The Myth of the Model Minority: Asian Americans Facing Racism
Rosalind S. Chou, Joe R. Feagin
Paradigm Publishers (June 24, 2008)
In this path-breaking book sociologists Rosalind Chou and Joe Feagin examine, for the first time in depth, racial stereotyping and discrimination daily faced by Asian Americans long viewed by whites as the model minority. Drawing on more than 40 field interviews across the country, they examine the everyday lives of Asian Americans in numerous different national origin groups. Their data contrast sharply with white-honed, especially media, depictions of racially untroubled Asian American success. Many hypocritical whites make sure that Asian Americans know their racially inferior place in U.S. society so that Asian people live lives constantly oppressed and stressed by white racism. The authors explore numerous instances of white-imposed discrimination faced by Asian Americans in a variety of settings, from elementary schools to college settings, to employment, to restaurants and other public accommodations. The responses of Asian Americans to the U.S. racial hierarchy and its rationalizing racist framing are traced with some Asian Americans choosing to conform aggressively to whiteness and others choosing to resist actively the imposition of the U.S. brand of anti-Asian oppression. This book destroys any naive notion that Asian Americans are universally favored by whites and have an easy time adapting to life in this still racist society.