Center for Studies in Demography and Ecology

Call for Papers: Asian Americans: Diversity and Heterogeneity

Posted: 1/18/2019 (Conference)


Edited by Jennifer Lee, Columbia University and Karthick Ramakrishnan, University of California, Riverside

Asian Americans are the fastest growing and most diverse group in the country; they were 1 percent of the population in 1970, 6.4 percent today, and are projected to be about 10 percent by 2060. Immigration has driven much of this growth. China and India have surpassed Mexico as the leading sources of new immigrants, and by 2055, Asians will become the largest immigrant group. The new face of immigration is Asian, but “Asian” is a catch-all category that masks tremendous diversity, heterogeneity, and inequality. In 1960, 80 percent of the U.S. Asian population was either Chinese or Japanese, but today their share is 20 percent. Immigrants and refugees from South and Southeast Asia have fueled the growth and diversity of the Asian American population. And unlike other ethnoracial groups, most Asians are foreign-born: two-thirds are immigrants, and 90 percent are either immigrants or their children. Moreover, one in seven Asian immigrants is undocumented, and this group is growing at a faster rate than the Mexican and Central American undocumented populations.

Asian Americans are also diverse with respect to socioeconomic outcomes. The Pew Research Center (2018) reports that income inequality among Asian Americans is rising rapidly, with those at the top tenth of the income distribution earning nearly 11 times those at the bottom tenth. Inequality among Asians is also high on indicators such as educational attainment, poverty, welfare receipt, and English language proficiency. The heterogeneity and inequality among Asian Americans, however, is often eclipsed by medians, means, and the model minority trope.
Yet, Asian Americans remain understudied, in part, due to the lack of nationally representative survey data. The 2016 National Asian American Survey (NAAS) rectifies this shortcoming as it is the first national survey to include ten groupsā€”Chinese, Indians, Filipinos, Koreans, Vietnamese, Japanese, Pakistani, Bangladeshi, Hmong, and Cambodians. It is also the first national survey offered in ten Asian languages, along with English and Spanish, and also includes sizeable samples of Whites, Blacks, and Latinos. The 2016 NAAS includes questions about racial and ethnic identity, social attitudes, intergroup relations, political behavior, civic engagement, and policy attitudes. The data are weighted by Asian ethnicity across the following factors: gender, age, state of residence, education, and nativity.

Now that the 2016 NAAS is publicly available at (including the survey questionnaire, the survey codebook and microdata in both STATA or SPSS formats, as well as reports and infographics), we welcome contributions that draw on the NAAS to address research questions about the U.S. Asian population. We are also making available, for the first time, sub-state geographic identifiers on request, based on the proposed research question and design of the study.

Because one of the unique features of NAAS is its inclusion of ten diverse Asian groups, we strongly encourage papers that draw on intragroup comparisons in the analyses. Researchers are also welcome to submit papers that make intergroup comparisons of Asians with other U.S. ethnoracial groups, but if they choose not to disaggregate the Asian category, we ask for a justification for this decision.

We seek papers from many disciplines and perspectives, including (but not limited to) sociology, political science, psychology, economics, education, geography, ethnic studies and urban studies.

Please see the attached pdf for topics covered.

Anticipated Timeline

Prospective contributors should submit a proposal of no more than four pages in length (single or double spaced). The proposal should include an abstract (up to two pages in length) of their study. In addition, contributors must include some preliminary analyses of NAAS (up to two pages in length), including sample sizes, tables, figures, preliminary models, etc. Proposed paper submissions should be uploaded as a single document, received no later than 5 PM EST on 4/2/19 to our application portal:

All submissions must be original work that has not been previously published in part or in full. Only proposals submitted to our application portal,, will be considered. Each paper will receive a $1,000 honorarium when the issue is published.

The journal issue is being edited by Jennifer Lee, Professor of Sociology at Columbia University; and Karthick Ramakrishnan, Professor of Political Science and Public Policy at University of California, Riverside. All questions regarding this issue should be directed to Suzanne Nichols, Director of Publications, at and not to the email addresses of the editors of the issue.

A conference will take place at the Russell Sage Foundation in New York City on Friday, December 6, 2019. The selected contributors will gather for a one-day workshop to present draft papers (due on November 6, 2019, a month prior to the conference) and receive feedback from the other contributors and editors. Travel costs, food, and lodging will be covered by the foundation. Papers will be circulated before the conference. After the conference, the authors will submit their revised drafts on or before 2/6/2020. The papers will then be sent out to three additional scholars for peer review. Authors will receive their review in early May and revised papers will be due in by 6/30/20. The final issue will be published in spring 2021.

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Deadline: 04/02/2019

Location: The Russell Sage Foundation Journal of the Social Sciences