HomeChinese AmericanKoreAm: Concerns raised about report on buying power of Asian Americans

KoreAm: Concerns raised about report on buying power of Asian Americans

Money DollarsA Nielsen Report on the growing buying power of Asian Americans was largely celebrated in the community.(photo by emdot)

Some, however, are raising concerns the reports paints an incomplete picture and may be be reinforcing the model minority stereotype, according to a story in KoreAm.

The report found the spending power of Asian Americans outpaces the average American household by 19 percent.

“Nielsen’s findings cannot be used to generalize all of Asian America,” said Grace Yoo, an Asian American Studies professor at San Francisco State. “Asian Americans live in the most expensive regions in the nation.  Living in these expensive areas can totally account for higher than average spending on housing and transportation.”

However Betty Lo of Nielsen counters that other ethnic groups are concentrated in urban areas as well.

Others expressed concerns the report was one dimensional.

Kyeyoung Park is an anthropology and Asian American Studies professor at UCLA.

“Some Asian Americans tend to be insecure. They feel like they lack a full membership or sense of belonging as Americans,” Park said. “So they try to buy it through consuming. Particularly Korean Americans.”

Often left out in the media about the Asian American story is the extreme poverty experienced by many in the community.

The Census Bureau’s American Community Survey found the unemployment rate of Asian Americans between 2007 and 2011 soared 89 percent and the poverty rate climbed 20 percent.

“Unfortunately, the kind of model minority stereotypes the report perpetuates also hurt our community by making those most in need, like recent immigrants and the low-income, invisible to policymakers and service providers,” said Daniel Ichinose of the Los Angeles based Asian Americans Advancing Justice.

You can read more analysis of the Nielsen Report in KoreAm.




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