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Asians in the Ivory Tower

Dilemmas of Racial Inequality in American Higher Education

Robert T. Teranishi James A. Banks

216 pages
Teachers College Press

Highly respected scholar Robert Teranishi draws on his vast research to present this timely and compelling examination of the experience of Asian Americans in higher education. Asians in the Ivory Tower explores why and how Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPIs) are important to our nation’s higher education priorities and places the study of AAPI college participation within a broad set of conditions through which all students must navigate as they pursue higher education. Teranishi captures the intersections of individual agency, social conditions, and organizational structures as synergetic forces that result in a range of postsecondary outcomes for subpopulations within the larger body of AAPIs. Transcending narrow generalizations about this understudied population, this seminal book:

  • Debunks false stereotypes about AAPI students and their educational trajectories.
  • Offers a unique empirical perspective on racial stratification in higher education through case studies that mix quantitative data with narratives of lived stories.
  • Examines the educational experiences and routes to college for AAPIs, and examines broader issues around racial inequality and debates about affirmative action.
  • Captures the nuances and complexity of race, offering theoretical perspectives that can be applied to other populations.
Author Bio

Robert T. Teranishi is associate professor at the Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development, and principal investigator of the National Commission on Asian American and Pacific Islander Research in Education, both at New York University.