Q&A With Prof. Jennifer Lee: Asian American Success Isn’t What You Think It Is

Pop culture often portrays Asian Americans as successful because of strict parenting or just plain hard work. But a new book debunks the “model minority” myth, revealing the way government policies have actually skewed those perceptions. I recently interviewed Jennifer Lee, professor of sociology at the University of California, Irvine, and co-author of The Asian American Achievement Paradox about her research.

Sourced through Scoop.it from: www.blogher.com

The model minority myth


Brenda brings another in depth article.


This one covers:


  • What the model minority myth is
  • Flaws of the Model Minority Myth


Community Village‘s insight:


Positive stereotypes are just as problematic as negative stereotypes.

See on communityvillageus.blogspot.com

The Model Minority is a Lever of White Supremacy


“According to the myth we’re also less prone to criminality, more family-oriented, harder working, less egocentric, more cooperative, and less mouthy, making us ideal employees. That is, of course, as long as we don’t aspire to management. Lei Lai, an assistant professor at Tulane University, found that Asian Americans have the lowest probability of promotion to managerial positions among all non-whites, and in part for being stereotyped as having some of the same characteristics – being quiet and unassertive, among others – that lead many to call us model minorities, begging the question, is the model for the racial minorities America wants just submissive, put up or shut up robots?

So let’s cut through some of the fairy dust here. Asian Americans do have higher median family incomes than all others by race. However, that’s because Asian American families tend to include more incomes. Our per capita incomes still lag behind that of whites. Asian Americans also tend to be clustered in coastal cities where median incomes are higher, skewing that statistic even further. Even the supposed higher than average educational attainment level of Asians doesn’t stand up to close scrutiny. When it comes to the percentage of adults without high school diplomas, the Hmong, Chinese, Laotians, Vietnamese, and Cambodians in the U.S. all exceed the national average of 19.6%, with the Hmong on the extreme end of disadvantage at 59.6%

The reality is that very little unites Asians other than the fact that non-Asians have decided we are a race, and an often hated one, and have treated us as such, whether we like it or not.

The myth provides a smokescreen for one of the most fundamental contradictions of U.S. democracy – our ideal of liberty and equal rights, and our history of slavery and enduring legacy of white supremacy – and allows our policy makers to avoid the systemic reforms that are necessary to address that contradiction.”



Community Village‘s insight:


Loving racial justice brings us to uncover the propaganda (the comparing and judging of some races against other races) that feeds racism.


See on www.racefiles.com

The Origins of the Asian American Model Minority Myth


“Historian Ellen Wu’s The Color of Success: Asian Americans and the Origins of the Model Minority just might be the best examination of the roots of the model minority stereotype in print.

No doubt the enthusiasm among many Asian Americans to accept model minority stereotyping was a reflection of the fact that the menu of choices where stereotypes were concerned appeared to be restricted to either “model minority” or “yellow peril.” And the stakes were high. The “yellow peril” stereotype had been used to justify wars in Korea and Vietnam, the mass internment of Japanese Americans during WWII, anti-communist persecution of Chinese Americans under the McCarran Act, and no small amount of racial exclusion and terrorism.”



Community Village‘s insight:


“As long as U.S immigration policy has a preference for the highly educated, the U.S. will continue to bring in ‘model minorities’.


The term ‘model minority’ is based on a bias for educated people.


Latinos are also ‘model minorities’ in that they are compliant workers who harvest the crops and work in the slaughter houses, but they are not ‘sold’ by the media in those terms because on average they are not the highly educated workforce.”



See on www.racefiles.com