Undergraduate Research in Asian American Studies

Below are recent Summer Undergraduate Research Program (SURP) projects completed by students studying Asian American Studies at Pomona College.

Darmiyaan: The Spaces in Between

Anahita Farishta ’23

Darmiyaan is a collection of zines that covers various issues that impact South Asians in the diaspora. These zines in particular cover histories of migration, politics of exclusion, queerness within the diaspora and ways to understand solidarity within and across the diaspora. The hope is that this collection of zines expands into a collaborative project with many voices, spanning many subjects.

A Narrative Approach to Asian American Identity Development in Educational Contexts

Christopher Meng ’23; Advisor: Sharon Goto

Motivated by the rise in discrimination against Asian Americans during the COVID-19 pandemic, this study analyzed 19 self-identifying Asian American emerging adults’ turning point stories, an episode that changed the way that the individual thought about their racial/ethnic identity (REI), in order to explore how experiences and interpersonal relationships related to educational contexts impacted Asian American identity development. Drawing from narrative psychology and qualitative methodology, open coding was applied to a subgroup of transcripts before generalizable categories and codes were created to analyze the data. Preliminary analyses revealed that turning point stories took place across time from pre-school to post-secondary activities, with a concentration of stories within college and high school timings. This study found three major themes within the turning point stories, which took place within educational contexts: 1. Peers, family, and school as identity resources, 2. Discrimination experiences affecting awareness of REI, and 3. Varying impact on an individual’s REI development. In conclusion, identity development inevitably occurs within educational contexts and should be considered more thoughtfully by educational practitioners.