Date of Award




Document Type

Master's Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Department of Sociology

Content Description

1 online resource (iii, 37 pages)

Dissertation/Thesis Chair

Angie AG Chung

Committee Members

Zai ZL Liang, Jennifer JB Burrell


anti-Asian discrimination, COVID-19, international students, qualitative, transnational actors, Asian students, Asians, Race discrimination, Racism, COVID-19 Pandemic, 2020-, Coronavirus infections

Subject Categories



Since the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been intensified anti-Asian sentiment andincreased incidents of anti-Asian discrimination. Whereas a large amount of research has focused on Asian American experiences, this project specifically centers on the experiences of Asian international students as transnational actors and non-citizens of the U.S. under the COVID-19 pandemic. What this project attempts to capture are a) situated in the racial landscape in America, how Asian international students experience racial discrimination differently as transnational actors, and b) how Asian international students interpret and navigate racial discrimination as transnational actors. In-depth interviews are conducted with 20 Asian international graduate students at the University at Albany, State University of New York. Findings suggest that Asian international students display having mixed feelings when facing racial discrimination, including a sense of ambivalence. In understanding discriminatory behaviors, Asian international students tend to use their transnational background and knowledge to interpret the intent of racial discrimination. Moreover, in terms of navigation strategy, data shows Asian international students are more likely to tackle with discrimination privately, partially out of fear for immigration threats. Limitations of the research are discussed.

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