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Compelled to Excel


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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix Introduction xiii PART ONE : FAMILY JOURNEYS TO AMERICA 1. Mainstream, Suburban America 1 2. Urban, Ethnic-Enclave America 16 PART TWO : HOW CHILDREN MAKE SENSE OF EDUCATION: A FAMILY MATTER 3. Ethnic Culture, Immigration, and Race in America 37 4. Cultures-in-Transition: Gender and Migration 64 5. "Ending Up" at Hunter 83 6. A Place at Columbia 104 PART THREE : THE SECOND-GENERATION EXPERIENCE 7. Parental Sacrifice and the Obligations of Children 123 8. Second-Generation Identities 146 CONCLUSION Looking toward the Future: A Raceless World or a World Divided by Race? 164 Methodological Notes 191 Notes 200 References 209 Index 225

About the Author

Vivian S. Louie is Assistant Professor at the Harvard Graduate School of Education.


"In this important book, Vivian Louie explores the variable educational experiences among the second and 1.5 generation children of Chinese immigrants ... [T]his study makes an important contribution to studies of the second generation, as well as to the scholarship on higher education. It breaks new ground." - Ethnic and Racial Studies "Compelled to Excel makes an important contribution ot the literature of sociology of education and race relations. It is clearly organized, convincingly argued, and well written. The frequent interview excerpts preserve the articulate, thoughtful, and dynamic voices of the respondents, opening doors to individual lives and voices we rarely hear." - Canadian Journal of Sociology Online "[T]his is an excellent contribution to studies of Asian Americans and the sociology of education. Louie is a persuasive interviewer and will become an important scholar in these areas. This book would also be an excellent addition to any syllabus." - American Journal of Education "This book is noteworthy in two respects. First, it presents original empirical materials on issues that are much discussed but have not been subject to detailed qualitative investigation. Second, by doing so, it sheds light on a topic that is both familiar and yet murky to social scientists: the educational achievements of Asian Americans. In short, I see the book as a major contribution to the sociology of education, ethnicity, and Asian Americans; it will be widely consulted by specialists in these areas." - Nazli Kibria, Boston University "This book addresses a timely topic, reviews a considerable body of relevant contemporary literature, and presents a large number of richly detailed, sensitive and poignant interviews with Chinese-American college students and their families." - Steven Gold, Michigan State University

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