Background cartoon of multiple Asian Americans.

Novak Coauthors Study on Asian American Racism


Nicole Novak, research fellow in the Crime and Justice Policy Research Program, coauthored a study exploring the strengths and limitations of using early twentieth century census data for understanding Asian Americans and structural racism. Archival secondary data regarding discriminatory restrictions on immigration, citizenship, and land ownership provided researchers the opportunity to quantitatively analyze the dynamics that affect the health of Asian immigrants and Asian Americans. 

California census data spanning 1920-1940 was used for the purposes of the study by comparing census racial categories with Asian surname lists. The results stressed the need for situating measures of race and racism within their specific historical contexts, and can guide decisions when using race in the context of specific research questions, thus promoting historical quantitative study of Asian American experiences.