Asian American Pan-Ethnic Formation and Congregational Cultures

Posted on May 12, 2015 by PLT Staff

Paper given by Russell Jeung during the third meeting of the Lived Theology and Race Workgroup in San Francisco, California. Jeung explores the factors that have caused Chinese, Japanese and other Asian congregations to mix together and form pan-ethnic Asian American congregations.

Excerpt: “Because the racial experiences of Asian Americans vary by ethnicity, generation, class and gender, Asian American pan-ethnic identity tends to be more symbolic in nature than grounded in a particular common cultural or linguistic background. Similar to the notion of symbolic ethnicity, a symbolic racial identity deals more with the expressive feeling of connection to a group than actual ethnic cultural commonalties. Yet this subjective connection to pan-ethnic group symbols might be very salient and meaningful so that one’s identity does affect both individual and group behavior and patterns.”

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