Pub. date: 2008 | Online Pub. Date: June 25, 2008 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412963978 | Print ISBN: 9781412909280 | Online ISBN: 9781412963978| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Model Minority Myth
Yu-Wei Wang & Frances C. Shen
The model minority myth refers to a set of stereotypes that are composed of several positive qualities purportedly unique to all Asian Americans. Asian Americans represent a very diverse population in the United States, with approximately 29 distinct ethnic groups differing in languages, religions, and customs. However, the model minority myth tends to generalize more toward East and Southeast relative to all Asian American groups. The model minority myth generally characterizes this group as intelligent, academically conscientious, educationally achieving, skilled in math and science, respectful, obedient, well-behaved, well-assimilated, self-disciplined, serious, hardworking, affluent, and professionally successful, particularly in business, science, and technology. Although the current and most common stereotype of Asian Americans that exists in the United States is the model minority myth, stereotypes about this population have evolved through numerous changes since the first wave of Asian immigrants in the mid-1800s. These stereotyped images have included the “pollutant,” the “coolie” ...