Racial segregation and the limits of international undergraduate student diversity

Soo Ah Kwon, Xavier Hernandez, Jillian L. Moga

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study challenges the assertion that the influx of Asian international undergraduate students in universities across the United States creates richer educational and social environments. Drawing on qualitative research at a public university with a large number of Asian international students, this article examines how Asian American student leaders and their organization took on the difficult institutional task of actualizing the diversity of these new students in a racially segregated campus. We found that instead of viewing racial segregation practices as possibly tied to racial discrimination and privileges of normative whiteness, students expressed both support and resistance to Asian international students in race-neutral language of comfort and organizational differences that reflects the dominant ideology of colorblindness. We argue that any claims to the benefits of international student diversity must take serious account of colorblind racism and the experiences of racial marginalization and racial segregation among domestic minority and international students.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)59-72
Number of pages14
JournalRace Ethnicity and Education
Issue number1
Early online dateDec 28 2017
StatePublished - Jan 2 2019


  • Asian Americans
  • Asian international students
  • ethnic student organizations
  • racial segregation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Demography
  • Cultural Studies
  • Education


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