Vivian Louie, drawing on interviews with second-generation Chinese Americans attending a public, commuter university and a highly selective private university, discusses the power that race and class play in shaping educational experiences. Louie's work is introduced by Mary Waters, chair of the department of sociology in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences at Harvard University. Panelists will include Suzanne Lee, principal of the Josiah Quincy School in Boston, and Peter Law, senior guidance counselor at Charlestown High School. In the contemporary American imagination, Asian Americans are considered the quintessential immigrant success story, a powerful example of how the culture of immigrant families (rather than race and class) matters in education and upward mobility. Louie finds that Chinese immigrant families see higher education as a necessary safeguard against potential racial discrimination, and class shapes different paths to college. The views and experiences of Chinese Americans with schooling and the identities they are forming have much to do with the opportunities, challenges and contradictions that immigrants and their children confront in the United States.
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