Pushing Perfection & Pain: How the 'Model Minority' Myth Harms Asian Americans


Pushing Perfection & Pain: How the 'Model Minority' Myth Harms Asian Americans



Faculty Mentor

Helen Kaibara, History & Foreign Languages


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1:15-1:25pm | Houston Cole Library, 11th Floor


“Pushing Perfection and Pain” explores the birth of the titular ‘model minority’ myth while examining how it has since alienated Asian Americans in society both on the demographic and individual levels. This paper also briefly acknowledges the “benefit” of the ‘model minority’ myth that not only strengthens it, but also makes it difficult to identify. With historical analyses of the status of Asian Americans in the United States, first-hand accounts of experience with the ‘model minority’ myth, and explanations of the myth and its effect on today’s Asian Americans, it will be argued that the ‘model minority’ myth ascribed to Asian Americans has become increasingly detrimental towards their community in its development, as seen in the face of social stressors in the U.S. and the unique obstacle Asian Americans have to overcome in the generalization that results from this myth. In the wake of recent surges in Asian American hate crimes, the findings and arguments of this paper are significant because the ‘model minority’ myth is so ingrained into American society that not only is it overlooked, but so are its effects. This circumstance lends itself to have Asian Americans experience a form of discrimination so distinctive that they will be prevented from getting the necessary assistance until this concept is removed from its place in American culture.


student research, history


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Asian History

Pushing Perfection & Pain: How the 'Model Minority' Myth Harms Asian Americans