3 Michigan artists speak about 3 musical cultures and genre loyalty

Music streaming services are the future and they’re redefining what people listen to, yet genre loyalty remains. In 2016, Nielsen, a company that studies consumer habits worldwide, found a 76 percent increase in on-demand audio streams. These services, like Spotify and Apple Music, have algorithms designed to help listeners instantly customize their musical preferences. And the rigid boundary lines that once delineated genres seem to be less strict – more people are listening to varied music. Broadcasting platforms like radio are also taking notice. “I’m always looking to some degree.

Kelly Lea with daughters: Left - Mazey Lea, Right - Mackenzie Lea

What is middle class?

Americans often categorize themselves as “middle class,” even those in the top 5 percent of all earners, according to the Pew Research Center. But who’s really considered middle class? About half of American adults lived in middle-income households in 2014, according to a recent Pew Research analysis. As recent as 2014, that could be anywhere between $24,000 and $73,000 for a single person and $42,000 and $126,000 for a family of three. While the household income needed to be considered part of the middle class has increased, the number of people who meet that standard has decreased.

Omar Said is a Michigan State University student who grew up in a cultural enclave in Livonia, Michigan.

Data points to growing diversity in U.S.

Fifty years from now, America’s population will have unprecedented diversity. By 2065, the number of immigrants or people with immigrant parents in the U.S. will go from about a quarter of the population to just over one third, according to Pew Research Center.

Sohail Chaudhry, standing in front of a verse from the Quran in his office at The Islamic Center of East Lansing Thursday, Mar. 2, 2017.

Living in East Lansing as a Muslim

Lansing area Muslims say they’re seeing increasing hostility toward their community. Nationally, anti-Muslim assaults in 2015 reached the highest level since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. There were 91 aggravated or simple assaults motivated by anti-Muslim bias in 2015, according to a Pew Research Center analysis of FBI hate crime statistics. That was a 63 percent increase over the previous year and the highest since 93 were reported in 2001.

Chinese Hot Pot

3 countries, 3 cuisines

Spring 2017 welcomed 7,051 enrolled international students to Michigan State University. These students make up about 14 percent of the Spartan student body. Most of the university’s international students come from China, Korea, India, Canada and Saudi Arabia. With them, each student brings a piece of their culture to Greater Lansing. Ethnic restaurants spanning from Okemos to downtown Lansing play a large role in quilting the area’s cultural mosaic.

Chen was studying Fa Lun Gong book in her dormitory. ”I think I am different from other people. I do get in touch with Chinese culture. That’s because I practice Fa Lun Gong.”

Students deal with stereotypes while celebrating their Asian cultures

At Michigan State University, 5.8 percent students at the university are of an Asian heritage, according to the Office for Inclusion and Intercultural Initiatives 2015-16 annual report on diversity. That’s about 2,500 students. To understand what it’s like to be from an Asian racial background at Michigan State University, we interviewed three Asian American students — Sho Nakashima, Annie Chen, and Sarah Vang — and a student from China, Lei Xu. “For me, the most personally upsetting has been the stereotype that Asian immigrant families are privileged and wealthy,” said Nakashima, an MSU graduate who studied social relations and policy and neuroscience. He is a first-generation American.

Hmong American Pa Vang and sibling.

What it’s like to be a young Hmong in America?

The Hmong are one of the most recent Asian immigrant groups to come to the United States. Although there are Hmong people living in Thailand, Vietnam and China, nearly all of the Hmong who settled in the U.S. are from Laos. Hmong and other immigrants were assisted by the passage of the Indochina Migration and Refugee Assistance Act of 1975 in their efforts to relocate after the Vietnam War. Data from the 2010 census shows that the U.S. Hmong population rose from 45,443 in 2000 to 66,181 in 2010, an increase of 46 percent. U.S. Census data estimates that there are more than 250,000 Hmong living in the United States with more than 5,000 living in Michigan.