Model Minority Myth

History of 'Model Minority'

The term 'model minority' was coined in 1966 by sociologist William Petersen in an article he wrote for the The New York Times Magazine entitled "Successful story: Japanese American style." The term has often been used to describe Asian Americans, a group seen as having success relative to other immigrant groups. Asians work hard, do well in school, and go on to have successful careers.

What's so bad about the Model Minority Myth?

  • Like all stereotypes, the model minority myth erases the differences among individuals
  • The model minority myth ignores the diversity of Asian American cultures
  • The model minority myth operates alongside the myth of Asian Americans as perpetual foreigners
  • The model minority myth erases racism against Asian Americans
  • The model minority myth is harmful to the struggle for racial justice