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‘I don't want to stereotype… but it's true’: Maintaining whiteness at the centre through the `smart Asian’ stereotype in high school

‘I don't want to stereotype… but it's true’: Maintaining whiteness at the centre... AbstractThe ‘smart Asian’ stereotype, part of the model minority discourse, depicts Asian students as studious and academically successful. We draw on critical race theory, with a focus on critical whiteness studies and the concepts of democratic and cultural racism, to examine the racialising effects of this seemingly positive stereotype. Drawing on in-depth interviews with over 60 self-identified smart, teenagers from schools in the Southern Ontario, we identified three themes which together illustrate how the ‘smart Asian’ stereotype reflects and reproduces a hegemonic white center. First, a number of our participants deployed, and then trivialised the ‘smart Asian’ stereotype as ‘just joking’. Second, through discussing this stereotype, white participants often excluded students with Asian backgrounds from conceptualisations of what it means to be Canadian and to fit in. Finally, this stereotype was experienced ambivalently by Asian-identified students who found it brought academic rewards, but at the expense of exclusion. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Whiteness and Education Taylor & Francis

‘I don't want to stereotype… but it's true’: Maintaining whiteness at the centre through the `smart Asian’ stereotype in high school

15 pages

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References (47)

Publisher
Taylor & Francis
Copyright
© 2016 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group
ISSN
2379-3414
eISSN
2379-3406
DOI
10.1080/13613324.2015.1122661
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

AbstractThe ‘smart Asian’ stereotype, part of the model minority discourse, depicts Asian students as studious and academically successful. We draw on critical race theory, with a focus on critical whiteness studies and the concepts of democratic and cultural racism, to examine the racialising effects of this seemingly positive stereotype. Drawing on in-depth interviews with over 60 self-identified smart, teenagers from schools in the Southern Ontario, we identified three themes which together illustrate how the ‘smart Asian’ stereotype reflects and reproduces a hegemonic white center. First, a number of our participants deployed, and then trivialised the ‘smart Asian’ stereotype as ‘just joking’. Second, through discussing this stereotype, white participants often excluded students with Asian backgrounds from conceptualisations of what it means to be Canadian and to fit in. Finally, this stereotype was experienced ambivalently by Asian-identified students who found it brought academic rewards, but at the expense of exclusion.

Journal

Whiteness and EducationTaylor & Francis

Published: Jan 2, 2016

Keywords: Stereotype; discourse; model minority; whiteness; academic success; Asian

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