The Model Minority Essay

1682 words - 7 pages

Have you ever wondered where the term "Model Minority" came from? Do you know what it means, and what it applies to? "Model Minority" refers to a minority ethnic, racial, or religious group whose members achieve a higher degree of success than the population average. The term Model Minority was coined in the Mid-1960's by William Peterson, a social demographer who believed through hard work and determination that this minority group has risen above the ranks of "problem minority." The term Model Minority mostly applies to Asian Americans that portray the hard working, musically talented, and mathematically brilliant Model Minority. Even though it's meant to be a good thing, the Model Minority has created a false perception of Asian American success that is different in reality and has negatively affected the Asian Americans.After all the Model Minority in the eyes of Americans is seen as a good thing, but many Asian Americans resent the label of Model Minority and see it as another attempt to stereotype a minority group. The Model Minority causes an identity problem with other Asian ethnic groups; the label homogenizes all Asian American and hides their differences. The label also causes everyone to think all Asian Americans are college educated and a wealthy middleclass citizen of America. The Model Minority label also causes a big problem with Asian Americans. It often pits them against other minority groups. I think The Model Minority is just a myth in which there is a good side of it and also a bad side of it. The myth was made with good intentions however, not every Asian American is what it describes as and Asian Americans should be treated like any other group.In "The Harmful Myth of Asian Superiority," he talks about the difference between the myth and reality of Asian American success. The example of high earnings of the Asian American compared to Caucasians are misleading, because most Asian Americans live in California, Hawaii, and New York-states with higher incomes and higher cost of living than the national average. When comparing family incomes it is deceptive because Asian Americans have more workers per family than Caucasians. Another issue Takaki brought up in his article was that the Model Minority categorized all Americans as the same, not every Asian American is successfully portrayed by the Model Minority such as Chinese, Japanese, and Asian Indians. Takaki said that although many Asian Americans are getting good jobs and earning high salaries, most of them hit the "glass ceiling" and never reach the positions of officials or managers. Only eight percent of Asians have held this title, compared to twelve percent of all other groups. Most Asian American know their success is largely a myth with regard to the theory of the Model Minority that it makes other people think they are successful; however, in reality, a lot of Asian Americans are poor and uneducated.In "The Myth of the Model Minority," Philip Chiu talks about how the...

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