The Foreigner: Race-Based Experiences of Asian Employees in Intercollegiate Athletics Administration

Kunsoo Shim – Campbellsville University
Akilah R. Carter-Francique – San Jose State University
John N. Singer – Texas A&M University

The purpose of this study is to understand the lived experiences of Asian employees in intercollegiate athletics administration. More specifically, this study investigates the reasons why Asians are underrepresented and the role that race plays in their employment and retention. Utilizing a basic interpretive qualitative approach, the researchers conducted interviews with six (N = 6) Asian employees in intercollegiate athletics administration. Employing Asian Critical Theory, the Asian employees revealed their experiential realities as a marginalized racial group in the intercollegiate athletics context. Four themes were identified by the researchers from the data: (a) Asian cultural value of education over sport/athletic participation; (b) incongruousness of the term “Asians” with sport; (c) language barriers; and (d) exclusion due to race-based view of the “foreigner”. As an initial study on Asian employees in intercollegiate athletics administration, the findings may provide practitioners insight for understanding current experiences on people of Asian descent as employees in the intercollegiate athletics workplace and educate them as to how they succeed. In addition, this study would make a contribution to literature in the sport context by providing experiential knowledge on people of Asian descent in intercollegiate athletics administration.