Thinking While Asian

APA Newsletter on Asian and Asian American Philosophers and Philosophies (2020)
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Abstract

Students with recent immigrant roots disproportionately choose educational trajectories in STEM. In addition to the perception that STEM represents the "path of least racism," many students assume the responsibility of contributing to their families' financial wellbeing. In this talk, I share my experience teaching at a pre-professional healthcare university with a large percentage of 1st and 2nd-generation Asian immigrant students. Many of them seek advice on how to negotiate the social and familial pressure to pursue STEM against their interests in the humanities. The reply "Follow your heart" might be inappropriate when familial obligations and perceived bigotry are legitimate deterrents. By recognizing the grand tradition of one immigrant generation trying to improve the lot for the next, we strive not merely for financial freedom but freedom in general. As such, we ought to consider how we can spend our lives to best dismantle the barriers that limit our life choices.

Author's Profile

Dien Ho
Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences

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