Date of Award

Spring 6-18-2014

Document Type

Undergraduate Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of arts (BA)

Department

Global Honors

First Advisor

Brian Coffey

Second Advisor

Emily Ignacio

Abstract

Filipino-Americans have struggled to create a unique and visible social identity within the United States. Whether it be from their early colonial experiences in America to their more recent status as a ‘minority within a minority’, these groups of individuals are caught in a constantly expanding and increasingly complex identity crisis (Cordova, 1983; Revilla 1997; San Juan 1998). However, due to the effects of globalization and the increased application of technologies such as the internet, new avenues of self-representation have opened up, allowing for the creation of more individualistic and transnational identities that are currently challenging the conventional notions of formation and representation. In this paper, I look at the history and development of Asian American identity, specifically that of Filipino-Americans and the ways in which it is being formed today. This is achieved in several stages. First, I explain the concept of the term ‘Asian American’ and the formation of Filipino-American identity though the lens of panethnicity. Then, I provide a brief history of Filipino-Americans, highlighting aspects of their individual and community development, primarily using the Washington State and Seattle area as a means of illustration. Finally, through preliminary research, I examine the modern state of Asian American and Filipino-American identity formation by interviewing several Filipino-Americans and how contemporary media phenomenon are influencing their creation of transnational identities. This is in hopes to further the scholarly dialogue of modern Asian American and Filipino-American identity formation.