Easterly Winds of Change: The Education of Working-class Asian Immigrant Students

Nonilon Santos Hourahan, Fordham University


This study investigates the educational problems and the “educational neglect” encountered and endured by working-class Asian immigrant students. “Educational neglect,” in this study, means the process of not addressing and solving the educational problems of these students. The students who have been studied have problems that are significantly influenced by their social class, home culture, and immigration experience. This study examines the existence, context, and efforts—or lack of efforts—at treating these educational problems in grades K–12 in two public schools. The rationale for selecting an elementary public school was to focus on those students who came to the United States at an early age and to learn the impact of the American experience on the education of children of this age group. The rationale for selecting a secondary public school was to focus on those students who are adolescents and are about to enter the world of work or higher education. To understand more fully the knowing and the doing of the people and the processes studied that are linked to the educational neglect of working-class Asian immigrant students, a review of the related literature was conducted in an historical manner. A section devoted to making clear the meanings of the terms culture and class as used in this study is also included. The research design adopted for this study is a case study with the grounded theory approach to data collection and analysis. Data were collected from interviews, observations, documents, fieldnotes, and the researcher's reflective journal. This study found that educational problems, concerns, and challenges abound for working-class Asian immigrant students and are frequently ignored. Educators are largely unaware of their presence as a result of their uncritical acceptance of two stereotypes frequently associated with Asians: (a) Asians are a model minority and (b) Asian students are “whiz kids.”

Subject Area

Educational sociology|Ethnic studies|Social structure

Recommended Citation

Hourahan, Nonilon Santos, "Easterly Winds of Change: The Education of Working-class Asian Immigrant Students" (2000). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI9975351.