Navigating Capitalist Mandates of Happiness and Collectivist Fears of Shame


Using some of my own experiences with university applications, I analyze North American and Asian cultural frameworks with regards to dealing with failure. I perform an intersectional societal analysis to explore how failure is dealt with in a capitalist society that relies on exploitation to function and compare it to a collectivist society that requires absolute uniformity of expression in all its members to function. Then I conclude with how both approaches have shortcomings, and how the only way out is through claiming a staple of immigrant life: agency.

This article was featured in Plan A Magazine, a political Asian American publication that focuses on exploring issues relevant to the Asian diaspora from around the world and on radical movement building for justice.