Asian Americans in California aren’t so confident that hard work and determination alone guarantee success for most people.
The Public Religion Research Institute and AAPI Data released a joint survey this week, examining the working lives of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPI) in California, the state with the racial group’s largest population.
The study revealed that a majority of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders disagree with the narrative of “pulling yourself up by the bootstraps,” or that hard work alone is sufficient to achieve success.
Roughly a quarter of AAPI in California are working and struggling with poverty, with certain communities experiencing particularly high rates.
“The findings really challenge the traditional narrative, including in AAPI communities, that to understand economic inequality among AAPIs, we only need to focus on group differences between Southeast Asians, Native Hawaiians, Pacific Islanders and other AAPI groups,” Wong said.