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Asian Stereotypes Essay

1442 words - 6 pages

Joshua Wang Thursday Period 6
Asian StereotypesStereotypes are everywhere in today's society. The media today such as television, radio, and the internet constantly remind us of the stereotypes for different races, genders, religions, and numerous other categories. Stereotypes of Asians in particular have been around for a fairly decent length of time. In the late 19th century, the term "Chinky Chink" was used to describe the American fear that a large number of Asians would immigrate to the United States. Americans were afraid that the Asian immigrants would "invade" the country and take jobs away from Americans. At this time, many anti-Asian feelings were expressed, especially on the West Coast, through headlines such as "The 'Yellow Peril'" (Los Angeles Times, 1886). In 1924, the Immigration Act was passed, limiting the number of Asians allowed into the United States because by then they were considered an "undesirable" race. Racism back then eventually evolved into the stereotype ingrained in today's society. One of the more common Asian stereotypes in our world specifically pertains to East Asians. East Asia as a phrase usually refers to the countries of China and Japan, as the main countries subject to stereotyping.Generally, Asians are portrayed as being smart in subjects such as math or science, hardworking, politically ignorant, and very polite and inoffensive. They are also portrayed as having no peripheral vision, which supposedly leads to bad driving. Common stereotypes are martial artists, geeks, and foreigners. Being foreigners, Asians are attributed to speaking poor English and replacing the letters "-l" and "-r" with each other. Muttering random nonsense and using words that rhyme on "-ng" sounds like "ching, chang chong" is another depiction commonly associated with Asians. Asians in America are considered to be inadaptable, inherently fixed in their own culture and unable to become truly American. A common stereotype for Asian parents is that they only care about their children's grades and academic future. They don't allow their kids to go out with their friends, as parents of other ethnicities are wont to do. Instead, sons and daughters of Asian parents are told to stay home, study hard, get into a good prestigious college, and live life with a high-paying, high-status job. Old Chinese and Japanese people are described as being extremely wise with long beards, the image drawn from the Chinese philosopher Confucius. East Asian food is stereotyped as well, the most well-known Chinese food among Westerns being egg rolls, "chow mein", and "chow fun", and fortune cookies. Surprisingly enough, most of the "Chinese food" Westerns love to eat is almost 100% a Western adaptation of the original. The fortune cookie we know today was invented in America, not China as most ignorant people believe. Asian stereotypes based on physical appearances also exist. During World War II, efforts were made to distinguish "enemy" Japanese from...

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