Socialization Experiences and Research Productivity of Asians and Pacific Islanders: "Model Minority" Stereotype and Domestic vs. International Comparison

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Research in the Sociology of Education




Emerald Publishing Limited

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Studies of inequality in higher education on both undergraduate and graduate levels have rarely examined experiences of Asians and Pacific Islanders (APIs). In this study, we focus on the experiences and outcomes of API students in doctoral education. More specifcally, we exame socialization experiences and research productivity of three groups of students: domestic API, international API, and domestic white students. The results, based on a national cohort of PhD students in biology, reveal notable differences in experiences and outcomes of domestic and international API students. Although variation in socialization experiences explains differences in research productivity in the first year, that is not the case in the second year of doctoral study. In the second year, international API students have publication productivity comparable to their white peers, despite less favorable socialization experiences. Domestic API students, however, have lower research productivity than their white peers, even though they have comparable socialization experiences. Given the presumption of APIs' success, especially in the STEM fields, findings for domestic API students are surprising and not aligned with the model minority stereotype. Contributions to research on API students, doctoral education, and socialization theory are discussed.