Fake News in the American Sociological Review Claims that Asian Americans Don’t Really Value Education*


Fake News in the American Sociological Review Claims that Asian Americans Don’t Really Value Education*


Arthur Sakamoto1 and Yoonjeon Kim2

1Department of Sociology, Texas A&M University, 4351 TAMU, College Station, TX 77843-4351
2Graduate School of Education, University of California, Berkeley, 3533 Tolman Hall, Berkeley, CA 94720


International Journal of social research

Lizardo (2017) seeks to improve the sociological analysis of culture by conceptualizing the distinction between “nondeclarative” versus “declarative” aspects of culture. Lizardo uses this contrast to critique the view that Asian values have any effects on Asian American educational attainment. We show that Lizardo’s summary of empirical studies of Asian American educational attainment is misconstrued. He misinterprets statistical findings and inadequately considers the Asian values model. Lizardo claims that Asian values do not have effects because not all Asian Americans share a Confucian heritage. However, the Asian values model is applicable to many familistic cultures including some non-Confucian Asian societies. Furthermore, Lizardo’s emphasis on the “nondeclarative” versus “declarative” aspects of culture is of limited relevance to understanding differences in educational attainment among youth. Lizardo assumes that values must be “declarative,” but basic sociology stipulates that children slowly internalize their values over the course of their socialization that is heavily influenced by parental values especially in the case of Asian Americans. Lizardo’s dismissal of Asian cultural effects on Asian American educational attainment is uninformed and unconvincing.

*This paper is a comment on “Improving Cultural Analysis: Considering Personal Culture in its Declarative and Nondeclarative Forms” by Omar Lizardo, American Sociological Review, February 2017, Vol. 82(1), pp.88-115. All opinions stated herein are the sole responsibility of the authors. Direct correspondence to Arthur Sakamoto.


Keywords: Asian Americans, educational attainment, culture

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How to cite this article:
Arthur Sakamoto and Yoonjeon Kim.Fake News in the American Sociological Review Claims that Asian Americans Don’t Really Value Education. International Journal of Social Research, 2018; 2:15. DOI:10.28933/ijsr-2018-04-3001


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