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Natalie Masuoka, UCLA
"Racial Formation and Pandemic: Examining the Shifts in Asian American Racial Identity During the COVID-19 Outbreak"
Abstract: As the COVID-19 virus began to spread in the United States severely impacting the health, safety and economy of Americans, many looked to place blame on the cause. The Trump administration’s attacks on China along with the insistence in using terms such as “Wuhan virus” encouraged Americans to blame Asian Americans for the hardships that they faced. As a result, groups have documented thousands of hate crime reporting by Asian Americans and some survey evidence shows that anti-Asian attitudes rose over 2020. What kind of impact might this have on the politics of Asian Americans? In previous work, Masuoka and Junn (2008) argued that Asian American racial group consciousness is latent and must be activated in certain contexts. In this study, we track to what extent Asian American racial identity was activated by events that occurred during the COVID-19 pandemic. We offer preliminary analysis of a panel study conducted on a sample of approximately 1000 Asian Americans before and after the pandemic. We examine changing attitudes about discrimination and to what extent this has an impact on Asian American political attitudes.
The American Politics Speaker Series (APSS) invites speakers from outside Harvard to present research in American politics. Sponsored by the Center for American Political Studies, the Harvard Department of Government, and Harvard Kennedy School, the series is co-organized by Justin de Benedictis-Kessner, Jon Rogowski, and Ben Schneer.