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Challenging the Politics of the “Model Minority” Stereotype: A Case for Educational Equality

Challenging the Politics of the “Model Minority” Stereotype: A Case for Educational Equality This article examines the political rationale of the “model minority” stereotype about Asian Americans and its ramifications on education. Created by white elites in the 1960s as a device of political control, the model minority stereotype continues to serve the larger conservative restoration in American society today. By over-emphasizing Asian American success and misrepresenting it as proof of the perceived equal opportunity in American society, proponents of the stereotype downplay racism and other structural problems Asians and other minority groups continue to suffer. The theory that Asians succeed by merit (strong family, hard work, and high regard for education) is used by power elites to silence the protesting voices of racial minorities and even disadvantaged Whites and to maintain the status quo in race and power relations. In education, the model minority thesis has always supported conservative agendas in school reform. Now it goes hand in hand with the meritocracy myth and promotes educational policy that emphasizes accountability, standards, competition, and individual choice, while trivializing social conditions of schooling and unequal educational opportunities facing different student groups. It is the responsibility of educators to deconstruct the “model minority” stereotype and any other stereotypes or myths prevailing in education discourse, and seriously challenge racism, class division, and other structural problems. Social justice and equality must become a guiding principle for school reform and educational policy. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Equity & Excellence in Education Taylor & Francis

Challenging the Politics of the “Model Minority” Stereotype: A Case for Educational Equality

Equity & Excellence in Education , Volume 39 (4): 9 – Dec 1, 2006
9 pages

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References (61)

Publisher
Taylor & Francis
Copyright
Copyright Taylor & Francis Group, LLC
ISSN
1547-3457
eISSN
1066-5684
DOI
10.1080/10665680600932333
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

This article examines the political rationale of the “model minority” stereotype about Asian Americans and its ramifications on education. Created by white elites in the 1960s as a device of political control, the model minority stereotype continues to serve the larger conservative restoration in American society today. By over-emphasizing Asian American success and misrepresenting it as proof of the perceived equal opportunity in American society, proponents of the stereotype downplay racism and other structural problems Asians and other minority groups continue to suffer. The theory that Asians succeed by merit (strong family, hard work, and high regard for education) is used by power elites to silence the protesting voices of racial minorities and even disadvantaged Whites and to maintain the status quo in race and power relations. In education, the model minority thesis has always supported conservative agendas in school reform. Now it goes hand in hand with the meritocracy myth and promotes educational policy that emphasizes accountability, standards, competition, and individual choice, while trivializing social conditions of schooling and unequal educational opportunities facing different student groups. It is the responsibility of educators to deconstruct the “model minority” stereotype and any other stereotypes or myths prevailing in education discourse, and seriously challenge racism, class division, and other structural problems. Social justice and equality must become a guiding principle for school reform and educational policy.

Journal

Equity & Excellence in EducationTaylor & Francis

Published: Dec 1, 2006

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