ABOUT THE STUDY
The Asian American Man Study is the first and only annual survey of American men of East, Southeast, and South Asian descent. Since our debut in Fall 2015, our findings have reached more than 85,000 people and have been featured in The Atlantic and NBC's Asian America. We share our research freely to inform the public and ourselves about who we are and to contribute to the important national conversation about race, gender, and justice in this country.
My name is Jason Shen. I am a first-generation Asian American and I work as a product manager in New York City. I was born in Suzhou, China and moved to the United States when I was three years old. I grew up in a suburb of Boston, went to school in the SF Bay Area, and lived there for almost a decade before returning to the East Coast.
Up through my mid-twenties, I didn't spend much time thinking about how my race/ethnicity affected the way others perceived me or interacted with me. I had close friends who were Asian and those who were not. But over time, through conversations with many Asian American men, I've come to realize that our ethnicity cannot be ignored. And running this study is one small way I hope to add to the conversation on race in this country.
THE HISTORY OF THE STUDY
In the fall of 2015, I was walking through Union Square in Manhattan with my friend Shiyin, then a medical resident at a major hospital in New York City. We were discussing our experiences living, dating, and working as Asian American men and we wondered how lives compared to our peers. In that moment, we realized that despite living our whole lives as Asian American men, we didn't have a good understanding of what Asian American men face in this country.
I realized that I needed data. I had never seen any kind of survey that focused on Asian American men. So I put together a simple 28 question survey and asked for help on Twitter.
It spread naturally over Facebook, Twitter, even Reddit, reaching hundreds of responses from Asian American men in just a few weeks. I crunched the numbers and wrote up the results a few months later on Medium. The findings were read by over 55,000 people in just 48 hours and earned coverage on Atlantic.com and NBC's Asian America.
Perhaps more important than the media coverage was the response from men themselves, saying things like:
Thanks for creating this! I look forward to hearing about your findings and hope your work gains attention!
I think this is a relevant survey and all Asian American men need to start fighting for more accurate representation.
I have never taken a survey regarding this subject before, it was intriguing
Thanks for collecting data on an oft-overlooked group.
These responses tell me that there has been too little attention paid to the concerns of Asian American men, something I hope this annual study can help address.