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Racism and the Chinese-American Experience: Home

This guide aims to contextualize the racism experienced by Chinese-Americans.

Sinophobia is a sentiment against China, its people, overseas Chinese, or Chinese culture. Factors contributing to sinophobia include disapproval of the Chinese government, historical grievances, fear of economic competition, and racism. --Wikipedia



This guide was written by three self identified white women. We do not claim to be experts in the area of examining racism or the Chinese-American experience. We believe that in order to dismantle racism and grow into a more understanding society we must know our past in order to analyze the present to enact change that will contribute to a more respectful future.

Our intended audience for this guide is undergraduate students doing research on the topics of racism, Diaspora and the Chinese-American experience both historical and contemporary. We aim to provide multiple source types for information that can be accessible for the scholar as well as the curious. This guide is not complete, nor exhaustive and should not be the end place for your research.



Beginning in the eighteenth century, Chinese immigration to America has been wrought with challenges of racialization and microagressions against Chinese people. Historically, Sinophobia can be traced from the Chinese laborers on the Transcontinental railroad to the threat of the economic powerhouse that is modern China. Restrictions on immigration, cultural & social stereotypes, and the development of Chinatowns are just some aspects of why Chinese have struggled to assimilate in America. Through historical facts, an examination of American perceptions and attitudes towards Chinese and the personal accounts of immigrants, there can begin an understanding of racism in America towards Chinese people. 

Each page explores a different aspect of racism towards Chinese in America. The history page contains a collection of primary and secondary resources pertaining to the history of racism in America towards the Chinese, dating back to found of America. Representation in Pop Culture references fiction and non-fiction literature, articles and images that demonstrate American perceptions of Chinese people. Stereotypes & Gender Bias demonstrates the racialization of Chinese in America, and contains sources that best demonstrate "otherness." Branching from stereotypes, Food Culture & Chinatowns is a collection of literature, data and community projects that represent both the misconceptions of Americans and the division between them and Chinese living in America. For those interested in current issues, the Contemporary Issues page contains statistical data, literature and advocate groups. Collectively, this LibGuide provides a variety of examples of the types of information useful to researching Racism and the Chinese-American Experience.

Searching a database

Museums and Historical Sites

Online Resources

Keywords & Retrieval

Keywords are important for successful researching. Compiling a list of keywords will retrieve more results, making more resources accessible. 

  • Sinophobia
  • Chinese-Americans
  • Model Minority
  • Diaspora
  • Racialization

  • Microagression

  • Yellow Peril

  • Orientalism

  • Xenophobia

Types of Sources

Assessing a resource requires examination of the author, publisher, sources cited and cross-referencing information with other sources. Below is a list of the types of sources one may want to seek for information. 

  • Books
  • Periodicals
  • Newspapers
  • Journal Articles
  • Databases
  • Websites 
  • Archives (primary sources)

General Resources to Get Started

Statistical Data