Malady of the "model minority": White racism's assault on the Asian American psyche

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Title: Malady of the "model minority": White racism's assault on the Asian American psyche
Author: Chou, Rosalind Sue
Abstract: My research is a qualitative study about the Asian American experience . Studies have shown that Asian Americans obtain high levels of educational attainment and household income , but these figures are misleading . Asian Americans are getting a lower financial return on their education compared to their white counterparts . They suffer higher rates of suicide and depression than all other racial groups . Little quantitative and no qualitative research exists addressing these issues . My research explores Asian American life experiences with a focus on what role systemic racism plays in their lives and how this connects to the health disparities . This analysis utilizes thirty -six in -depth interviews to discuss the types and frequency of racist events . Respondents revealed a plethora of discriminatory incidents and shared various coping strategies that they use to deal with the stress of discrimination and to combat future racism . The analysis concludes that the great efforts that Asian Americans go to in order to protect themselves from white racism are costly . Respondents have to combat feelings of isolation , inadequacy , and inferiority . The analysis also utilizes interview data to discuss the ways in which respondents attempt to conform to the white racial frame in hopes to find relief from discrimination . By conforming , some adopt negative racial stereotypes about themselves and other people of color . Even after going to great lengths to conform , interviewees still struggled with feeling excluded by whites . Eventually , some respondents became hopeless that they would ever be accepted . This work also explores alternative methods some Asian Americans are using to combat systemic racism . Some respondents revealed an alternate mindset to those who have chosen to conform to the white racial frame . This group of respondents challenged white racist ideologies , and some even discussed methods in which they actively resist in hopes to improve the racial situation for all Asian Americans . This work is an attempt to fill the large gaps in research about the unique Asian American experience . There has been no other similar analysis in the past . My data reveal the complexities of the Asian American experience and the need for further research .
URI: http : / /hdl .handle .net /1969 .1 /ETD -TAMU -1377
Date: 2009-05-15


Malady of the "model minority": White racism's assault on the Asian American psyche. Available electronically from http : / /hdl .handle .net /1969 .1 /ETD -TAMU -1377 .

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