Congratulations to Assistant Professor Sameena Azhar, Ph.D., who was recently awarded the 2021 Distinguished Feminist Scholarship and Praxis in Social Work Award from Affilia: Feminist Inquiry in Social Work! Professor Azhar earned the award for her article “‘You’re So Exotic Looking:’ An Intersectional Analysis of Asian and Pacific Islander Stereotypes.”
The article, which was also featured in The Washington Post, “applies critical race theory’s concept of intersectionality to analyze the experiences of discrimination among Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (APIs) in the United States, across race, gender, and sexuality.”
Azhar and her colleagues collected tweets from Oct. 2016 through Dec. 2017 using the hashtag #thisis2016. The data (over 3,000 tweets) was then coded by four members of the research team — all of whom identified as Asian American female social workers.
The results of Azhar’s article are written as follows:
“We identified six recurring themes regarding the intersecting positionalities of gender and sexuality for APIs: (1) API women are perceived to be exotic and are overtly sexualized, (2) API women are expected to be passive, (3) API men are perceived to be weak and asexual, (4) Both API men and women are the objects of racialized violence and sexual harassment, (5) Queer APIs have unique experiences of sexualized harassment and violence, and (6) APIs are the subjects of neocolonialist attitudes. In the passages below, we will explore these themes in greater detail, providing the tweets exactly as they appeared on social media, maintaining any spelling or grammatical errors or instances of racial or sexual slurs.”