Generally, my scholarship reflects the foundations of critical cultural psychology, critical race theory, and feminist psychology. These approaches examine psychological constructs, theories, and understandings through the lens of sociohistorical systems of power. My scholarship incorporates understandings of the processes of racialization, gendering, and social cultural development that characterize the social science understandings of race and culture within Asian American Studies. These "traditions" are concerned with critically evaluating the ways in which science/research and education can contribute to resistance to or maintenance of oppressive social structures. They all lean toward a postmodern or constructivistic understanding and, therefore, value theory development, critical analysis, qualitative methods, and the highly contextualized lived experience. My scholarship reflects these emphases on moving beyond academic understandings of race, gender, and other statuses to actively challenge the explicit or implicit acceptance of oppression. Simultaneously, my research is firmly rooted within clinical psychology, with its emphasis on promoting positive mental health.
In my scholarship, I aim to build bridges in terms of both content and process. Given my background and the nature of my joint appointment, my scholarship aims to build bridges between disciplines (e.g. psychology and Asian American Studies), between areas of psychology (e.g. multicultural and feminist psychology), and between academic research and lived experience. My scholarship focuses particularly in these three areas:
Scholarship that explores ways of taking action to resist oppression and protect against the detrimental effects of oppression on mental health. This includes resisting one's own oppression as well as contributing to resisting the oppression of others in spaces or statuses where one is personally privileged. I am interested in how people develop understandings of themselves and others that lead them to take action to resist oppression. In addition to emphasizing these connections between identity and resisting oppression, my team's recent scholarship has been focusing on developing a measure of resisting racism. Other articles, chapters, and presentations in my scholarship have focused on processes of education, interpersonal interactions, and self-reflection that contribute to mpowerment and investment in social justice.
Scholarship that examines the ways in which social forces shape individuals' identities, meanings, and experiences and how individuals create these social identities, meanings, and experiences. I am particularly interested in meanings of identity and group categorizations that reify or resist oppressive systems. My scholarship reflects an ongoing process of recognizing the complex processes of co-construction of identities, and the interactive nature of different types of social identities. My work emphasizes a developing understanding of racial and ethnic identities as reciprocally socially co-constructed, embedded within multiple social systems of privilege and oppression, interacting with multiple other identities, and differentiated from each other (e.g. differentiated racial and ethnic identities). My scholarship also reflects my interest in exploring the relation of identities to the construction of boundaries related to privilege. These boundaries exist between privileged and marginalized groups (e.g. White and Asian American groups) and within marginalized groups (e.g. boundaries of the meaning of "Asian American" that may isolate multiracial, adopted, or new immigrant/refugee people). How these boundaries are continually created and recreated, maintained, and challenged relates to identity formation and to social justice.
Scholarship that makes connections between education/teaching, practice/therapy, community engagement, and social justice. It is important to me that my scholarship not only helps us understand issues better, but also contributes to better service, education, and coaction with traditionally marginalized individuals. Some of my scholarship uses my understandings of race, ethnicity, identity, and socially-co-constructed meanings to explore the ways that social meanings affect community organizations and opportunities for marginalized individuals. Other publications aim at having a more direct influence on psychotherapy and education, integrating my pedagogical approaches with scholarship on identity, psychological change, and psychological service provision.
My publications, presentations, and ongoing projects generally fall within at least one of these three areas.