Teresa Mok

Teresa Mok has a Ph.D. in clinical psychology and a private practice in Champaign-Urbana, Illinois. She has been a practicing therapist for over 25 years and sees a diverse range of clients and concerns. Her research specializations focus on Asian American mental health issues, including gender roles and stereotypes, media images, identity development and the integration of multiple social identities. She has published, presented and given interviews on these topics in peer-reviewed and mainstream media venues. She can be reached through her website: drteresamok.com 

Consuming Culture: Food and the Shaping of Asian American Identity

My friend and I were getting lunch from a local Indian restaurant. Surrounded by the mouth‑watering aromas of curries and chutneys, we made pleasantries as we waited for our food. To make conversation, I asked her if her school-aged daughter liked Indian food. My friend’s response was, “No. She likes regular food.” While I internally processed this statement and all that it implied, our food arrived. As with so much restaurant fare nowadays, the plates were large and heaped with entrees and sides.