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Greer Mellon

Research Findings

White Parents Discriminate Against Schools with More Asian Students

December 7, 2023

The COVID-19 pandemic increased public attention to anti-Asian discrimination and bias in the United States. Even though media coverage of the subject has grown recently, Asian Americans have been civically and socially ostracized by white Americans throughout U.S. history. Existing research has shown that Asian Americans today face discrimination in the workplace and in a range of contemporary social settings.

In a recent study published in Sociology of Education, we find pervasive anti-Asian sentiments among white parents with different backgrounds. This bias is strong among parents with higher and lower levels of education, and among both liberal and conservative parents. The results of our study span the COVID-19 pandemic, and we found similar levels of anti-Asian biases in our experiment both before and after the pandemic began. These results demonstrate that anti-Asian bias in educational settings is not only a recent phenomenon and pre-dates the uptick in anti-Asian sentiment that coincided with the COVID-19 pandemic.

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