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Lisa Sun-Hee Park

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Continuing Significance of the Model Minority Myth: The Second Generation

Drawing from the immigration narratives retold by children of immigrants, the author argues that the model minority myth not only plays an ongoing role in perpetuating the foreigner status of Asian Americans, but also limits the avenues for progressive social change among the second generation. The model minority myth promotes a national ideology of meritocracy and equality. It does not imply full citizenship rights, but rather differential inclusion afforded to minorities who “behave” and stay in their designated social space. As a result, the model minority myth reinforces established inequities and places second-generation Asian Americans in a precarious position in which they must constantly prove their worth as “real” Americans, regardless of their legal citizenship status.

model minority myth, second generation, citizenship

Citation: Social Justice Vol. 35, No. 2 (2008-09): 134-144