Stereotypes Of Asian Americans

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As an Asian immigrant growing up in the United States I found it hard to live up to the standards that the American society imposes on the Asian American community. The notion of a “model minority” has been thrown around our culture since the day it was coined in 1966 sparking a prejudice that colored the Asian American people in a specific light—one that can be argued to be bad and, at the same time, good for the community. (Linshi) We were seen as this group of people that were successful economically but also as as a group people deemed to have been push-overs. We were labeled as the community that were able to navigate through economic hardship by being quiet and submissive. All the stereotypes of what an Asian can and can’t be started …show more content…
This constant change of how Asians are perceived by American culture places a strain on growing Asian American children. When stereotypes such as these are thrown around children who have minds that are easily malleable, start to develop this perception of what an Asian is supposed to be like based on what society is telling them. These “social cues” are altering their perception of themselves and it limits their imagination as to what kind of future they are allowed to have. (Basset) Although some of these stereotypes might not be the most positive, such as Asian’s being seen as weak willed, not all stereotypes are perceived to be “bad.” For example, the stereotype that Asians are born smart and successful, is a positive stereotype but they may also act as a roadblock in the journey of self-realization in young Asian …show more content…
(Basset) An Asian American who grows up in this kind of community will then not be able to express his individuality and but hidden away by the the perceived likeness of the community. Some can argue that it might actually be better to be seen as a model minority in some cases. In the book Unruly Immigrants the author, Das Gupta, provided an example of a “dark-skinned Harvard medical student” bursting out that they’d “..rather be a model minority than have a white woman passing me clutch her purse.” This Harvard student claimed that they would rather be “stereotyped positively.” Das Gupta also provides information regarding how being stereotyped as an Asian minority “inspired South Asian youths to be better than their white peers.” So being stereotyped might be considered a positive thing after all. What some people don’t realize is that those South Asian youth who were inspired to do better than their white peers, aspired to do so out of adversity. They didn’t want themselves to be stereotype, or to be defined by someone other than themselves so they went above and beyond the expectation. This can be seen a positive way of looking at the effects of Asian stereotypes but there needs to be an understanding that they only aspired to prove the stereotype

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