Asian American Model Minority Myth Essay

Decent Essays
Although Asian Americans comprise only about 5% of the U.S. population, this group is the fastest growing segment of American society. Despite such rapid expansion, Asian Americans are widely underrepresented throughout media, whether in television, cinema, or literature. Moreover, there are different stereotypes associated with Asian Americans. One of the most pervasive stereotypes details how Asian Americans are a “model minority”. In essence, this myth describes how anyone who is Asian American will become a successful individual able to achieve the “American dream”.
This may seem beneficial for Asian Americans at first; however, the model minority myth is actually detrimental to many segments of the population. This is especially true of recent immigrant Asian Americans. These individuals become deprived of resources because they are expected to have the same level of success as Asian Americans who have already lived in the U.S. for generations. Even in academia, the model minority myth causes Asian Americans to be understudied and misunderstood. Because Asian Americans are perceived to be successful and well-integrated individuals, Lee et al. (2001) show how there is “not enough research” that investigates Asian American mental health (160). In other words, even though some current data show higher rates of mental illness among Asian Americans, the model minority myth has distracted scholars from studying Asian American mental health. Thus, to ensure that Asian
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