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ASIAN AMERICAN CHARACTER & PERSONALITY TRAITS

o generalization does justice to the infinite variety of character types among Asian Americans. There is simply no way to distinguish us from any other American ethnic group. Really? Please move on to another page.
     Let's start by acknowledging at least that in fact generalizations do exist about traits thought to be prevalent among Asian Americans.
     Some are the goofy kind based entirely on media stereotypes -- passive, nerdy, diligent, sneaky, etc. Others are conclusions formed by us Asian Americans based on years of experience and observation. Who better to evaluate our traits against those of our fellow Americans? Most of us live and work side by side on a daily basis with the broadest possible spectrum of humanity. Unlike Asians across the ocean, our opinions of Whites, Blacks and Hispanics aren't based on those annoying Hollywood stereotypes. And unlike Hollywood scriptwriters, we don't see our fellow Asian Americans through the distortion of vulgar commercial motives.
     So what do we know about ourselves?
     We are more sensitive. We are boorish. We have more integrity. We betray one another. We are more intelligent. We are superficial. We are aggressive. We avoid confrontation. We don't yak as much. We gossip too much. We have more respect for traditional values. We only pay lip service to traditional values. We value education and cultural attainments. We only care about making money.
     Who among us doesn't indulge in generalizations? Some are frivolous, some are based on insights gained from long years of experience and observation. Most remain locked up in the privacy of our own minds.
     How do we Asian Americans stack up in the character and personality departments compared with our fellow Americans? Share those nuggets of wisdom and perceptive powers. What better way to improve ourselves than to start by understanding ourselves?

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WHAT YOU SAY

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(Updated Tuesday, Apr 1, 2008, 04:53:34 PM)

I know what you mean.

I identify myself as CHINESE too....even though I am technically a Chinese-AMERICAN.

It bugs me when American born Asians act like it is a big deal when AMERICANS ask them where they are from.
It is really not that big of a deal:)
Do not get defensive and anwser I am AMERICAN....

That is a joke.

Chinese ASIAN
   Sunday, July 07, 2002 at 22:56:07 (PDT)
What "world re[k]nouned doctors" is Ray referring to? Are they social scientists, MD's or just plain quacks. I smell some bulls*** here.
wonderer
   Sunday, July 07, 2002 at 17:20:25 (PDT)
T.H. Lien,

even if this distinction between "korean" and "american" is used by educated friends of yours, it is still a self-disempowering this to say. here's why...
1. this implies that America is less that of asianamericans than those of non-asian descent.
2. asian customs, cultures, values are less american than those of say caucasians or blacks.

My argument is that we have as much right to establish our asian customs as American, just as europeans had the right to label their customs as americans. We as a group are already seen as outsiders in this country and distinguishing between asians and americans only serves to reinforce this exclusion of our asian american peers.

wonderer
   Sunday, July 07, 2002 at 17:17:20 (PDT)
According to my experience from interracial mingling, Anglo-Saxon or Nordic Europeans have the worst social skills. They just don't know how to mingle or strike up conversations with someone newly acquainted. They could not have fun without getting drunk or talking crass. No wonder the Latin Europeans consider them barbaric.
FOP
   Friday, July 05, 2002 at 11:09:47 (PDT)
RycherX --

that's the best definition of FOB I've ever seen! I admire your dignity. and your last words. I agree!! I just wish it were so easy. In my experience, I have either felt shunned by fobs, or overwhelmed by some really backward fobs. But in general, I am too shy anyway. but I do admire your dignity.
some aa girl
   Friday, July 05, 2002 at 07:15:25 (PDT)
T.H. Lien,

I don't really know if asian who identify themselves as Korea are any less American then their white counterparts.

In NYC, I have a lot of white friends. They commonly refer to other whites as Greek, Italian, Irish, Jew, or etc. It is just a frame of reference to make it easier to commuicate overall background of an individual in a conversation.

As for immigrants doing better in business. That is always the case. Immigrants are just naturally hungry and more motivated to achieve.
AC Dropout
   Friday, July 05, 2002 at 06:50:10 (PDT)
wonderer:
not all Asians in America are Americans. Plenty are students and other non-permanent residents, which is probably to what typical azn female was referring when saying "there do exist AMs that have GREAT social skills and can talk and chat w/ Americans and Asians."

Also I have plenty of Korean-American friends who will refer to themselves as "Korean" and their white/black friends as "American." So, for example, if I'm trying to ask if they know some friend of mine, they'll ask questions like "American girl or Korean girl?" Most of them are quite educated. It's just their perception of the world that being Korean overrides and overshadows being American.

and all y'all out there who think AMs are "innocent and shy" when they don't make eye contact with you are gonna get smacked around if you go into head-to-head competition with them, say in business. Be careful of judging other people by Euroamerican standards of conduct.
T.H. Lien
   Tuesday, July 02, 2002 at 13:51:10 (PDT)

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