Review of The Political Participation of Asian Americans: Voting Behavior in Southern California

Document Type

Book Review

Publication Date



UCLA Asian American Studies Center Press


Pei-Te Lien’s The Political Participation of Asian Americans is a timely and much needed addition to the political behavior literature in Political Science and Asian American Studies. In the preface, Lien states that she hopes to “fill the research vacuum and to facilitate a dialogue long overdue” between these two academic fields (xiii). One of the main reasons for this vacuum is that Asian Americans have been undersampled in national and state-wide exit poll surveys. The result is a misrepresentation of their political opinions (45). For example, the Field Institute’s 1992 California state-wide poll contained a sample size of 8,170 respondents, but less than 300 were Asian for approximately 3 percent despite the fact that they make up almost 12 percent of the entire state’s population. Given such limited Asian sample sizes, the Los Angeles Times attempted to ameliorate this misrepresentation with a series of surveys conducted during 1992 and 1993, which over-sampled the Asian American population in Southern California.