The very notion of Asian-American is a false construction, given the distinctive cultures that exist within the region. Moreover, some recent Asian immigrants, such as those from Cambodia or Vietnam, may have more impoverished economic circumstances than individuals from more affluent Asian nations.
Culture is not a static thing: it is constantly in flux, and fuses with other cultures. A second-generation immigrant may passionately identify with certain aspects of his parents culture, but may also incorporate elements of America into his identity. Every time there is an encounter with another culture, both representatives from each culture will change. A good example of this can be seen in religion: even though the religion of Christianity was imposed upon African-Americans, African-American religious traditions have reconfigured this religion into something positive and uplifting that can serve as a vehicle of political and spiritual mobilization.
The temptation, when viewing a new culture, is to look for the exotic.
As a tourist, it is tempting to take photographs of quaint local scenery, for example, and to focus on the foreignness of a location — similarly, when encountering someone from another culture it is tempting to look in a mental guidebook of stereotypes to try to classify them and to place their differences into a neat category. Doing so, however, does not do justice to that other persons individuality and the depth of his or her native culture. It mistakenly views culture as a static thing. Culture is not a museum artifact — it is continually produced but also reproduced by human beings. In America, a land of diversity, there are many cultures continually bumping up against other another, changing, and blending — no ideal culture exists, except within the artificial constructions of stereotypes..