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Section: Overview

Ethnicity, Identity, and Culture

Ethnicity and identity are clearly not the same thing, a distinction can sometimes lead to both confusion and conflict for those of fully Asian inheritance who grow up in another country, most commonly second-generation immigrants.

"They do not know if they consider themselves Chinese or American or both or neither," writes Jason Chen, an Asian-American whose videos appear below. "Most seem to feel that their identity lies somewhere in between, in a purgatory type of space, but there are a few who consider themselves to be completely one or the other."

The problem is often aggravated by common assumptions made by others based almost entirely on physical appearance.

For those who are still struggling with the issue, he suggests they keep in mind that "identity is what is in your head and not in your blood," (or, we might add, on your face).

Mr. Chen conducted a number of interesting interviews on the subject while studying abroad in Beijing. The seven young adults appearing in his videos below are all ethnically Chinese but born and raised in different countries and continents.











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Frank Meronk, Jr., M.D.
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Note: Information, observations, and opinions are offered for general reference only and should not be taken as medical advice or diagnosis.

Asian Identity, Ethnicity, and Culture: Confusion and Conflict