Asian americans in the public service: Success, diversity, and discrimination

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Although high levels of schooling and occupational achievement suggest that Asian Americans have succeeded in American society (Taylor and Kim, 1980, p. 2), their image as a “model minority” conceals both their diversity and the discrimination they continue to face. In this article we investigate that diversity and discrimination and analyze the status of Asian Americans in the public sector, particularly the federal civil service. We begin with a general profile of Asian Americans in the United States, then narrow the focus to federal employees. We examine trends in employment and compensation of Asian Americans relative to nonminorities and question whether Asians face a “glass ceiling” that keeps them out of the top levels of the federal bureaucracy, perhaps by channeling them into professional occupations and away from supervisory authority.




Kim, P. S., & Lewis, G. B. (2018). Asian americans in the public service: Success, diversity, and discrimination. In Diversity and Affirmative Action in Public Service (pp. 179–192). Taylor and Francis.

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