Date of Award

Fall 2004

Project Type


Program or Major


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

First Advisor

Susan Franzosa


This is a socio-cultural study examining contemporary Asian American college student experiences at a private liberal arts residential college in the rural Northeast United States. This project utilizes a grounded theory approach designed to collect both qualitative and quantitative data. The findings include a narrative interpretation that considers emotional experiences and social behaviors as sub-consciously held internalized identity beliefs.

This project details psychological and social dimensions of shared Asian American experiences with insights into individual interpretive perspective frameworks shaped by community cultures. This study describes a distinctive Asian American identity that conjoins ethnicity with racial self-identity. Variables in ethnic identity, linguistic capability, immigration background, and racial identity are specifically investigated for impact on Asian American identity formation. Intra-group differences between Asian Americans are described through socio-cultural linguistic schisms, academic disconnects, and ethno-racial conflicts present during family and college existences. Implications in Asian American identity formation and multicultural approaches affecting curriculum and student life issues are suggested by these findings.