Vietnamese American - Societal Perception and Portrayal

Societal Perception and Portrayal

As with other ethnic minority groups in United States, Vietnamese Americans have come into conflict with the larger U.S. population, particularly in how they are perceived and portrayed. There have been degrees of hostility directed toward Vietnamese Americans. For example, on the U.S. Gulf Coast, the white fishermen complained of unfair competition from their Vietnamese American counterparts resulting in hostility. In the 1980s, the Ku Klux Klan attempted to intimidate Vietnamese American shrimpers. Vietnamese American fishermen banded together to form the first Vietnamese Fishermen Association of America to represent their interests.

Some studies, show that there is a real world basis to the "valedictorian-delinquent" perception of Vietnamese American youth. Based on field work in a Vietnamese American community, social scientists argue that Vietnamese American communities often have dense, well-organized sets of social ties that provide encouragement to and social control of children. At the same time, these communities are often located in economically disadvantaged neighborhoods at the margins of American society. Vietnamese children who maintain close connections to their own communities are often driven to succeed, while those who are outsiders to their own society often assimilate into some of the most alienated youth cultures of American society and fall into delinquency. Recent studies have indicated that juvenile delinquency among Vietnamese Americans may have increased in the 21st century, as ethnic community ties have weakened.

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Famous quotes containing the words portrayal, societal and/or perception:

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