AHS-O1-2. Climbing the Social Ladder: Asian American Education and Social Mobility Across the United States
Faculty Mentor: John P. Tuman, Ph.D.1
1College of Liberal Arts, Department of Political Science
As the fastest-growing ethnic group in southern Nevada, Asian Americans comprise 8.6% of Nevada’s population and 10.28% of Clark County’s population (U.S. Census Bureau, 2010). Despite the rapid growth of the Asian American community in southern Nevada, Asian Americans are constantly facing obstacles that inhibit them from moving up the socioeconomic ladder mainly due to the lack of opportunity, policies, and resources. This research paper examines whether education influences socioeconomic advancement of Asian Americans, and whether the relationship between the two variables is conditioned by other factors, including social capital. A secondary goal is to examine whether the relationship between education and social mobility varies among different sub-groups of Asian Americans, including South Asians. Lastly, the thesis offers simple, tangible solutions to these problems. The research methodology of the thesis drew on analysis of recent, empirical studies by scholars who have examined and documented the determinants and levels of socioeconomic levels and educational attainment of Asian Americans in the United States. The thesis also provides an empirical analysis that are based on data from the Asian American Survey, which is a representative sample that includes data on educational attainment, social capital, and various ethnic and immigrant groups, including different Asian American sub-groups. The main findings of the research thesis indicated that education provides critical skills for social mobility as it provides individuals more leverage in the labor market in order to earn a higher salary.