Members of racially marginalized communities resist oppression through collective acts of protest and solidarity. Though these acts have been well documented throughout history, there is limited work in psychology examining Asian American own-group activism and solidarity with other Communities of Color. I advance a model of collective action that integrates a politicized identity framework (Simon & Klandermans, 2001) with extant models of identity and collective action (SIMCA, EMSICA; Thomas et al., 2012; van Zomeren et al., 2008). Further, this model explicitly acknowledges, and builds on, the rich history of Asian American solidarity and engagement in coalitions with other Communities of Color. I apply this model to Asian American participation in own-group and African American collective action across two studies. In Study 1, I used structural equation modeling with a cross-sectional and correlational study design as an initial test of the model. The results of Study 1 support the theorized model. Non-politicized Asian American identity was related to both politicized Asian American identity and politicized Person of Color identity; politicized Asian American identity was related to past engagement in Asian American-oriented collective action; and politicized Person of Color identity was related to past engagement in both Asian American-oriented collective action and African American-oriented collective action. In Study 2, I used an experimental study design to examine the causal relation from politicized identity to collective action. The results of Study 2 showed mixed support for the findings from Study 1. Politicized Person of Color identity was predictive of both Asian American-oriented collective action intentions and African American-oriented collective action intentions, but was not predictive of a behavioral measure of African American-oriented collective action. Further, politicized Asian American identity did not predict Asian American-oriented collective action intentions. As a whole, these studies highlight the role of politicized identities in supporting Asian American engagement in collective action and the importance of considering specific identity domains. This research reframes Asian Americans as agentic individuals and communities that can have an active role in effecting social and political change.
University of Minnesota Ph.D. dissertation. July 2020. Major: Psychology. Advisor: Richard Lee. 1 computer file (PDF); ix 80 pages.
People of Color are people of action: Asian American participation in own-group and African American-oriented collective action.
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