • Japanese migration from the camps after the war

  • Mitsuye Endo v. United States (1944)

    • Detainment was unconstitutional and consequently freedom was to be granted

Copyright © 2010 Pearson Education, Inc., Upper Saddle River, NJ 07458. All rights reserved.


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  • Commission on Wartime Relocation and Internment of Civilians (1981)

    • Government formally apologized and give $20,000 tax-free to 82,000 surviving internees

  • Civil Liberties Act (1988)

    • Signed by Ronald Reagan authorizing payments

  • Payments slow in coming, other federal expenditures had priority

  • Aging internees dying at rate of 200/month

  • First checks issued in 1990

Copyright © 2010 Pearson Education, Inc., Upper Saddle River, NJ 07458. All rights reserved.


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Economic Picture (1981)

  • Socioeconomic status very different from Chinese Americans

  • Upward mobility after WWII

  • Japanese American educational attainment is higher than whites

  • Occupationally have been upwardly mobile but still experience the glass ceiling and wall

  • Higher median family income than whites

  • Few excuses apart from racism to explain why Whites continue to view Japanese as different from them

Copyright © 2010 Pearson Education, Inc., Upper Saddle River, NJ 07458. All rights reserved.


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Family Life (1981)

  • Acculturation and change in family structure

  • Conjugal nuclear family structure

  • Neolocal pattern of residence

  • Outgroup marriage is increasing and is approximately 50% among the Yonsei

  • Rising divorce rate

  • Crime, delinquency, and reported mental illness

    • Japanese have lower incidence than other minorities and Whites

Copyright © 2010 Pearson Education, Inc., Upper Saddle River, NJ 07458. All rights reserved.


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Remnants of Prejudice (1981)and Discrimination

  • Fu Manchu image is gone, but replacement is not better

  • Entertainment media, if present

    • Karate experts or technical specialists

    • Chinese Americans are ignored or misrepresented in history books

  • Chinese and Japanese Americans believe racism has decreased but subtle reminders remain

Copyright © 2010 Pearson Education, Inc., Upper Saddle River, NJ 07458. All rights reserved.


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  • Young Asian Americans are trying to fight racist and exclusionary practices

  • Intermarriage, not typical, legal and more common

    • More than 1/4th of Chinese Americans marry someone who is not Chinese

    • Increase indicates Whites are increasingly accepting Chinese Americans

    • Also suggests Chinese and Japanese ties to native cultures are weakening

  • Chinese and Japanese Americans more acceptable and less alien to Whites

Copyright © 2010 Pearson Education, Inc., Upper Saddle River, NJ 07458. All rights reserved.


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  • Japanese American community struggles to maintain its cultural identity while paying homage to those interned during WWII

  • Some are seeking to justify internment

    • Critics feel that teaching of internment too biased and arguments for internment being correct action should be included

  • Some Japanese Americans, especially Sansei are politically active

    • Emerged as activists for environment

    • Attack apparent rise in hate crimes in US against Asian Americans

Copyright © 2010 Pearson Education, Inc., Upper Saddle River, NJ 07458. All rights reserved.


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  • Lobbied for passage of Civil Rights Restoration Act cultural identity while paying homage to those interned during WWII

    • Extending reparations to evacuees

  • Japanese Americans show little evidence of wanting to maintain distinct way of life

  • Values that have endured are

    • Attitudes, beliefs, and goals shared by and rewarded by White middle-class

  • Any Asian American is culturally part of a society that is dominated by a group that excludes others because of racial distinctions

Copyright © 2010 Pearson Education, Inc., Upper Saddle River, NJ 07458. All rights reserved.


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QUESTIONS cultural identity while paying homage to those interned during WWII

Copyright © 2010 Pearson Education, Inc., Upper Saddle River, NJ 07458. All rights reserved.


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Copyright © 2010 Pearson Education, Inc., Upper Saddle River, NJ 07458. All rights reserved.


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Copyright © 2010 Pearson Education, Inc., Upper Saddle River, NJ 07458. All rights reserved.


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Copyright © 2010 Pearson Education, Inc., Upper Saddle River, NJ 07458. All rights reserved.


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Copyright © 2010 Pearson Education, Inc., Upper Saddle River, NJ 07458. All rights reserved.


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Copyright © 2010 Pearson Education, Inc., Upper Saddle River, NJ 07458. All rights reserved.


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Copyright © 2010 Pearson Education, Inc., Upper Saddle River, NJ 07458. All rights reserved.


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Copyright © 2010 Pearson Education, Inc., Upper Saddle River, NJ 07458. All rights reserved.


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What stereotypical images of Chinese Americans and Japanese Americans can you identify in the contemporary media?

Copyright © 2010 Pearson Education, Inc., Upper Saddle River, NJ 07458. All rights reserved.


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Considering the past as well as the present, are the moves made to restrict or exclude Chinese and Japanese Americans based on economic or racist moves?

Copyright © 2010 Pearson Education, Inc., Upper Saddle River, NJ 07458. All rights reserved.