AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREGame Center: Chargers at Kansas City Chiefs, Sunday, 10 a.m.But state Rep. Gilda Cobb-Hunter told the committee, “I think you’re taking this a little too seriously,” she said. Democrats say he’ll get his $2,500 back. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! By The Associated Press COLUMBIA, S.C. – South Carolina Democrats squashed Stephen Colbert’s fanciful White House bid on Thursday. Colbert, who poses as a conservative talk-show host on the Comedy Central cable network, filed to get on the ballot as a Democratic candidate in his native South Carolina. His campaign paid a $2,500 filing fee just before the noon deadline, said state Democratic Party Chairwoman Carol Fowler. However, after about 40 minutes of discussion by top party officials, the executive council voted 13-3 to keep the host of “The Colbert Report” off the ballot. “He’s really trying to use South Carolina Democrats as suckers so he can further a comedy routine,” said member Waring Howe.
- For Asian-American students, racial stereotypes help boost achievement
Email Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share LinkedIn Pinterest Conventional wisdom is that all stereotypes are negative and damaging.African Americans are stereotyped as violent and threatening. Employers stereotype mothers as less competent and less committed. And undocumented immigrants are stereotyped as incompetent and untrustworthy.Each of these stereotypes has negative consequences for members of these groups. But is there such a thing as a positive stereotype, and, if so, can positive stereotypes have positive consequences? In our new book, The Asian American Achievement Paradox – based on a survey of 4,780 adult children as well as 140 in-depth interviews of Chinese, Vietnamese and Mexican immigrants – fellow sociologist Min Zhou and I found ways in which positive stereotypes can be advantageous.We found that racial stereotypes and implicit biases could actually be helping Asian Americans achieve their much-touted academic success.The Asian ‘advantage’Studies have shown how teachers’ expectations impact achievement. Traditionally disadvantaged students have been known to perform poorly as a result of low expectations from teachers. But when teachers perceive their students as smart, their academic performance can improve.In the case of Asian Americans, it contributes to their success.In spite of the tremendous diversity of the US Asian population, Asian immigrants are perceived as smart, high-achieving and successful. This is largely due to the influence of some highly educated immigrant Asian groups.Take, for instance, the Chinese immigrants in the US. Our study found that over 60% of Chinese immigrant fathers and over 40% of Chinese immigrant mothers had a bachelor’s degree or higher. We found this population to be even more highly educated than the general US population – only 28% of whom have graduated from college.The Chinese and Vietnamese respondents in our study revealed that their teachers and guidance counselors perceived them as smart and promising. They expected them to excel and attend four-year universities.Mexican students, by contrast, were perceived as low achievers who did not value education and were tracked for two-year community colleges. The children of Mexican immigrants had the lowest levels of educational attainment of any of the groups in our study. Only 86% graduated from high school, and even fewer – 17% – graduated from college.How expectations workPerception – regardless of validity – has consequences. Or as the American sociologist W I Thomas aptly noted, “if men define situations as real, they are real in their consequences.”We found that expectation can enhance the academic performance of even some of the most mediocre Asian-American students.Take the case of Trang, a 24-year-old, second-generation Vietnamese woman, who was placed into honors classes in high school, even though she admits she was not an outstanding junior high student.Even more surprising is that Trang has no idea why or how she was placed in honors classes.But once Trang was placed into the honors track, she began taking her schoolwork more seriously, spending more time doing her homework and studying hard for tests to keep up with her high-achieving peers.Trang graduated with a GPA (grade point average) above 4.0 and was admitted to all the University of California schools to which she applied.Ophelia, a 23-year-old, second-generation Vietnamese woman, also benefited from being positively stereotyped.She described herself as “not very intelligent” and recalls nearly having to repeat second grade because of her poor academic performance. By her account:I wasn’t an exceptional student; I was a straight C student.Ophelia took the AP (advanced placement) exam at the end of junior high school, but failed. Despite that, she was placed into the AP track in her predominantly white high school.Once there, something “just clicked,” and Ophelia began to excel in her classes.When we asked, she elaborated, “I wanted to work hard and prove I was a good student,” adding, “I think the competition kind of increases your want to do better.”She graduated from high school with a 4.2 GPA and was admitted into a highly competitive pharmacy program.In contrast, Mexican students were academically profiled as low achievers who did not value a college education and found themselves having to actively vie for the attention of their teachers and guidance counselors.Stereotype promise yields resultsIn both Trang’s and Ophelia’s cases, self-fulfilling prophecies were at work in the precise definition of the term. As sociologist Robert K Merton has defined, a self-fulfilling prophecy begins with a false definition of the situation, evoking a new behavior that makes the original false conception come true.And this is what happened in the case of Trang and Ophelia when they were favored by their teachers’ high expectations. It resulted in a change in both students’ behavior, and ultimately, a boost in their academic performance.This also went into reinforcing prevailing stereotypes. Because Trang’s and Ophelia’s academic outcomes matched their teachers’ expectations, the teachers pointed to these students’ stellar academic achievement as proof of their initial assessment about Asian-American students (that they are smart, high-achieving, and deserving of being placed into the most competitive academic tracks so that they can reach their potential).A double-edged swordHowever, it is important to note that these same positive stereotypes and biases also have negative consequences.First, those who do not attain high academic outcomes feel like failures and ethnic outliers. As we found in our study, some rejected their ethnic identities, claiming that they were not really Chinese or Vietnamese because they linked their ethnic identity to exceptional academic achievement.Adam, a 21-year-old second-generation Vietnamese, identifies as “American Asian” rather than as Vietnamese or Vietnamese American because he dropped out of college. Adam also compares himself to his brother, who he described as “much more Vietnamese than me” because he attends a prestigious university and is on the path to medical school. Similarly, Paul, a 36-year-old second-generation Chinese American, described himself as “the whitest Chinese guy you’ll ever meet” because he attended art school rather than an elite university.Second, the biases can also disadvantage Asian groups such as Cambodians, Laotian and Hmong, who have higher high school dropout rates than African Americans and Latinos – underscoring the extreme diversity among Asian Americans.Additionally, the very same stereotypes that can boost Asian-American students’ academic performance can operate against them as they vie for leadership positions in the workplace.Asian American students may be perceived as lacking leadership skills, creativity and managerial bravado. A recent study of Silicon Valley’s tech industry showed that while Asian Americans make up 27.2% of the professionals in tech, they comprise only 13.9% of executives.Much like the glass ceiling that women face, a “bamboo ceiling” keeps Asian Americans from rising to the top leadership positions.These are the burdens that come with stereotypes. Positive stereotypes can also be double-edged swords.By Jennifer Lee, University of California, IrvineJennifer Lee is Professor of Sociology at University of California, IrvineThis article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article.
- Study: H1N1 resistance to oseltamivir may spread
May 7, 2012 (CIDRAP News) – A detailed genetic analysis of an oseltamivir-resistant 2009 H1N1 virus responsible for a cluster of illnesses in Australia in 2011 found evidence that the viruses maintained their fitness when the resistance mutation was present, suggesting that widespread emergence of the strain may be more likely, according to the researchers.During Australia’s 2011 flu season, researchers identified 29 2009 H1N1 viruses containing the H275Y resistance mutation between May and October, and all were found in an analysis of patients from the country’s Hunter New England region Most of the patients lived within 30 miles of Newcastle, and some had family or other contacts infected with the same strain . Only one of the patients had been treated with oseltamivir.The team reported its most recent and detailed findings on the cluster in the May 4 edition of the Journal of Infectious Diseases.The researchers first described the cluster in August 2011 in a post on ProMED Mail, the online reporting system of the International Society for Infectious Diseases. Four months later, they shared more detailed findings in a letter in the New England Journal of Medicine, which revealed that the virus appeared to be a single variant that was closely related to the vaccine strain and was also resistant to adamantanes but sensitive to zanamivir (Relenza). They warned that the changes bear watching and urged clinicians to be alert for similar clusters during the Northern Hemisphere flu season, which is just ending.So far, testing of samples from the Northern Hemisphere’s flu season has turned up few oseltamivir-resistant 2009 H1N1 viruses, though the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said recently that 11 of 16 oseltamivir-resistant viruses this season so far have been from Texas, which has seen higher levels of 2009 H1N1 activity. The CDC said that though the level of oseltamivir-resistance in Texas was higher than for other states, it was still considered quite low.The group based its latest findings on 29 viruses with oseltamivir resistance that were found among 191 2009 H1N1 viruses from the Hunter New England region that were tested from May through September 2011. The authors interviewed patients infected with the virus using a structured questionnaire to assess medical and antiviral treatment history.They tested the samples for sensitivity to neuraminidase inhibitors, screened them for the H275Y mutation, constructed phylogenetic trees, and used computational structural analysis to assess protein stability changes associated with mutations.They found that 26 of the 29 patients infected with resistant viruses lived in five adjacent downs, and three lived in rural towns located 90, 150, and 490 kilometers from Newcastle. For comparison, only five oseltamivir-resistant viruses containing the H275Y substitution were found during testing of 737 2009 H1N1 viruses in the rest of Australia during the 2011 flu season. Two were from hospitalized immunocompromised patients who were treated with oseltamivir in other states, and three were from otherwise healthy children who had not been treated with the drug. One patient from Perth, 4,000 kilometers west of Newcastle. None of the children or their families had traveled recently to Newcastle.Genetic analysis revealed that the H275Y variants from all of the locations were virtually identical, suggesting that they emerged from a single source, the researchers reported.The high frequency of oseltamivir resistance in patients with 2009 H1N1 infections who weren’t treated with the drug suggests that the viruses are not less fit than sensitive ones, a scenario that is similar to the emergence of oseltamivir-resistant seasonal H1N1 viruses in Norway in 2007.The group identified three neuraminidase mutations in the cluster isolates that they said could offset a destabilizing effect of the H275Y substitution: V241I, N369K, and N386S. They noted that two of the substitutions have also been seen in viral sequences from North American and Japanese oseltamivir-resistant H275Y strains.The 2009 H1N1 virus might be becoming more tolerant of the H275Y mutation than when it first emerged, and widespread emergence of oseltamivir-resistant viruses may now be more likely, they wrote.In an accompanying editorial, two virologists with the CDC’s influenza division, Alicia Fry, MD, MPH, and Larisa Gubareva, MD, PhD, wrote that the rapid emergence of oseltamivir resistance in the former seasonal H1N1 virus in the 2008-09 flu season showed the importance of ongoing surveillance.They wrote that so far it’s unclear if the new H275Y 2009 H1N1 viruses have factors that give them an advantage over their susceptible counterparts.Widespread circulation of a virus that is resistant to adamantanes and oseltamivir would have important implications for clinical care, Fry and Gubareva wrote. For example, inhaled zanamivir would be the only approved treatment in many countries, but it isn’t an option for children younger than 7, those with underlying lung conditions, and those on mechanical ventilation. The intravenous form of the drug would be the treatment of choice for severely ill patients, but it is available only for experimental use and clinical trials.Given the shortage of treatment options, it’s important for researchers to learn more about drug resistance in 2009 H1N1 viruses, they wrote, noting that the Australian researchers found evidence suggesting that the virus in the Australian cluster might be less resistant to oseltamivir than resistant strains of the former seasonal H1N1 viruses were.”This raises the question of whether oseltamivir might retain some clinical effectiveness against infections caused by H1N1pdm09 virus with the H275Y substitution and that oseltamivir might remain a treatment option, at least for persons without severe illness,” Fry and Gubareva wrote.Hurt AC, Hardie K, Wilson NJ, et al. Characteristics of a widespread community cluster of H275Y oseltamivir-resistant A (H1N1)pdm09 influenza in Australia. J Infect Dis 2012 May 4:[Abstract]Fry A, Gubareva LV. Understanding influenza virus resistance to antiviral agents; early warning signs for wider community circulation, editorial. J Infect Dis 2012 May 4See also:May 4 CIDRAP News scan “CDC reports declining flu activity, Tamiflu resistance in Texas”Aug 26, 2011, CIDRAP News story “Australia reports oseltamivir-resistant 2009 H1N1 cluster”Dec 29, 2011, CIDRAP News scan “Tamiflu-resistant pH1N1 reportedly on rise in Australia”