Pub. date: 2008 | Online Pub. Date: April 25, 2008 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412963879 | Print ISBN: 9781412926942 | Online ISBN: 9781412963879| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Chong-suk Han & Kimberly Goyette
Asian Americans are a large and growing segment of the U.S. population, numbering nearly 12 million people, or just over 4% of the population, in 2004. Asian American is a collective term that, although used frequently, is a matter of convenience for the general population. Asian Americans themselves nearly always use a specific ethnic or nationality term for self-designation such as Chinese American or Hmong. Furthermore, Asian American is somewhat confusing in its usage because Japanese Americans and Filipino Americans are considered Asian, whereas people such as Samoan Americans are often classified as Pacific Islander in official U.S. government publications. Large-scale immigration of Asians to the United States did not begin until the middle of the 19th century, although some Filipinos had arrived during the mid-1700s. Opposition to Asian immigrants initially arose among White laborers but evolved into widespread acts of violence against workers as well as federal exclusion acts ...