Multicultural Aspects of Disabilities

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There are over twenty subgroups of Asian Americans. In this regard, it’s important not to over generalize as to one monolithic ‘Asian Pacific’ culture, as therapy patients will have a variety of historical backgrounds and cultural paradigms. (Bryan 2007)While Asian Pacific minorities were a part of the American landscape as far back as the 1760s, Chinese who immigrated in the 1840s for the gold rush are generally regarded as the first appearance of the ethnic group. In great part they were accepted for the cheap labor they supplied. (Bryan 2007) As the economic boom dried up the attitude towards this ethnic group shifted to become increasingly resentful of the competition they presented to Euro-Americans for employment. subsequently, a number of discriminatory laws were passed. Because of the increasing levels of discrimination the Chinese ethnic groups banned together and formed what are now called ‘chinatowns’. Today nearly 70 percent of the population is first generation immigrants. (Bryan 2007) Other significant immigrations were the Japanese who began in the late nineteenth century. One of the most significant discriminatory practices they faced was with the World War II internment camps. This is a relevant occurrence for contemporary therapy as shades of this incident continue to affect Japanese conceptions of mainstream American society.In great part, Asian Pacific Americans have been portrayed as the ‘successful’ ethnic minority. This ethnic minority has demonstrated great adjustment to Western culture and has in great part exceeded the median national income. They also demonstrate low levels of juvenile delinquency and psychiatric disorders. However, a number of researchers argue that positioning Asian Pacific Americans as the ‘model’ minority is a misconception.