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Colonial mentality in Filipino Immigrants

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  1. Introduction.
  2. Methods & ethics.
  3. Theoretical framework.
    1. The arguments of Frantz Facon.
    2. The Colonial Mentality theory.
    3. Claude Steele: Achievement gaps between black and white students.
  4. Data presentation.
  5. Data analysis.
  6. Conclusion.
  7. Works cited.

The Filipinos were among the first Asian groups to enter the U.S. Unlike other groups, they had a unique colonial history, and thereby their acculturating experiences were not the first encounter with discrimination they faced. Though they were considered nationals, they weren't citizens and therefore were subject to prejudice and heinous Catholicism being the dominant religion of practice. Today the Filipinos are the largest Asian American immigrant group to the U.S. (Chan, 116) In light of this, the following research explores whether or not the Filipinos' unique colonial history affects their acculturation experiences in the U.S.; whether these are negative or positive; and finally whether the experiences differ among generational cohorts.

[...] In general do you think that had your parents instilled cultural and ethnic pride in your early socialization that you would feel a stronger tie to your Filipino heritage? The first question seemed to be a good discussion opener because all of my informants gave immediate and eager responses. Whereas, myself had never even considered the notion that some Filipinos may identify themselves as white until watching My America, all of my informants had many experiences that communicated the same message to share with me. [...]

[...] David and Sumie Okazaki who collaborated on a project called Colonial Mental Scale for Filipino Americans. They investigated the incidence and psychological implications of what they call ?internalized colonial mentality? using surveys (David and Okazaki, 2). Though much focus is centered on mental health implications, this is not what I avail my research to. Instead, I draw data from their Colonial Mentality Theory as well as personal, individual stories, both of which center more on culture than psychology. The Colonial Mentality Theory both reinstates and supplements the Facon Theory. [...]

[...] Annie said she saw her Filipino side as making her exotic. Likewise, Alessandra said she felt she could embrace being Filipino because she looked Palestinian. Another theme was that the degree to which the informants said they held the Colonial Mentality was, in fact very marginal (feelings of stereotype threat was far more dominant). Instead, it appeared that generally it was, in fact, their parents who held this mentality very strongly. As I discovered, most parents socialized their children to be American. [...]

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