Aman Tiku (grade 12) has been exploring Asian American Politics as part of his AP research project. He shared with us how he refined his topic and how he now seeks to develop his research further.
My academic interests have always been in the social sciences and humanities. Although I am particularly passionate about history, I saw an opportunity in AP Research to extend my interests into a different field. As a public speaker, leader and American citizen, following compelling political developments has become an increasingly pronounced part of my daily routine. I thus decided upon my topic of inquiry: American politics.
But American politics, as one might imagine, is incredibly broad. My research had to relate in some way to the greater ASIJ community for others to see some value in my work. I knew I would have to answer this “so what” question. I began by searching for different methods of political research, whether political science or ethnic studies or immigration politics, trying to connect my desire to explore a political theme to the characteristics and traits of our community.
One thinking strategy I tried was using my family background. My parents and I are Asian American, like many other students and families at an international school situated in a developed Asian nation with strong ties to the United States, such as Japan. It occurred to me then that investigating Asian American political trends and affiliations could yield research discoveries directly related to ASIJ’s demographic.
Past research into Asian American political studies indicate low rates of both political identification (between Democrats and Republicans) and partisan mobilization (voting for said parties) among Asian Americans; this is in spite of Asian Americans being the fastest growing ethnic group in the United States during the 21st century (although Latino growth is not far behind). I am currently considering specifying my research question after having read literature on this established phenomenon by exploring, for example, the issues Asian Americans find most compelling or how political participation among Asian Americans can be further encouraged.
Because political science inquiries such as this often blend quantitative and qualitative research, I am working to design a research inquiry that will incorporate both forms of evidence. A possible method for this might be conducting a survey within the ASIJ community to gather numerical data and interviews to determine complex individual opinions or personal political values. I am incredibly excited to develop my own research skills and expand my knowledge base in American politics and social sciences disciplines. I ultimately hope to articulate some deeper meaning posed by my findings involving us as members of the ASIJ community. (Aman Tiku, Grade 12)