Because of the generally high socioeconomic attainments and high intermarriage rates of Asian Americans, it has been suggested that Asian Americans are reaching parity with whites and are assimilating to mainstream American society. However, other research shows the continued significance of race for Asian Americans regardless of their socioeconomic status and levels of acculturation. This article provides a review of recent research on socioeconomic attainment and intermarriage among Asian Americans as well as an overview of research on less studied but increasingly important indicators: residential outcomes, political participation, and mental health. We argue that Asian Americans are assimilating but in ways that differ from their European predecessors. In this process, racial/ethnic boundaries between Asians and whites may be solidified rather than dissolved, thus maintaining the significance of race for Asian Americans. We suggest that a racialized assimilation framework may best characterize the experiences of contemporary Asian Americans.


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  • Article Type: Review Article
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