186795 Negotiating with agency: Towards an intersectional understanding of violence and resilience in young Southeast Asian men

Monday, October 27, 2008

Vincent E. Chong , UC Berkeley-UCSF Joint Medical Program, Berkeley, CA
Monica Ulhee Hahn, MPH , UC Berkeley-UCSF Joint Medical Program, Berkeley, CA
David Pheng , Youth Program, Asian Health Services, Oakland, CA
Clifford Yee, MSW , Youth Program, Asian Health Services, Oakland, CA
Research regarding Southeast Asian youth violence and delinquency often employs segmented assimilation theory within a risk and protective factors framework, portraying such behavior as a problem of maladaptation. However, violence also holds meaning for the youth who experience it. Cultural and gender theorists posit that violence is a tool young people use to construct their gender and racial identities. As adolescence is a key period of identity formation, understanding youth's constructions of their gender and racial identities may inform appropriate violence prevention strategies. We conducted focus groups and semi-structured individual interviews with a diverse group of young Southeast Asian men ages 13-17 (n=21) recruited from a community clinic for Asian youth. Interviews elicited the role violence plays in their understanding of what it means for them to be both Southeast Asian and young men. Data were analyzed using an extended case method approach. Our findings document that violence is ubiquitous in the lives of these young men. Furthermore, resilience and identity formation should be understood as complex processes through which relations of power are mediated and navigated, as opposed to static traits that youth possess. Thus, our findings suggest that violence prevention frameworks and theories of assimilation expand their scope to include different pathways within the complex life course of young people.

Learning Objectives:
1. Understand and apply a constructionist framework in explaining violence, delinquency, and resilience in young Southeast Asian men. 2. Identify different pathways of assimilation that are mediated by gender and youth cultures.

Keywords: Violence Prevention, Criminal Justice

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: Prior to starting medical school, I served as a health educator and counselor at the Asian Health Services Youth Program. Also, my course of study in school has been interdisciplinary, focusing on sociological, psychological, and ecological approaches to violence and delinquency. During this time, I have also served as a graduate fellow at the Center on Culture, Immigration, and Youth Violence Prevention.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.