Research projects that by 2020, one in five Asians in the United States will be multiracial; and by 2050, the ratio is expected to be one in three. While this is a clear illustration of how people of diverse cultures are rapidly integrating into the mainstream, the impact that this will have on Asian-American identity is not so obvious.
A San Francisco Chronicle article reports that for many Asian Americans, ensuring that they are able to negotiate their American identity and their Asian one is an ongoing exercise that is not without challenges. For many Asians of older generations, fears of cultural erasure are at the forefront of their consciousness. They often find relating to their grandchildren—who may be as little as one-fourth Asian—to be difficult.
Some multiracial Asian Americans are working to find their place in American society by celebrating their own personal diversity. People like rising folk pop-star Meiko, a woman who is one-quarter Japanese, embarked on a personal journey of cultural reconciliation by merging her Asian heritage (she changed her name to a Japanese one) with her American one as she was raised in rural Georgia. She is one of many who have found ways to creatively fuse multiple cultural identities.
This article was featured in the February 16, 2011 issue of Diversity Best Practices’ email newsletter, Diversity in the News. To read additional stories from that issue, see the related content section below. To subscribe to Diversity in the News, register on the newsletter page of this website.