"Where are you really from?": Asian Americans and identity denial

J Pers Soc Psychol. 2005 Nov;89(5):717-30. doi: 10.1037/0022-3514.89.5.717.


Five studies investigate identity denial, the situation in which an individual is not recognized as a member of an important in-group. Asian Americans are seen as less American than other Americans (Study 1) and realize this is the case, although they do not report being any less American than White Americans (Studies 2A and 2B). Identity denial is a common occurrence in Asian Americans' daily lives (Study 3). They react to instances of identity denial by presenting American cultural knowledge and claiming greater participation in American practices (Studies 4 & 5). Identity denial furthers the understanding of group dynamics by capturing the experience of less prototypical group members who desire to have their common in-group identity recognized by fellow group members.

Publication types

  • Controlled Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Anxiety / psychology
  • Asian / psychology*
  • California
  • Emotions
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Interpersonal Relations
  • Male
  • Reaction Time
  • Rejection, Psychology
  • Social Identification*
  • Social Perception
  • Stereotyping*