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Asian Americans as Model Minorities For 20 years Asian Americans have been portrayed by the press and the media as a successful minority Asian Americans are believed to benefit from astounding achievements in education rising occupational statuses increasing income and are problem-fee in mental health and crime The idea of Asian Americans as a model minority has become the central theme in media portrayal of Asian Americans since the middle 1960s The term model minority is given to a minority group that exhibits middle class characteristics and attains some measure of success on its own without special programs or welfare Asian Americans are seen as a model minority because even though they have faced prejudice and discrimination by other racial groups they have succeeded socially economically and educationally without resorting to political or violent disagreements with the majority race The success of the minority is offered as proof that the American dream of equal opportunity is capable to those who conform and who are willing to work hard Therefore the term model minority really is a means 1 to control minority groups in society 2 to validate and reinforce the values of the white majority and 3 to inform other minority groups that they too could achieve success if they conform to the values and norms of the middle class Statistics that support this model minority theory can be found in many areas the first being education Fifty percent of Asian Americans 25 and older hold a bachelors degreecompared to twenty-nine percent of the white population Many studies have used standardized tests and school records such as SAT GPA and other measures to compare the academic performance of Asian American students with non-Asian American students Several studies have indicated that the outstanding academic performance of Asian students might be attributed to their cultural and family values Another area of model minority success is found in the professional workforce Asian Americans as a
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