Asian-Americans feel close to black Americans/white Americans

After spending a few years working full-time as a journalist, I decided to torture myself and try and earn a PhD in Political Science at Rutgers University.

Although I am distinctly qualitative (which means I focus mostly on narrative and other skills similar to what I did as a reporter), I also took statistics courses. I am not a fan of quantitative but I’ll admit that there are advantages in knowing how to operate and use data, from demographics to income.

After two semesters of stats, I am somewhat more familiar with SPSS, which is a stats program that some social scientists use. The tables below were produced by me but were initially created by running designs in SPSS. If all this sounds confusing, it can be. None of this is accessible to everyday people and my hope is to explain enough so that you, as the reader, can gain some knowledge about all this.

So, consider this my first attempt at translating what can be hardcore complex concepts into ordinary language.

I utilized the most-known data set centered on Asian-Americans’ views and opinions about politics and society. Typically, most surveys in social science, especially political science, over-sample white Americans, which skew results in my opinion about how America really feels about issues like race and the economy. This data set, which you can click here to learn more about, was done in 2008 and extremely focused on Asian-Americans. Hence, why you will see most of those interviewed as Asian-Americans.

I was interested in running tests to see how Asian-Americans feel toward Black and white Americans.

The tables below are what social scientists call “cross-tabulations.” The first table asks respondents how much they share in common with white Americans. As you can tell, it is reasonably divided for Asian-Americans, although a majority did answer that they had “some” commonalities with white Americans.

  Black/ Af-Am Asian/Asian-Am Hispanic/Latino    
A lot in common 3 146 1    
Some 3 516 1    
Little 0 299 0    
Nothing in common 2 183 0    
Don’t Know 1 184 0    
Refused 0 19 1  

This second table is asking respondents if they share anything in common with black Americans. Similarly, Asian-Americans do answer that they there “some” commonalities to “little.”

This is just one test. I plan to work with more data sets in the future. For now, what this shows us is that Asian-Americans aren’t monolithic in how they feel toward either black or white, and often, tow the middle. Something I will try and do is be more specific as to which type of Asian/Asian-Americans feel more closely with either white or black.

Black/Af-Am Asian/Asian-Am Hispanic/Latino
A lot in common 4 95 1
Some 1 373 0
Little 2 355 0
Nothing in common 1 274 1
Don’t Know 1 230 1
Refused 0 20 0
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