Model Minorities and the Model Minority Myth

The term model minority is most often associated with Asian Pacific Americans (APAs) and is used to highlight APAs' seemingly successful assimilation into mainstream White American culture. This is often referred to as the “model minority myth,” because APAs' perceived success is frequently used to justify the claim that they do not experience race-based obstacles and do not need affirmative action.

The term model minority is thought to have appeared initially in two articles published in 1966. The first article—which discussed the ability of Japanese Americans to rise above the deep prejudice they faced during World War II and still succeed in economic, educational, and social relations—was authored by sociologist William Peterson and was published in The New York Times Magazine. The term was also mentioned ...

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