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Balancing Two Worlds: Asian American College Students Tell Their Life Stories

by Andrew Garrod, Robert Kilkenny, Russell C. Leong and Vernon Takeshita Cornell University Press
Pub Date:
Pbk 288 pages
AU$49.99 NZ$54.77
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“Those who find themselves living in the Americas, no matter what their ethnic, educational, or economic background, must ultimately 'become their own personalities,' melding their point of view with their points of origin and their places of settlement. For immigrant or refugee families and their children, this 'process of becoming' often means struggling with the contradictions of race, generation, economics, class, work, religion, gender, and sexuality within the family, workplace, or school. . . . Perhaps nowhere is the struggle more raw, poignant, and moving than in the words of the younger generation at the cusp of such becoming. We readers can also find insights within the candid accounts of their personal lives and in the experiences of their family and friends.”—from Balancing Two WorldsBalancing Two Worlds highlights themes surrounding the creation of Asian American identity. This book contains fourteen first-person narratives by Asian American college students, most of whom have graduated during the first five years of the twenty-first century. Their engaging accounts detail the students' very personal struggles with issues of assimilation, gender, religion, sexuality, family conflicts, educational stereotypes, and being labeled the “model minority.” Some of the students relate stories drawn from their childhood and adolescent experiences, while others focus more on their college experiences at Dartmouth. Anyone who wants to learn about the changing concept of race in America and what it's like to be a young American of Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Vietnamese, Burmese, or South Asian descent—from educators and college administrators to students and their families—will find Balancing Two Worlds a compelling read and a valuable resource.

"As wonderfully diverse and complex as life itself, these narratives crafted by Asian American college students and their guides unfold in the reading, and reveal identity and community, like memory and history, to be situated and fragmentary formations."

Andrew Garrod is Professor Emeritus of Education at Dartmouth College. He is coeditor of I Am Where I Come Frome:Native American College Students and Graduates Tell Their Life Stories;Growing Up Muslim: Muslim College Students in America Tell Their Life Stories, First Person, First Peoples: Native American College Graduates Tell Their Life Stories, Balancing Two Worlds: Asian American College Students Tell Their Life Stories, Mi Voz, Mi Vida: Latino College Students Tell Their Life Stories, and Mixed: Multiracial College Students Tell Their Life Stories, all from Cornell.

Robert Kilkenny is Executive Director of the Alliance for Inclusion and Prevention.He is coeditor of I Am Where I Come From;Mixed; Mi Voz, Mi Vida; and Balancing Two Worlds, all from Cornell.