When Masculinity and Racism Collide: Meet Tao Liu’s Mentor Dr. Christopher Liang

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Tao is a researcher in the 2016 class of the Emerging Scholars Fellowship. Read blog updates from Tao and her fellow scholars here.

When I talk about racism against Asian American men with my friends, some reactions I got was “Seriously? This is U.S.” Among those who have awareness of racism, it is hard for them to connect racism and gender together. However, when they start talking about difficulties with finding dating partners, they know what I am talking about.

There are not many scholars researching the intersection of racism and masculinity, especially for Asian American men. Luckily, Dr. Chris Liang, one of the few scholars focusing on this research area, agreed to be my National Mentor.

tao mentorDr. Christopher Liang is a former President of the Society for the Psychological Study of Men and Masculinity. His research interests center on how perceived racism and masculinity ideologies are associated with the academic, psychological, and physiological health, and health-related behaviors of ethnic minority boys and men. As he said in our conversations, he intends to use research to make positive impacts on communities. He is not a scholar who only lives in the ivory tower, rather, he regards research as a means for intervention on multiple levels.

With his rich experience working with community partners, Dr. Liang has helped to brainstorm how to collaborate with community agencies and offer my research skills as a way to return to them. We have set up regular meeting times through June.

During our conversations, research is not the only topic that we have talked about. In our phone meeting yesterday, we discussed my concerns of my future career directions. He not only helped me figured out all my possible choices, but also gave me very useful tips for job searching and maintaining a good work-life balance. In addition, he gave me recommendations for my research skills development for future academic positions.

He not only helped me figured out all my possible choices, but also gave me very useful tips for job searching and maintaining a good work-life balance. In addition, he gave me recommendations for my research skills development for future academic positions.

How can a mentor be so helpful to someone who he has even never met before? I am looking forward to meeting him in person in the next Active Minds conference!