Asian American Student-Athletes Essay Sample


The current work provides precise consideration and discussion of the following topic: analysis of differences basketball opportunities between male Asian American and American student-athletes. This topic worthy to the sociological inquiry because Asian Americans face discrimination in various spheres of social life in the USA. However, this problem is underrepresented in the modern scientific works. The current work will focus on basketball and opportunities in higher educational institutions. The discrimination starts ever before the actual commencement of studying there. Asian American students are underrepresented in colleges and universities. Among the individuals who obtain athletic scholarship the number of African Americans is lower than their proportion in total population. The same situation can be observed in the obtaining of athletic scholarships. Besides, this financial help serves as the strong psychological motivator for reaching various sport achievements. During their education, African Americans face the enormous psychological pressure because of racial abuse and discrimination. This unequal attitude has both positive and negative effects on students sport performance.

This work relies on the great variety of various studies. However, none of them provide the concrete understanding of the stated problem. That is why, this survey is extremely important for the disclosure of studied topic. The research will be focused on the discriminatory allocation of athletic scholarships and effect of this phenomenon, existing inequality and its influence on appearance and realization of basketball opportunities. Only male students-athletes who study at higher educational institutions will be analyzed. These limitations enable to avoid the influence of other factors, like level of education and gender.

The personal motivation to study this particular topic lies on the background of personal race. I am Chinese and I often experience unequal attitude in different aspects of my life. That is why, I am interested in the investigation of problem of racial discrimination in some particular sphere. The analysis of the existing theoretical works, development and performance of special survey, and precise analysis of obtained outcomes would enable to understand the existing differences basketball opportunities between male Asian American and American Student-Athletes.

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Literature Review

Modern scholarship researchers do not disclose the chosen topic in full extent. The majority of presented articles provide the discussion of one of the following sub-topics: inequality in allocation of athletic scholarships to representatives of various races, unequal treatment and discrimination of Asian American students in higher educational institutions, the role of scholarship on student-athletes sport achievements, and possible negative and positive impacts of racialization on Asian Americans realization of basketball opportunities.

The misrepresentation of Asian Americans among the college athletes who obtain athletic scholarship in basketball can be evidenced by the reports presented on the official site of National Collegiate Athletic Association. The statement that Asian Americans are misrepresented is also supported by the research performed by Lisa M. Rubin and Vicki J. Rosser. The researchers identified that White and Asian student-athletes are more likely to describe non-scholarship student-athletes. Additionally they have noted that male student athletes who obtain scholarship are rather extrinsically motivated to basketball. At the same time, Lisa M. Rubin and Vicki J. Rosser identified that many Asian Americans proceed their sport career even without obtaining athletic scholarship.

Providing athletic scholarship to the representatives of studied minority group may have the significant positive effect on using of athletic opportunities and showing high athletic results. Nikola Medic, Diane E. Mack, Philip M. Wilson, and Janet L. Starkes have studied 46 student-athletes who obtained scholarship and 70 student-athletes who did not obtain scholarship. All the participants played basketball at their educational institutions. Nikola Medic, Diane E. Mack, Philip M. Wilson, and Janet L. Starkes stated that for non-scholarship students the possibility of obtaining scholarship resulted in lowering of intrinsic motivation to experience stimulation and accomplish things. In the context of this research, intrinsic motivation has been considered as doing an activity for its inherent satisfaction and pleasure rather than for some separable consequence. However, the outcomes from this article can not be taken as the strong support of the positive influence of scholarships on realization of basketball opportunities in the context of the current work because Nikola Medic, Diane E. Mack, Philip M. Wilson, and Janet L. Starkes investigated the attitudes to scholarship of both male and female student-athletes, when the current research will be limited by the discussion of opportunities of only male student-athletes.

The existence of the unequal treatment to the representatives of Asian American minority group in higher educational institutions was also evidenced by the research performed by Thomas J. Espenshade, Chang Y. Chung, and Joan L. Walling. They have noted that proportions of Asian Americans in the applicant pools did not align with the proportion of admitted students in the studied educational institutions. This form the background for the assumptions that the representatives of this minority group were being squeezed out by preferences for African-American and Hispanic applicants and for athletes and children of alumni, the majority of whom are white. These assumptions were supported by real life figures. For example, despite Asian Americans represented 23.1 % of applicants in studied institutions, the percentage of admitted Asian Americans was only 20.9, while Asian students have higher grade scores than other minority groups in the same experiment.

On the one hand the outcomes of the research performed by Thomas J. Espenshade Chang Y. Chung, and Joan L. Walling can be considered as suitable for the current investigation as they depict the racial discrimination of Asian American students in higher educational institutions. However, on the other hand, researchers did not make the emphasis on the investigation of racialization towards students-athletes who are engaged in playing basketball. Moreover, Thomas J. Espenshade, Chang Y. Chung, and Joan L. Walling analyze only the issue of racial discrimination in elite educational institutions without paying no any attention to the existence of similar problems in the educational institutions of middle and lower levels.

Asian Americans can not fully disclose their sport talents and use all available sport opportunities because of the psychological pressure of discriminatory attitude from the side of other students. The study of Matthew R. Lee and Christian J. Thai determined that eyeglasses and darker skin color are strongly associated with greater reports of racialization and psychological distress in Asian American college students. This research covers the race disparities within the chosen population but do not address the issue of discrimination among basketball players.

Qaisar Abbas, Abdul Hameed and Aamer Waheed in their work noted that racial discrimination has the enormous negative impact on the realization of personal abilities. The researchers have noted the following: gender disparity in provision of goods and facilities has negative relationship with productivity. In such a manner, individuals who face racial discrimination have lower access to facilities which enable to disclose and improve their potential.

Asian Americans could not be able to use their sport opportunities in full extent due to the enormous pressure from the society and attitudes to them as to unequal individuals. This pressure may result in worsening of physical and psychological conditions. This statement is supported by Maria del Carmen Triana, Mevan Jayasinghe, and Jenna R. Pieper. The researchers find out the negative impact of unequal attitude to minority groups on personal physical and psychological condition by analyzing various published and unpublished studies concerning this topic. They have noted the following: perceived racial discrimination was negative related to job attitudes, physical health, psychological health. However, this work can not serve as the only evidence to that Asian American student-athletes experience worsening of their physical and psychological conditions because these researchers performed analyzed only existing studies and did not performed any field investigation.

The deeper understanding of the possible negative influence of racialization on feelings and behaviors of Asian American student-athletes was obtained from the work of Meifen Wei, P. Paul Heppner, Tsun-Yao Ku and Kelly Yu-Hsin Liao. They have studied behaviors and feelings Asian American students of Midwestern state university who experienced racial discrimination. The analysis of the outcomes of special on-line survey showed that racial discrimination stress significantly predicted depressive symptoms over and beyond perceived general stress and perceived racial discrimination. At the same time, no any discussion strong interconnection between physical and psychological stresses and lowering of sport achievements was found in this article. Thus, the assumption of the existence of this interconnection will be tested in the discussed research.

Interestingly, that playing basketball enable Asian Americans to overcome discriminatory racial attitudes and claim Americanness. Stanley Thangaraj precisely analyzed the personal and athletic experiences of Asian Americans on the example of numerous life stories and identified, that playing Indo-Pak basketball strengthens self-assertion as an American and brotherhood within a community, and provide low-cost means of attracting youth to masculine sport activities. However, Stanley Thangaraj did not perform any statistical survey, or studied the topic of the athletic path of Asian American basketball players at American higher institutions.

The idea of positive influence of discriminatory attitude is supported and expanded in the article presented by Amy Liu. The researcher outlined that Asian American student-athletes who were racially stereotyped and stigmatized, increased their efforts in education and showed higher achievements. However, the application of these findings to the ability of Asian Americans to use their opportunities in basketball is rather questionable.

Data and Methods

The current research will be performed in higher educational institutions located all over the USA. Student-athletes who have different scholarship statuses will take part in it. The combination of scholarship statuses and locations of educational institutions will help to obtain the accurate picture of student-athlete population who played in basketball. Moreover, this would enable to generalize the obtained results to the country-wide population.

Firstly, the educational institutions which have student-athletes who obtain athletic scholarships and play basketball will be chosen. This choice will be made from the list of educational institutions which have athletic scholarships. These educational institutions represent primary sampling unit of the discussed survey.

The secondary sampling unit is composed from athlete-students who play basketball in these educational institutions. The special request to the officials of the chosen educational institutions will be made. These requests will contain the precise description of the goal of the research, methodology of realization, information about institution and individuals who are responsible for the research, and assurance of privacy and confidence. Officials will be asked to provide the list of student-athletes who play basketball with notification which of them obtain athletic scholarship or not and listing their contact e-mails.

The number of participants who would take part in the research is 100 individuals. They will be chosen randomly from these educational institutions. The constants (independent variables) of the research will be the following: all the participants will be males who study at higher educational institutions and play basketball there. The fact that all the participants are engaged in playing basketball assures that chosen constants and variables are consistent with the performed research. The participants will be divided on 2 groups with 50 individuals in each. The first group will contain student-athletes who obtain full athletic scholarship. The second group will be composed from individuals who do not obtain the whole athletic scholarship. Both groups will contain the number of Asian Americans and Americans equal to the average number of Asian Americans in the USA, that is 5.6 %. Thus, 6 participants in each sample group will be Asian Americans.

The study of the stated topic will be performed with the application of the on-line survey in the form of close-ended questionnaire. This method provides such benefits, like ability to ask the question and obtain answers within relatively short period of time, large and at the same time randomized sample size, lower amount of resources necessary for survey conducting, and ability to analyze and compare obtained answers by using statistics. Furthermore, such method is considered to be acceptable as it pose no harm to physical and psychological condition of participants. The major ethical guidelines will be fulfilled. These guidelines are the following: protection of research subjects, maintenance of honesty and openness, achievement of valid results, and encouragement of appropriate application.

The participants will obtain special letters via e-mails where they will be introduced the possibility to take part in the survey. This method of interaction enables obtaining fast response and direct communication with elements. The participants will be informed about the final goal and time frames and will be assured about the confidence and privacy of this research in these letters. Also, they will be asked to provide their informed consent about the ability to use their answers (anonymously) in the discussed research. The additional emphasis will be made on the necessity of accurate and truthful answering the questions, because the outcomes of this research may be used for the reassessment of treatment Asian American student-athletes in higher educational institutions all over the country. Only after obtaining informed consent, the participants will be sent letters with survey questions and variants of answers. Only one variant answer could be chosen for answering the each question.

The dependent variables of the introduced survey are the following: bias attitude in assignation of athletic scholarship, racial discrimination and related consequences (worsening of physical and psychological condition), possible positive and negative consequences of unequal treatment of Asian Americans, and self-perception as an American caused by playing basketball. They are reflected in the questions and variants of answers. These questions were designs especially for this work. Variants of answers will be the following: strongly agree, agree, neither agree nor disagree, disagree, and strongly disagree.

Table 1

Questions of the survey and variants of answers




Do you agree that assignation of athletic scholarship has been performed without biased attitudes to applicants?


Do you agree that successful positioning of a person as a high quality basketball player in collage serves as the basic factor as the establishment of an individual as the professional basketball player?


Do you agree that racial discrimination can have negative impact on student-athletes psychological condition?


Do you agree that racial discrimination can have negative impact on student-athletes physical condition?


Do you agree that poor physical condition may negatively affect disclosure sport talents?


Do you agree that poor physical condition may negatively affect application sport talents?


Do you agree that poor psychological condition may negatively affect disclosure sport talents?


Do you agree that poor psychological condition may negatively affect application sport talents?


Do you agree that playing basketball makes you more American?


Do you agree that self-estimation has the significant positive impact on the perception of attitudes of others?


Do you agree that racial discrimination may weaken on the use of athletic performance?


Do you agree that racial discrimination may act as the strong motivator to improvement of athletic performance?


Dou you agree that obtaining scholarship enables to play basketball for satisfaction?


Do you agree that athletic scholarship plays one of the major roles of realization of a person as the professional player?


Do you agree that racial discrimination in basketball is the common thing?


Do you agree that minority student-athletes who play basketball at higher educational institutions have same opportunities as white American student-athletes who play basketball at the same institutions?

The answers will be sent in the form of return letters by the participants of the research. They will be analyzed by the application of statistical methods of analysis, like deviation and means. During the analysis of obtained results the major emphasis will be made on the determination of factors which are crucial for the establishment of causal relationships. These factors are the following: association between dependent and independent variables, time order, non - spuriousness, clearness of causal mechanism, and specification of context in which the discussed causal interconnection takes place. The outcomes of the research will be supplemented by the analysis of number of Asian American and White student-athletes who obtained athletic scholarships.

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The discussed theoretical researches form the background for two major hypotheses. They form the foundation of this search. Hypothesis 1 is the following: basketball opportunities of male student-athletes Asian Americans who study at higher educational institutions are lower than basketball opportunities of male student-athletes Americans who study at same institutions because of lower access to athlete scholarship. Hypothesis 2 is the following: basketball opportunities of male student-athletes Asian Americans who study at higher educational institutions are lower than basketball opportunities of male student-athletes Americans who study at same institutions because they face difficulties in ability to disclose their talents and use them in the result of discriminatory attitude.

Preliminarily Findings and Discussion

It is expected that the performed research and testing Hypothesis 1 will determine the following relationships: in contrast to Americans, Asian American student-athletes who play basketball experience biased attitude during assignation of athletic scholarship in higher educational institutions; athletic scholarship play the significant role in the realization of student-athletes as a professional basketball players; absence of athletic scholarship represent the significant barrier in the establishment of Asian American student-athletes as professional basketball player, while this barrier is absent for American student-athletes.

The following relationships are expected to be reviled during testing of Hypothesis 2: in contrast to Americans, male Asian American student-athletes who play basketball face discrimination in higher educational institutions; this discrimination has negative impact on psychological and physical condition of student-athletes; worsening of physical and psychological condition cause inability to disclose sport talents and use them in whole extent; male Asian American student-athletes who play basketball can not disclose and use their opportunities in whole extent, unlike American students; self-estimation has the significant positive impact on the perception of others attitudes but this statement does not relates to the performed research because playing basketball do not make individuals more American.

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