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The Myth of the Model Minority: Asian Americans Facing Racism

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With their apparent success in schools and careers, Asian Americans have long been viewed by white Americans as the "model minority." Yet few Americans realize the lives of many Asian Americans are constantly stressed by racism. This reality becomes clear from the voices of Asian Americans heard in this first in-depth book on the experiences of racism among Asian Americans With their apparent success in schools and careers, Asian Americans have long been viewed by white Americans as the "model minority." Yet few Americans realize the lives of many Asian Americans are constantly stressed by racism. This reality becomes clear from the voices of Asian Americans heard in this first in-depth book on the experiences of racism among Asian Americans from many different nations and social classes. Chou and Feagin assess racial stereotyping and discrimination from dozens of interviews across the country with Asian Americans in a variety of settings, from elementary schools to colleges, workplaces, and other public arenas. They explore the widely varied ways of daily coping that Asian Americans employ-some choosing to conform and others actively resisting. This book dispels notions that Asian Americans are universally "favored" by whites and have an easy time adapting to life in American society. The authors conclude with policy measures that can improve the lives not only of Asian Americans but also of other Americans of color.


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With their apparent success in schools and careers, Asian Americans have long been viewed by white Americans as the "model minority." Yet few Americans realize the lives of many Asian Americans are constantly stressed by racism. This reality becomes clear from the voices of Asian Americans heard in this first in-depth book on the experiences of racism among Asian Americans With their apparent success in schools and careers, Asian Americans have long been viewed by white Americans as the "model minority." Yet few Americans realize the lives of many Asian Americans are constantly stressed by racism. This reality becomes clear from the voices of Asian Americans heard in this first in-depth book on the experiences of racism among Asian Americans from many different nations and social classes. Chou and Feagin assess racial stereotyping and discrimination from dozens of interviews across the country with Asian Americans in a variety of settings, from elementary schools to colleges, workplaces, and other public arenas. They explore the widely varied ways of daily coping that Asian Americans employ-some choosing to conform and others actively resisting. This book dispels notions that Asian Americans are universally "favored" by whites and have an easy time adapting to life in American society. The authors conclude with policy measures that can improve the lives not only of Asian Americans but also of other Americans of color.

30 review for The Myth of the Model Minority: Asian Americans Facing Racism

  1. 5 out of 5

    augend

    "We can pinpoint when this model myth was likely first constructed. In the mid-1960s, largely in response to African American and Mexican American protests against discrimination, white scholars, political leaders, and journalists developed the model minority myth in order to allege that all Americans of color could achieve the American dream--and not by protesting discrimination in the stores and streets as African Americans and Mexican Americans were doing, but by working as "hard and quietly" "We can pinpoint when this model myth was likely first constructed. In the mid-1960s, largely in response to African American and Mexican American protests against discrimination, white scholars, political leaders, and journalists developed the model minority myth in order to allege that all Americans of color could achieve the American dream--and not by protesting discrimination in the stores and streets as African Americans and Mexican Americans were doing, but by working as "hard and quietly" as Japanese and Chinese Americans supposedly did. This model image was created not by Asian Americans but by influential whites for their public ideological use." p. 13 (Chou, Feagin 2008) Claire Jean Kim on conflicts between Korean American merchants and African American patrons: "Such intergroup conflict involves more than just stereotyping by African Americans or Korean Americans of the other group, but instead reflects the white-imposed racial hierarchy at its effect on both racially subordinated groups" p. 17 1989: First successful federal prosecution of a civil rights case involving a racially targeted Asian American. p. 28 Story of Ethan: Social class and model minority privilege do not protect one from racialized violence. p. 33 "The reality of systemic racism means that there is a white-generated racial framing of all racial groups, a framing that to some degree gets drilled into the heads of virtually all Americans no matter what their racial group may be. Most major racial slurs and racial stereotypes targeting subordinated groups in the United States were originally created by whites as part of this racial frame and have long been taught for generations by means of the media, schools, aand other institutions to all Americans. Thus, when an African American uses a common slur against an Asian American, or vice versa, such negative actions are often shaped, at least in part, by the larger societal context of centuries of white-generated racism." p. 49 Eduardo Bonilla-Silva on anti-Asian discrimination in college: Indeed, recent analysis of contemporary white commentaries on other racial groups suggests that many have become skilled at talking 'nasty about minorities without sounding racist.' p. 73 Academic achievement as coping mechanism, shield oneself from racism. p. 117

  2. 4 out of 5

    Katrina V.

    Myth of the Model Minority Joe R. Feagin and Rosalind S. Chou Published September 1st, 2008 Nonfiction (Political/Cultural) This book showcases the racism that Asian Americans face, and how most races don’t acknowledge the fact that Asian Americans are also discriminated against. This book has many different interviews and perspectives from Asians of ALL races, and shows how different people deal with the same type of backlash based on on their race. Although the title of the book has the phras Myth of the Model Minority Joe R. Feagin and Rosalind S. Chou Published September 1st, 2008 Nonfiction (Political/Cultural) This book showcases the racism that Asian Americans face, and how most races don’t acknowledge the fact that Asian Americans are also discriminated against. This book has many different interviews and perspectives from Asians of ALL races, and shows how different people deal with the same type of backlash based on on their race. Although the title of the book has the phrase, “Model Minority,” the book dispels any rumor that people who are white favor Asians. They counter-argue and say that the stereotype of white people favoring Asian people gives Asian people more backlash. The research that Feagin and Chou do shows the extent of blatant racism that is considered to be normalized, and how one should do something and stand up against it. The book works on empowering Asian people to do something about prejudice against the Asian race, and how the perception of equality can be altered through societal standards. The book was made in 2008, so the interviews are a bit outdated. The experiences that people faced in the book are still similar to experiences that Asians today have faced, but the equality of Asian American people in general have definitely gotten better. From 2008 up until 2020, the strive to be equal to those who are more privileged than others has been made, so steps to become equal rather than more separated have definitely been taken. The issues that Asian Americans faced in 2008 are definitely similar to the issues that Asian Americans face today, but today’s issues are more talked about in the media compared to then. The biggest selling point of the book is the extensive research that the authors did in order to sell their point. Rather than make their book opinion based, they took the effort to interview multiple people about their experience with racial bias. The book pinpoints stereotypes and has various situations rather than only use information that would help strengthen their argument. This, in turn, makes their book seem more credible than beforehand. This book is very long. It takes multiple sittings to read, and a lot of the language used is very strong and negative. The issues that Feagin and Chou write about are pertaining to Asian American backlash, but the extent of their research makes the pages sometimes difficult to read and fully comprehend. The reader has to be in a certain mindset in order to comprehend what the author has in mind. The biggest takeaway from this book is that Asian Americans face backlash every single day, and the racism that they face has become more normalized than racism that other races would face. The most striking part of this book has to be that racial bias exists in everybody’s mind no matter how open minded one desires to be. Although this is true, the steps that one takes are so much more important than what stereotypes have been drilled into the average American’s mind.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Melissa

    Eye opening research and a worthy read. If you want to fight racism, you have to understand how Asian Americans are discriminated against as well and how they are used to continue the divide between whites and people of color.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Stephanie Folarin

    A collection of powerful personal narratives and psychological analysis that remind us that stereotyping and racial framing is more than wrong. There is no such thing as a model minority, but there is such a thing as systemic racism.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Kat

  6. 5 out of 5

    Lillian B Duren

  7. 5 out of 5

    Christine Liu

  8. 5 out of 5

    Wei-ling

  9. 4 out of 5

    lycheeplum

  10. 4 out of 5

    C

  11. 4 out of 5

    Canton Winer

  12. 4 out of 5

    Mariam

  13. 4 out of 5

    toroltao

  14. 5 out of 5

    Clint Nazareno

  15. 4 out of 5

    Ashley Wold

  16. 5 out of 5

    Mitchel Lee

  17. 4 out of 5

    Ciaotiffany

  18. 4 out of 5

    Mimi

  19. 4 out of 5

    T.J.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Richard Larraga

  21. 4 out of 5

    Naomi Migliacci

  22. 4 out of 5

    Amanda

  23. 5 out of 5

    Emily

  24. 5 out of 5

    Silas Kirsch

  25. 5 out of 5

    Andrea

  26. 4 out of 5

    Vinnie Wong

  27. 5 out of 5

    Bonnie Milecki

  28. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer XJ

  29. 5 out of 5

    Shenwei

  30. 5 out of 5

    Raven

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