The “model minority,” as defined in Racial and Ethnic Relations, is the stereotypical view that certain Asian American, and occasionally other, groups are seen to be exemplary in socioeconomic and moral characteristics. This stereotype is most typically applied to Japanese Americans, Chinese Americans, and other Asian American groups. These groups are often compared to other immigrants of color, and are increasingly deemed more socially acceptable than African Americans. Actually, the term “model minority” was created during the race riots and demonstrations of the 1960s in the United States when African Americans were protesting for their freedoms. White scholars and media analysts intentionally created the idea of a “model minority” to suggest that African Americans were perfectly capable of achieving their American dream by working harder rather than protesting against discrimination.
What was initially started by white scholars as a means to discredit the need for social uproar by African Americans has turned into an umbrella stereotype of Asian Americans; one that is increasingly difficult for Asian Americans to distance themselves from. One obvious stereotype associated with the “model minority” is that Asian Americans are typically viewed as being extremely high-achieving in their education. According the C.N. Le, a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Albany, over 42% of all Asian American adults have at least a college degree. Le also states that Asian American students typically have the highest test scores and GPAs compared to any other high school or college schoolmates. While hard work and dedication may run in the veins of most Asian Americans, what is lost on most people is that not all Asians are created equal.
The “model minority” stereotype has many negative attachments. The pressure put on Asian Americans to be extremely intelligent and excel in school can be overwhelming to those who are just unable to. There are...
Cited: Feagin, Joe R., and Clairece Booher Feagin. Racial and Ethnic Relations. 9th ed. Boston: Prentice Hall, 2012. Print.
Kasinitz, P., Mollenkopf, J., Waters, M.C., & Holdaway, J. (2008). Inheriting the city: The children of immigrants come of age. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
Le, C.N. School of Education at Johns Hopkins University – A Closer Look at Asian Americans and Education. New Horizons for Learning, 2012. Web. 14 Nov. 2013.
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