Title

The Humanization of Asian Americans: Dispelling the Model Minority Myth in Relation to Higher Education

Lead Author Major

English

Lead Author Status

Junior

Format

Oral Presentation

Faculty Mentor Name

Jeffrey Hole

Faculty Mentor Department

English

Abstract/Artist Statement

As Dr. Kim Tran, Vietnamese American activist and scholar, proposes, “representation affirms that we exist. Liberation ensures that we thrive. Related, [but] not equal.” In dissecting the fallacy of the Model Minority Myth, I aim to explain how it flattens the diversity of Asian American experiences with poverty, immigration and deportation, and, specifically, education. Furthermore, the term Asian American has been weaponized to pit minority groups against one other. It is problematic in that it aligns Asian Americans with whiteness to be proximate to power and privilege, and yet, its positionality is dependent on “othering” other marginalized groups. While I use the term Asian American, I recognize that it contributes to a dangerous notion of homogeneity and grossly simplifies the diverse positionalities and racial traumas of its subgroups.

I chose to analyze case studies, secondary sources, and general history texts in order to have a broader understanding of the way historical policies impact current situations. I found that in order to understand the educational circumstances of Asian Americans, I had to learn about the history of war, colonialism, immigration, poverty, policy, white supremacy, racial stereotypes, and even “bamboo” ceilings in the workplace.

The central questions that guide this research project that I work to address include how and why have Asian Americans been labeled as model minorities. Which group(s) and systems benefit from that myth? How has that label been harmful to the vast number of ethnic subgroups that fall under the category of Asian American? Once data surrounding Asian Americans in education and socioeconomic status is disaggregated, what realities are actually revealed?

Location

Yosemite Learning Lab, William Knox Holt Memorial Library and Learning Center

Start Date

30-4-2022 10:40 AM

End Date

30-4-2022 10:59 AM

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Apr 30th, 10:40 AM Apr 30th, 10:59 AM

The Humanization of Asian Americans: Dispelling the Model Minority Myth in Relation to Higher Education

Yosemite Learning Lab, William Knox Holt Memorial Library and Learning Center

As Dr. Kim Tran, Vietnamese American activist and scholar, proposes, “representation affirms that we exist. Liberation ensures that we thrive. Related, [but] not equal.” In dissecting the fallacy of the Model Minority Myth, I aim to explain how it flattens the diversity of Asian American experiences with poverty, immigration and deportation, and, specifically, education. Furthermore, the term Asian American has been weaponized to pit minority groups against one other. It is problematic in that it aligns Asian Americans with whiteness to be proximate to power and privilege, and yet, its positionality is dependent on “othering” other marginalized groups. While I use the term Asian American, I recognize that it contributes to a dangerous notion of homogeneity and grossly simplifies the diverse positionalities and racial traumas of its subgroups.

I chose to analyze case studies, secondary sources, and general history texts in order to have a broader understanding of the way historical policies impact current situations. I found that in order to understand the educational circumstances of Asian Americans, I had to learn about the history of war, colonialism, immigration, poverty, policy, white supremacy, racial stereotypes, and even “bamboo” ceilings in the workplace.

The central questions that guide this research project that I work to address include how and why have Asian Americans been labeled as model minorities. Which group(s) and systems benefit from that myth? How has that label been harmful to the vast number of ethnic subgroups that fall under the category of Asian American? Once data surrounding Asian Americans in education and socioeconomic status is disaggregated, what realities are actually revealed?