12 Sep 2022


Asian-Americans: The Model Minority Myth

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Academic level: College

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Asian-Americans are among the rapidly growing racial minority groups in the United States. They comprise 4.8 percent of the total population of the United States. They are found to have the highest educational achievement level and median household income in the country. They have a history of doing well in schools. This paper is going to discuss the reasons why Asian Americans surpass Americans in education, their cultural value towards education, the history of their discrimination against us, similarities and differences between Asian and American values, their families, extended family behaviors, cultural values towards authority, and respect for adults. 

Research that was done in California has shown that 44 percent of Asian Americans have bachelor’s degree while 26 percent of Americans hold it. The main reason why the Asian surpass the United States in education is because the Asian culture has played a significant role in motivating individuals to their educational achievement. Additionally, the Asian-American students are believed to have genetic intelligence that makes them surpass us in education. Additionally, Asian American families are involved in their children participation compared to American parents and thus leading to better performance education. 

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Cultural Value of Asians toward Education 

Asians believe in collectivist perspective as far as education is concerned. The parents tend to view teachers as the major contributors to their children better performance in their education. Asian-American culture emphasizes on consideration of values as far as education is concerned. The learners are supposed to assist each other in education. The Asian values in schooling emphasize on endurance despite the challenges which the students face. Asians view learning as the key to economic opportunity and social mobility ( Sue & Okazaki, 1990). 

History of Discrimination in the U.S 

For the past decades, the Asian-Americans were low-wage laborers, low skilled, targets of official discrimination and ethnic enclaves. Today, they are a major ethnic or racial group in the United States who live in mixed neighborhoods and marry across different racial lines. Asian-Americans have been facing workplace discrimination and are the victims of violence and sexual harassment. Americans were stereotypes on the Asian Americans. They viewed them as the model minority and neglected their problems. In 1989, many Asian-Americans were facing violence, and many cases were not reported ( Fong, 2002). In 1991, Wall street journal stated that the Asian-Americans faced prejudice, barriers to equal opportunity and discrimination. 


Hispanics are new immigrants in the United States, and research shows that the Asians were doing better than them in education. In the recent years, sixty percent Asian adults aged 21 to 64 have a bachelor’s degree. This is double as compared to the other non-Asian arrivals. They are the most educated as compared to other population in the United States. 

Comparisons and Differences between Asian Values and the Dominant American Values 

One of the main features of a particular culture is values. Values refer to the standards used by people in judging good and bad behavior. Though Asian Americans may share some values with Americans, it is the similarities and the differences in the values that account for perceptions and interactions between the two cultures. On the aspect of similarity, the two cultures share values such as headwork, family, and education. 

Asian Americans emphasize on the well-being of a group at the expense of an individual and view people as being part of the family or the larger group. Conversely, American values laid a lot of emphasis on the importance of a person and stress on individual initiative and independence. Although the two cultures share family, hard work, and education values, they are manifested in different ways. Some of the Asian-American values are critical in a way that some cultures like the Japanese have given them names. 


According to the research done by Pew Research Center showed that the Asia-Americans are more satisfied with their families than the Americans who do not value parenthood and marriage. They are expected to intermarry with other racial groups. Besides, their children are more likely to live in households with married parents. Asian-Americans have been found to prioritize marriage as compared to other Americans ( Sue & Okazaki, 1990). 

Extended Family Behaviors 

Asian Americans values extend families. The reason for their creation of the extended families is the desire for the children to support the parents and the grandparents, cultural obligation, economic stability, and so on. Individuals are required to be loyal to their families. Independent behavior that may have an adverse effect on the harmony of the extended family is discouraged. A person is not supposed to bring disgrace or dishonor to the household. Moreover, the individuals are also expected to exercise self-control and demonstrate strength in times of strength. 

Cultural Values toward Authority 

Asian culture reinforces the cultural value of respect for authority, both personal and institutional. Asian culture teaches a person how to respect and honor authority. People are taught how to develop and respect both individual and institutional authority. 

Respect for Adults 

In Asian American-families, children are supposed to comply with the adults. Respect for the adults is seen as a religious duty. The Asian culture emphasizes on respect for the family adults which is shown through language and gestures ( Chan, 1991). The concept of respect in the Asian families influences the feelings of responsibility for the family and the way the parents make decisions. 


In conclusion, Asian-Americans, despite being a minority population, have surpassed Americans in education, and other areas. Their cultural values toward education have also contributed to their success in school. Their discouragement of individuality has helped them to succeed in such spheres. 


Chan, S. (1991). Asian Americans: an interpretive history. New York, NY

Fong, T. P. (2002). The contemporary Asian American experience: Beyond the model minority . Pearson College Division. 

Sue, S., & Okazaki, S. (1990). Asian-American educational achievements: A phenomenon in search of an explanation. American psychologist , 45 (8), 913. 

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StudyBounty. (2023, September 14). Asian-Americans: The Model Minority Myth.


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