My research question inquires into the origins of the “model minority” thesis and its effects on Asian Americans.
The model minority phenomenon asserts that Asian Americans are the most successful minority group in terms of academic and financial achievement. Their success is greatly due to their supposed cultural values of obedience, respect of authority, industry, and emphasis on education. However, research shows that Asian Americans as a whole are perhaps not as successful as depicted. I hypothesize that the goal of this misinformation is to manipulate the image of Asian Americans and further a white agenda. Asian Americans act as pawns in the objective of denigrating other minority groups, while also bastardizing Asian culture. In this way, society’s subtle racism towards Asian Americans can be linked to the overt racism of other minority groups, such as blacks and Hispanics.
Road map: In my RBA, I plan to further examine how my hypothesis plays into higher education and affirmative action, as well as career choices and salaries. Additionally, I plan to analyze the origins of the model minority myth in order to better understand the purpose of this perpetuated myth. Civil rights movements of blacks and Hispanics will also be mentioned to explain context and provide contrast to Asian Americans.