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This research draws on a broader study that situates Asian American college students within larger sociohistorical and political contexts. I examined Asian American college students’ experiences and what it means to be “Asian American” in and through these experiences. Two types of expectations emerged from the data: students’ internal expectations—the expectations that they have for themselves as well as their college and postcollege experiences, and external expectations from family and society. The various ways that students negotiate internal and external expectations translate into particular understandings of freedom and possibility they carry into college. I also discuss students’ precollege racial awareness since the combined meanings of Asian American racial identity and higher education with which students enter college subsequently influence their college experiences and impacts racial identity formation during their college years.


This article was originally published in Journal of College Student Development, volume 56, issue 6, in 2015.

Peer Reviewed



ACPA – College Student Educators International



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