Last year, Pew Research did a landmark study titled The Rise of Asian Americans. In February, Pew released a new report on Second-Generation Americans – A Portrait of the Adult Children of Immigrants – with a focus on Hispanics and Asian Americans. I was most interested in learning what their findings were on political and social issues:
Among Asian Americans, there are no differences in political ideology by generation, but the second generation is more inclined than the first generation to prefer a smaller government with fewer services over a larger, more activist government. Some of that difference may be explained by the younger average age of second-generation Asian Americans relative to Asian immigrants. … Generational differences are pronounced on attitudes about social issues. Second-generation Hispanics and Asian Americans are more liberal than the first generation on attitudes about homosexuality and abortion. Compared with the general public, second-generation Asian Americans are more liberal on both issues.”
The political party affiliation part is not something I was too surprised about, since that has been reported fairly widely before, as well Asian Americans overwhelmingly supporting President Obama’s re-election last Fall.
What I was surprised a little bit was the acceptance of homosexuality and choice amongst of 2nd generation Asian Americans versus the 1st generation, as well as relative to the overall U.S. population.
In general, as the study had said, the 2nd generation tends to be more liberal. This could be of course just due to age – since I believe that as one ages, there is the generally accepted belief that one becomes more conservative? Then again, my theory would be that since the majority of Asian Americans reside on the West Coast (and the rest in the liberal Northeast), and the West Coast tends to be more socially liberal, that if you’ve grown up as a child on the West Coast, you’re more likely to remain more liberal.