Review Article of International Journal of Social Research
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
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
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
1. Asakawa, Kiyoshi. 2001. “Family Socialization Practices and their Effects on the Internalization of Educational Values for Asian and White American Adolescents.” Applied Developmental Science 5:184-194.
2. Asakawa, Kiyoshi and Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi. 2000. “Feelings of Connectedness and Internalization of Values in Asian American Adolescents.” Journal of Youth and Adolescence 29:121-145.
3. Caudill, William and George De Vos. 1956. “Achievement, Culture and Personality: The Case of the Japanese Americans.” American Anthropologist 58:1102-1126.
4. Caudill, William and David W. Plath. 1974. “Who Sleeps by Whom? Parent-Child Involvement in Urban Japanese Families.” Pp. 277-312 in Japanese Culture and Behavior: Selected Readings, edited by Takie Sugiyama Lebra and William P. Lebra. Honolulu, HI: University of Hawaii.
5. Chung, Angie Y. 2016. Saving Face: The Emotional Costs of the Asian Immigrant Family Myth. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press.
6. Collins, Randall. 1986. “Is 1980s Sociology in the Doldrums?” American Journal of Sociology 91:1336-1355.
7. Farkas, George. 2008. “Quantitative Studies of Oppositional Culture.” Pp. 312-348 in Minority Status, Oppositional Culture and Schooling edited by John U. Ogbu. New York:Routledge.
8. Farkas, George, Robert P. Grobe, Daniel Sheehan and Yuan Shuan. 1990. “Cultural Resources and School Success: Gender, Ethnicity, and Poverty Groups within an Urban School District.” American Sociological Review 55:127-142.
9. Fryer, Roland G. and Paul Torelli. 2010. “An Empirical Analysis of ‘Acting White’.” Journal of Public Economics 94:380-396.
10. Fuligni, Andrew J., Vivian Tseng and May Lam. 1999. “Attitudes Toward Family Obligations among American Adolescents with Asian, Latin American, and European Backgrounds.” Child Development 70:1030-1044.
11. Goyette, Kimberly A. and Yu Xie. 1999. “Educational Expectations of Asian American Youths: Determinants and Ethnic Differences.” Sociology of Education 72:22–36.
12. Granovetter, Mark. 1985. “Economic Action and Social Structure: The Problem of Embeddedness.” American Journal of Sociology 91:481-510.
13. Guo, Jiesi, Herbert W. Marsh, Alexandre J. Morin, Philip D. Parker and Gurvinder Kaur. 2015. “Directionality of the Associations of High School Expectancy-Value, Aspirations, and Attainment: A Longitudinal Study.” American Educational Research Journal 52:371-402.
14. Harris, Angel L. and Keith Robinson. 2007. “Schooling Behaviors or Prior Skills? A Cautionary Tale of Omitted Variable Bias within Oppositional Culture Theory.” Sociology of Education 80:139-157.
15. Hirschman, Charles and Morrison G. Wong. 1986. “The Extraordinary Educational Attainment of Asian-Americans: A Search for Historical Evidence and Explanations.” Social Forces 65:1-27.
16. Hsin, Amy and Yu Xie. 2014. “Explaining Asian Americans’ Academic Advantage over Whites.” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 111:8416-8421.
17. Jencks, Christopher, James Crouse and Peter Mueser. 1983. “The Wisconsin Model of Status Attainment: A National Replication with Improved Measures of Ability and Aspiration.” Sociology of Education 56:3-19.
18. Jiménez, Tomás R. and Adam Horowitz. 2013. “When White Is Just Alright: How Immigrants Redefine Achievement and Reconfigure the Ethnoracial Hierarchy.” American Sociological Review 78:849-871.
19. Kagitçibasi, Cigdem. 1996. Family and Human Development across Cultures. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.
20. Kao, Grace. 1995. “Asian Americans as Model Minorities? A Look at their Academic Performance.” American Journal of Education 103:121-159.
21. Kao, Grace. 2000. “Group Images and Possible Selves among Adolescents: Linking Stereotypes to Expectations by Race and Ethnicity.” Sociological Forum 3:407-430.
22. Kao, Grace, and Marta Tienda. 1998. “Educational Aspirations of Minority Youth.” American Journal of Education 106:349-384.
23. Kasinitz, Philip, John H. Mollenkopf, Mary C. Waters and Jennifer Holdaway. 2008. Inheriting the City. New York: Russell Sage Foundation.
24. Kitano, Harry H. 1976. Japanese Americans. New York: Prentice Hall.
25. Lee, Jennifer and Min Zhou. 2015. The Asian American Achievement Paradox. New York: Russell Sage Foundation.
26. Lizardo, Omar. 2017. “Improving Cultural Analysis: Considering Personal Culture in its Declarative and Nondeclarative Forms.” American Sociological Review 82:88-115.
27. Liu, Airan and Yu Xie. 2016. “Why Do Asian Americans Academically Outperform Whites?–The Cultural Explanation Revisited.” Social Science Research 58:210-226.
28. Maia, Alexandre G., Arthur Sakamoto and Sharron X. Wang. 2015. “The Socioeconomic Attainments of Japanese-Brazilians and Japanese-Americans.” Sociology of Race and Ethnicity 1:547-563.
29. Mare, Robert D. 1980. “School Background and School Continuation Decisions.” Journal of American Statistical Association 75:295-305.
30. Markus, Hazel R. and Shinobu Kitayama. 1991. “Culture and the Self: Implications for Cognition, Emotion, and Motivation.” Psychological Review 98: 224-253.
31. Martin, Chris C. 2017. “Parental SES and Substance Usage among Undergraduates: Evidence for the Party Pathway.” Unpublished mauscript, Department of Sociology, Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia.
32. Masaoka, Mike. 1941 . “The Japanese-American Creed.” Pp. 220-221 in Encyclopedia of Japanese American History edited by Brian Niiya. New York: Checkmark Books.
33. Persell, Caroline H. 1990. “Becoming a Member of Society Through Socialization.” Pp. 98-107 in Understanding Society: An Introduction to Sociology. 3rd ed. New York: Harper & Row Publishers.
34. Rainwater, Lee. 1970. Behind Ghetto Walls. Chicago: Aldine Publishing.
35. Sakamoto, Arthur, ChangHwan Kim and Isao Takei. 2012. “The Japanese-American Family.” Pp.22-276 in Ethnic Families in America edited by Roosevelt Wright. New York: Prentice Hall.
36. Schneider, Barbara and Yongsook Lee. 1990. “A Model for Academic Success: The School and Home Environment of East Asian Students.” Anthropology & Education Quarterly 21:358-377.
37. Sewell Jr., William H. 1992. “A Theory of Structure: Duality, Agency, and Transformation.” American Journal of Sociology 98:1-29.
38. Stewart, Sunita M., Michael H. Bond, Osvelia Deeds and Siu F. Chung. 1999. “Intergenerational Patterns of Values and Autonomy Expectations in Cultures of Relatedness and Separateness.” Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology 30:575-593.
39. Sun, Yongmin. 1998. “The Academic Success of East-Asian–American Students—An Investment Model.” Social Science Research 27:432-456.
40. Tao, Vivienne Y. and Ying-yi Hong. 2014. “When Academic Achievement is an Obligation: Perspectives from Social-Oriented Achievement Motivation.” Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology 45:110-136.
41. Xie, Yu and Kimberly A. Goyette. 2003. “Social Mobility and Educational Choices of Asian Americans.” Social Science Research 32:467-498.
This work and its PDF file(s) are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.