Tanika Raychaudhuri builds theory of Asian American political socialization

Written by
Sarah Malone, Program in American Studies
Oct. 15, 2018

Tanika Raychaudhuri, Ph.D. candidate in Princeton’s Department of Politics, has published a solo-authored article, “The Social Roots of Asian American Partisan Attitudes,” based on fieldwork funded through the Program in American Studies.

The article appears in Politics, Groups, and Identities, the journal of the Western Political Science Association, in a special issue exploring Asian Pacific American politics.

Raychaudhuri conducted interviews in Houston, Texas in July 2017 with funding from an Eric Pai Asian American Studies Student Grant. She followed a detailed interview protocol that she makes available as an online supplement (PDF) to the article. Responses were transcribed and categorized by major topics and themes, and compared with long-term sociological survey data to test broader applicability in developing theories about the voting patterns of Houston-area Asian Americans.

Raychaudhuri’s theory-building case study is part of her dissertation exploring how social experiences shape Asian Americans’ political behavior and attitudes about American political parties.

“The Asian American Studies Student Grant helped me to conduct important field research,” Rachaudhari said. “Listening to interviewees discuss their personal experiences helped to shape my understanding of how Asian Americans develop political views. My interviews suggest that Asian Americans develop Democratic preferences through the diffusion of partisan attitudes within peer networks, which differ in composition by generational status. While the first-generation discusses partisan politics within immigrant communities, their children grow up without much political conversation at home, making them open to the political influence of their friends.”

“The Social Roots of Asian American Partisan Attitudes” appears in Asian Pacific American Politics — Celebrating the Scholarly Legacy of Don T. Nakanishi, a special issue of Politics, Groups, and Identities, volume 6, issue 3, pages 389-410.