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Subject: AEJ 97 ChenC MAC Use of Asian-American history in the news media
From: Elliott Parker <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:AEJMC Conference Papers <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Thu, 2 Oct 1997 06:36:59 EDT

TEXT/PLAIN (553 lines)

        This paper focuses on the use of history in the American press's "model
minority" discourse between the 1960s and the 1980s.  It looks at how the
mainstream media constructed an Asian American past to justify the discourse of
the "model minority."  It then addresses the political and ideological
implications of this stereotype.  It concludes by arguing that journalists ought
to incorporate a deconstructive impulse in using history and writing about
Use of Asian American History in the News Media:
The Discourse of "Model Minority"
Chiung Hwang Chen
School of Journalism and Mass Communication
University of Iowa
Iowa city, IA 52242
[log in to unmask]
(319) 353-4453
Ethan Yorgason
Geography Department
University of Iowa
[log in to unmask]
March 30, 1997
For 1997 AEJMC Conference
Minorities and Communication Division
Model Minority
Use of Asian American History in the News Media:
The Discourse of "Model Minority"
        After enduring a century of blatant racial discrimination and negative
stereotypes (i.e. "yellow peril"), Asian Americans suddenly found themselves
cast in a favorable light.  Since the mid 1960s, the mainstream media have
created the image of Asian Americans as the "model minority" by telling the
economic success stories and educational achievements of Asian Americans.  This
paper uses what Bob H. Suzuki calls "the revisionist perspective," through which
Asian American scholars have identified the misleading nature of this "positive"
image of "model minority" and argued that Asian Americans, like other minority
groups, continue to experience white racism, insidiously subtle in form.
        The media's use of history in portraying minorities has received little
attention from scholars.  This paper focuses on the use of history in the
American press's "model minority" discourse between the 1960s and the 1980s.[1]
More specifically, the paper examines three issues. First, it looks at how the
mainstream media create a single narrative to link the past and present.  It
argues that an Asian American past is constructed by the American mainstream
news media to justify the discourse of the "model minority."  Second, it
addresses the use of this history and stereotype to maintain power relationships
between dominant and minority groups and to perpetuate the status quo.  Third,
it explores how "model minority" discourse generates fear and racial hatred
toward Asian Americans.  The paper reveals continuity between "model minority"
discourse and the "yellow peril" stereotype by arguing that in spite of
implications that conditions have changed, Asian Americans are still
rhetorically constructed as threats that must be contained.
A Narrative of Asian American History
        Hans Kellner (1989) argues that historical events or "facts" contain little
meaning in and of themselves.  Through literary strategies, historians link
events together and create meanings.  He claims that these meanings always
derive from/relate to present social/political concerns.  For Hayden White
(1973), the number of devices historians use to establish meaning are limited.
He argues that historians emplot their stories in the most conventional forms in
order to direct attention away from literary strategies to the meaning of the
story.  Readers thus quickly recognize the form of the story and draw upon
lessons learned from other stories of the same form to find meaning.
        Journalists who use history are not much different from historians in these
respects.  Their stories carry political and ideological implications.  If
anything, the literary constraints on journalists are more severe than those on
historians.  Pressures to sell and the press's conceptualization of itself as a
forum for public debate lead to stories with explicit relevance for present
social/political concerns.  The nature of the media also demands that
journalists express their meaning quickly and succinctly.  In any given story,
journalists tend to signal that this story is of a certain recognizable form,
and that its meaning is similar to others of the same form.
        Journalists writing about the "model minority" contextualize the present status
of Asian Americans through reference to past discriminatory laws and negative
stereotypes.  Newsweek (1982) writes: "Despite years of discrimination--much of
it enforced by the federal government--the difficulties of acculturation and a
recent backlash against their burgeoning numbers, Asian-Americans now enjoy the
nation's highest median family income. . ." (December 6, p. 39).  Journalists
typically refer to labor conflict between Asian immigrants and whites, the
exclusion laws and antimiscegenation practices in the early days, and wartime
Japanese internment camps.  These "facts" posit an obstacle-filled past for
Asian Americans and function as a marker from which to compare their
"successful" present.  The link between a tough past and a successful present,
journalists imply, lies in the "hardworking" nature of Asian Americans.  Thus
the narrative possesses the following form: protagonist faces adversity -->
protagonist ignores the adversity and works hard --> protagonist overcomes the
adversity and achieves success.
        This is no new story.  The model minority narrative carries the same form and
function as stories of poor, working-class boys in America who persevere and
eventually become millionaires.  The moral of this class of stories is that the
American economic system works, and those who work hard enough will eventually
succeed.  The stories legitimate and naturalize a social system in which some
face unbearable conditions while others live in ease and luxury.  They imply
that success naturally and necessarily results from overcoming difficult
obstacles.  The ideology is that one need not question the status quo, since
opportunity exists for all within the system.
        The (hi)story mobilized in model minority discourse functions in this same way.
Although the history points to prejudices and oppressions perpetrated on Asian
Americans, the ideological implications of the story remove these from any
possibility of profound contemporary criticism.  After all, the story of the
model minority seems to say, the oppressions had no permanent impact and may
have even served to induce greater success (Zinsmeister, 1988).  In any event,
past oppressions are naturalized as the understandable antagonisms that this
pluralistic society has overcome.  New oppressions are thus denied or their
significance marginalized.  White America is absolved from responsibility for
contemporary Asian American/African American tension, for example.  Even where
journalists attempt to critique aspects of the model minority stereotype, their
literary construction of Asian Americans as Horatio Alger heroes undermines
alternative ideological implications (Petersen, 1966).
        Since the model minority story pivots around perseverance of the protagonist
(after facing and ignoring obstacles), efforts are made to discover the
historical secret behind Asian Americans' "hard work" and "success."  How, asks
David Bell (1985) of The New Republic, was Asian Americans' success possible and
how have they managed to avoid the "'second-class citizenship' that trapped so
many blacks and Hispanics"(p. 30)?  The results of the search for Asian
Americans' secret efface any sense of contradictory and conflictive history and
identity for Asian Americans, and marginalize them within American society.
They also fan the flames of racial rivalry between various groups of non-whites.
        In assessing the secret of Asian American achievements, the media use two
contradictory arguments: one of cultural essentialism and one of assimilation.
According to the first, the present status of Asian Americans is the logical
outcome of their unique Oriental characteristics.  Newsweek (1984) claims, "The
success of Asian Americans is rooted in a traditional reverence for learning in
Asian culture, the fierce support of family . . ." (April 23, p. 77).  Time
(1987) echoes this essentialistic view, "[T]here is something in Asian culture
that breeds success, perhaps Confucian ideals that stress family values and
emphasize education" (August 31, p. 42).  Journalists find scientific support
for this view in studies, like those of sociologists George DeVos and Robert
Bellah, that point to Asian frugality, diligence, and achievement orientation
(Petersen, 1966).[2]
        This concept blurs the distinction between Asians and Asian Americans.  In
explaining the "model minority" phenomenon, U.S. News & World Report (1984)
cites Harold Stevenson's study which "has tested students in Japan, Taiwan, and
Minneapolis and has found . . . Japanese and Taiwanese students do much better
in math" (April 2, p. 41).  This article falsely equates Japanese and Taiwanese
students with Asian Americans; it also fails to indicate if any of the
Minneapolis students were Asian Americans.  The mainstream American media have
thus decontextualized culture (removed it from time and space) and collapsed it
into race.  To this way of thinking, all people with Asian racial
characteristics constitute a single type, no matter whether they lived in Asian
countries 100 years ago or were born in the United States in 1980.
        On the other hand, some argue that the key of Asian Americans' "success" is
their ability to acculturate and assimilate into the dominant culture.  The New
Republic (1985) asks,
     [S]ince the war, fewer and fewer native-born
     Chinese-Americans have come to live in Chinatown but will
     complete assimilation follow?  One study, at least, seems to
     indicate that it will, if one can look to the
     well-established Japanese-Americans for hints as to the
     future of other Asian groups. . . But can all Asian-Americans
     follow the prosperous, assimilationist Japanese example (July
     22, p. 30)?
This article implies that in order to be "prosperous," Asian groups have to
shake off traditional burdens, leave their own ethnic ghettos, and embrace the
lifestyle of the dominant.  The media further point out that intermarriage is
used by Asian Americans as a means for their "ultimate assimilation"[3]--to be
Americanized or to become whites.  In this light, what makes Asian Americans
successful is neither Asian nor Asian American, but, as Newsweek (1982) claims,
the "vanishing American values: thrift, strong family ties, sacrifice for the
children" (December 6, p.39), or, as The New York Time Magazine (1966) puts it,
"the Protestant ethic" (January 9, p. 41).  By this token, Confucian philosophy
is only a mirror image of the Western ethic; Asian culture is merely a
reproduction of the Puritan tradition.  Therefore, the model minority "is not
only an ideal to be imitated, but an imitation of an ideal" (Won, 1994, p. 59).
         Most of the news articles are written by white Americans for white readers.
Both the cultural determinism and assimilation arguments construct a rigid
distinction between "us" (Americans) and "them" (Asian Americans).  For example,
although Newsweek (1982) notes that Asian Americans are "often worried that they
may be regarded as forever foreign" (December 6, p. 41), the press does little
to make Asian Americans feel like they belong.  Asian American are still treated
as non-Americans.  The article continues, "California's Silicon Valley, fighting
the Japanese microchip challenge, ironically is heavily Asian--from the deft
Indochinese and Indians who assemble circuits to company founders" [emphasis
added] (p. 41).  What allows Newsweek to find "irony" is the magazine's
assumption that Asians in California who compete against Japanese businesses are
not Americans but Asians.  It is almost impossible to envision that the media
would find white Americans competing against European businesses "ironic"
(Nakayama, 1988).
Power Relationships and the Status Quo
        As Osajima (1988) points out, the model minority story is far from a neutral
construction.  It carries profound political and ideological implications.  Like
other minority history, it sets out a "charter" for future action (Buckley,
1989).  Using Foucualt's ideas on the social function of discursive practice,
Nakayama (1988) asserts that the creation of the "model minority" in the
mainstream media is an attempt by white Americans to maintain hegemony and to
explain the "place" of minority groups in American society.  In discussing Asian
American achievements, the news media compare the Asian American past to Jewish
and black experiences in the United States.  The press points out that Asian
Americans, like Jews, have been feared and hated as hyperefficient competitors
in this country (Petersen, 1966).  The news media create the same narrative form
for both groups.  Journalists claim that Jews and Asian Americans have broken
through the barriers of prejudice and gone "from pariah to paragon status" in
American society (Winnick, 1990, p. 25).  The reason, according to mainstream
journalists, is that the two groups not only "share a powerful belief in the
value of hard work and a zealous regard for the role of the family" [Time, 1987
(August 31), p.42], but also are willing to "adapt to a predominant white
culture" (Ramirez, 1986, p. 149).
        Mainstream journalism's essentialistic view and/or assimilationist notion of
the "success" of Asian Americans and Jews provide a direct critique of blacks
and Latinos [or "the American poor," as Zinsmeister (1988) puts it] and are
meant to show them the "acceptable way" to follow.  Petersen (1966) of The New
York Time Magazine notes that both blacks and Asian Americans have been objects
of color prejudice.  However, the difference between the two groups is that
Asian Americans became "better than any other group in our society" while
blacks, on the other hand, are "self-defeating" or "self-destructive" when "new
opportunities, even equal opportunities, are opened up" (p. 21).   Similarly,
U.S. News & World Report (1966) writes:
     At a time when it is being proposed that hundreds of
     billions be spent to uplift Negroes and other minorities, the
     nation's 300,000 Chinese-Americans are moving ahead on their
     own--with no help from anyone else . . .  Few
     Chinese-Americans are getting welfare handouts--or even want
     them. . .  Not all Chinese-Americans are rich.  Many,
     especially recent arrivals from Hong Kong, are poor and
     cannot speak English.  But the large majority are moving
     ahead by applying the traditional virtues of hard work, thrift
      and morality (December 26, p. 73).
Ignoring the inequalities in American society, these articles seem to argue that
any problems stem from different cultural values or failures of individual
effort.  If Asian Americans can make it, why can't blacks and Latinos?  This
attitude not only poses a danger of ranking races by innate, genetic abilities
(Ramirez, 1986) or cultural characteristics, but also uncritically accepts the
"conventional wisdom" that poor people are lazy and not willing to work hard (U.
S. News & World Report, 1966).
        The "model minority" thesis also legitimates status-quo institutions.  Or, as
Buckley (1989) argues in a different context, ethnic history is used to uphold
particular views of power and to place blame on one's opponents.  As Time (1987)
reports, "The largely successful Asian American experience is a challenging
counterpoint to the charges that U.S. schools are now producing less-educated
mainstream students and failing to help underclass blacks and Hispanics"
(August, 31, p. 51).  The magazine cites educational historian Diane Ravitch,
"It really doesn't matter where you come from or what your language is.  If you
arrive with high aspirations and self-discipline, schools are a path to upward
mobility" (p. 51).  The educational system and other social institutions are
therefore legitimized and valorized in the discourse of the "model minority."
In other words, the minorities' problems with the system reside not within the
system, but within the minorities.  The opportunity for success is open to
everyone; even "the least-wanted immigrants," to borrow Winnick's phrase (1990),
have already made it.
        "Model minority" history serves as a metaphor for American history in a period
when many wanted to counteract emerging doubts that America represented social
progress.  Newsweek's claim (quoted previously) that Asian Americans provide
"vanishing American values: thrift, strong family ties, sacrifice for the
children," is evidence that the meaning of American history is as much at stake
in model minority discourse as the meaning of Asian American history.  According
to this view, Americans overcome obstacles and achieve success through failure
to feel satisfied, hard work, and respect for existing social and political
structures.  The 1960s civil rights movement and the economic decline of the
1980s could have provided reasons for both the public and government to ponder
the structural problems in American society.  Asian American success stories in
the press, however, created an image that the United States is indeed the land
of opportunity, and thus offered an ideological affirmation of the American
Dream.  By describing Asian Americans' reputed qualities as those most
singularly American, news media accounts imply an approved form of American
citizenship.  Fortune (1986) reports that Asian American managers are
"convinced, in the best American tradition, that with brains, ambition, and hard
work they will win," (Ramirez, p. 152).  By implication, those who do not seem
to conform to this view (by virtue of their non-"success") do not belong, or
have not fully caught the spirit of America.
        The discursive formation of model minority is also used by those with power in
society as a means to homogenize and then control Asian Americans.  Although
journalists note the many home-nationalities of Asian Americans, when racial
politics is the issue, they often homogenize all Asian Americans into a single
ethnic group and ignore cultural and individual differences.  For example, the
elements of Asian American history most often cited to by the press have more
application to some Asian Americans than to others.  Newly arrived immigrants
have little, if anything, to do with wartime interment camps or
nineteenth-century exclusion laws.  Yet since the "model minority" appellation
depends on an obstacle-laden past, events of a century ago are cited as relevant
to all Asian Americans' experiences.  This homogenization also suggests that
since they have statistically overcome poverty, Asian Americans no longer
constitute a disadvantaged minority group.  Therefore, all Asian Americans
should be denied affirmative action and welfare entitlements, regardless of
individual situation and social class.
        With this economic "success," the social status of Asian Americans has rapidly
changed from "just like blacks" to "near white."  As a model, Asian Americans
are encouraged to be "good examples" for other minorities, to avoid from making
trouble.  This scheme prohibits Asian Americans from pursuing their political
rights.  The depiction of Asian Americans as "safe" and "harmless," feminizes
Asian Americans as a group by silencing them and keeping them in obedient,
submissive, and docile positions.  As Lisa Lowe (1991) points out, the
construction of Asian Americans as a homogeneous group has contributed to
stabilizing the hegemonic relationship between "dominant" and "minority"
positions.  In this country people are grouped primarily according to their
race; this kind of grouping produces barriers among races.  She argues that
within a politics based on ethnic identity, Asian Americans are deprived of the
opportunity to work with other minority groups to change the power relations
within society (Lowe, 1991).
The Return of the Yellow Peril
         The need to control Asian Americans derives from the media (sometimes
unwittingly) connecting their "model minority" present to their "yellow peril"
past.  The notions of yellow peril and model minority, although at apparent
disjunction, form a circular, seamless continuum (Okihiro, 1994).  They each
contain elements that can be used to both support and threaten dominant power
relations.  Okihiro (1994) argues that "while the yellow peril threatens white
supremacy, it also bolsters and gives coherence to a problematic construction:
the ideal of a unitary 'white' identity.  Similarly, although the model minority
fortifies the status quo, it also poses a challenge to the relationship of
majority over minority" (p. 141).  As the New York Time Magazine reports, "By
any criterion of good citizenship that we choose, the Japanese Americans are
better than any other groups in our society, including native-born whites"
(Petersen, 1966, p. 21).  Asian Americans are seen to embody American values
better than any other group.  Many thus worry that Asian American "success" can
"imperil the order of race relations when the margins lay claim to the
privileges of the mainstream" (Okihiro, 1994, p. 141).  No wonder Ridley Scott's
Blade Runner, a science-fiction movie that plays on the fear of Asians "taking
over," is praised by critics for its realism (Bell, 1985).
        This fear originates from the fear of the "yellow peril."  Under the pen of
Marco Polo, Mongolian soldiers were described as
     brave in battle . . . They are capable of supporting
     every kind of privations, and when there is a necessity for
     it, can live for a month on the milk of their mares . . . The
     men are habituated to remain on horseback during two days and
     two nights without dismounting; sleeping in that situation
     whilst their horses graze . . . No people upon earth can
     surpass them in fortitude under difficulties, nor show
     greater patience under wants of every kind.  They are
     perfectly obedient to their chiefs, and are maintained at
     small expense."[4]
The fear of the "yellow peril" returns subtly in media accounts, even in those,
like Bell (1985), which seem to critique the stereotype.  The model minority,
like Mongolian soldiers, can work and study too much ["They consistently worked
15 to 18 hours a day,"  The New Republic (Bell, 1985, p. 30) writes]; they have
patience and endurance.  Asian workers and students are able to maintain
themselves at little expense and are almost robot-like; they labor and study for
hours on end without human needs for relaxation, fun, and pleasure (Zinsmeister,
1988).  Asian Americans' group loyalty also glues them together to form  a
"racial bloc;" thereby they "flood" American markets and displace workers,
"flood" American schools and displace students, and "flood" American land with
concentrations of Chinatowns, Japantowns, Koreatowns, Little Saigons,
Manilatowns (Okihiro, 1994, p. 141).  The immigration history of this "model
minority" is cited to describe a "wave that shows little sign of subsiding,"
producing an "exploding" population, with "huge backlogs of future Asian
Americans" waiting in the wings, held back only by U. S. immigration policy
(Bell, 1985, p. 24).
        The yellow peril represents a masculine threat of military and sexual conquest;
the model minority, on the other hand, symbolizes a feminized position of
passivity and malleability.  Like yin and yang, they are actually the two sides
of a single concept.  The model minority seems to mitigate the alleged
militaristic danger of the yellow peril.  Yet, if taken too far, the model
minority becomes the yellow peril.  Therefore, "models" can be "perils" and
"perils" "models", despite their apparent incongruity (Okihiro, 1994).  Not much
has changed since the days when Robert Park claimed that "the difficulty is that
[the Asian American is] still less disposed than the Negro . . . to submit to
the regulations of a caste system and to stay in his place."[5]  Insofar as
Asian Americans refuse to stay in their place, Okihiro argues, they threaten the
dominant by posing perils of body (the yellow peril) and mind (the model
minority).  To maintain and justify its power, the dominant group must repress
Asian Americans on one hand and feminize them on the other (Okihiro, 1994).
Both "model minority" and "yellow peril" stereotypes function to contain Asian
Americans in "their place."
        As Dates and Barlow (1990) assert, racial representations in the media help to
mold public opinion on the race issue.  Wilson and Gutierrez (1995) also point
out that in the absence of alternative portrayals and broadened coverage,
one-side portrayals and news articles can easily become reality in the minds of
the audience.  Praise for Asian American "success" in the press has stimulated a
spirit of competition and jealousy; it generates a new wave of anti-Asian
sentiment, from both whites and other minority groups.  In schools, Asian
American students are denounced by their classmates as unfair competitors and
"curve-wreckers," and pelted with racial slurs (Takaki, 1989; Okihiro, 1994; and
Osajima, 1988).  Newsweek On Campus (1984), for example, explicitly mentions
that the growing number of Asian students in universities are resented by white
students, who feel threatened.  It reports stories of white students dropping
courses if there were "too many Oriental faces" (April, p. 4-8).
        The notion that Asian Americans' academic "success" constitutes a potential
threat is sometimes expressed in more subtle forms.  Butterfield (1986) of New
York Times Magazine describes Asian Americans as "surging into the nation's best
colleges like a tidal wave" (August 3, p. 24).   An article in The New Republic
(Bell, 1985) reports, "The figure is now 10%--five times their share of the
population" (July 22, p. 26).  In these cases, Asian American "success" is
discussed in almost alarmist tones, reminiscent of when "hordes" of Asians
"threatened" California in the late 1800s.  Therefore many cry for a quota
system to limit the "over-representation" of Asian Americans in elite
        On and off campuses anti-Asian feelings sometimes turn violent.  Jobless white
autoworkers murder a Chinese American whom they call a "Jap" and blame for their
predicament (Takaki, 1989).  And African American rappers give words to
sentiment (encourage violence?) against Asian Americans:
     Everytime I wanna go get a fucking brew
     I gotta go down to the store with a tool
     Oriental ones (can you count) mother-fuckers
     They make a nigger mad enough to cause a ruckus
     Thinking every brother in the world's on the take
     So they watch every damn move that I make
     They hope I don't pull out a gat and try to rob
     their funky little store, but bitch, I gotta job.
     So don't follow me up and down your market
     Or your little chop-suey ass will be a target
     Of the nationwide boycott
     Choose with the people
     That's what the boy got
     So pay respect to the Black fist
     Or we'll burn down your store, right down to a crisp
     And then we'll see you
     'Cause you can't turn the ghetto into Black Korea.[6]
Many frustrated and oppressed Americans have limited power to direct their anger
at the system or those who hold the most power within it.  Asian Americans'
"success" makes them scapegoats for African American and poor-white despair.
Conclusion: The Case for a Deconstructive Impulse
        According to Fiske and Hartley, news myths encompass symbolic cultural meanings
that go beyond the literal, connotative meanings of news stories.[7]  The model
minority stereotype is a prime example.  Asian American history as constructed
by the press serves a conservative ideological agenda and promotes a racial
politics based on fear.  Asian Americans are seen to provide a "model" of
self-help for dealing with social ills, but their continuing "minority" status
marks them as people to be feared and closely watched.  The meaning assigned to
Asian American history generates anti-Asian American sentiment and condemns
"less successful" minorities.  White racism sees a threat in Asian Americans'
"success" and generates fear of Asian Americans.  To maintain status-quo
institutions and power relationships between dominant and minority, the media
have created a model minority discourse.  The discourse keeps Asian Americans in
their "place," produces hatred toward Asian Americans, and pits minority groups
against one another.  Such racism originates from homogenizing people of one
race and setting them against other races.  Lisa Lowe (1991) suggests that
deconstructing racism and destabilizing the power dynamics in American society
means that ethnic labels (i.e. "model minority") need to be removed.  Minorities
need not use ethnicity as their only identity.  Rather, they can diversify their
cultural experiences and search for more commonalities among supposedly distinct
groups.  By heterogenizing themselves and working together, minorities create a
counter-hegemony based on different understandings of identity politics and
challenge the current power relationships between dominant and minority.
        The news media could valuably incorporate this deconstructive impulse as well
as a heightened cognizance of how rhetorical strategies create meaning and carry
ideological implications.  Clearly, journalists will continue to use strategies
that draw upon well-established stories to create meaning.  But they could do so
more knowledgeably and with greater awareness of the implications of their
rhetorical choices.  A deconstructive impulse implies a willingness to identify
stereotypes and construct different meanings to try to re-place those
stereotypes, both through shifting the boundaries of social labels and through
creating different (hi)stories through which to portray a group of people.
A Drive to Excel (1984).  Newsweek On Campus (April), 4-8.
A Formula for Success (1984).  Newsweek (April 23), 77-78.
Asian-Americans: A 'Model Minority' (1982).  Newsweek (December
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Asian Americans: Are They Making the Grade? (1984).  U.S. News &
     World Report (April 2), 41-43, 46.
Bell, D. A. (1985).  The Triumph of Asian-Americans.  The New
     Republic (July 15/22), 24-32.
Buckley, A. (1989).  'We are trying to find our identity': uses
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Dates, J. L., & Barlow, W. (1990).  Split Image: African
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Kellner, H. (1989).  Language and Historical Representation:
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Lowe, L. (1991).  Heterogeneity, Hybridity, Multiplicity: Marking
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Nakayama, T. K. (1988).  "Model Minority" and the Media:
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The New Whiz Kids: Why Asian Americans Are Doing So Well, and
     What It Costs Them (1987).  Time (August 31), 42-51.
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Osajima, K. (1988).  Asian Americans as the Model Minority: An
     Analysis of the Popular Press Image in the 1960s and 1980s.  In
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     Shattered Windows:  Promises and Prospects for Asian American
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Oxnam, R. B. (1986).  Why Asians Succeed Here.  New York Time
     Magazine (November 30), 72-74, 88-89.
Petersen, W. (1966).  Success Story: Japanese American Style.
     The New York Time Magazine (January 9), 20-21, 33, 36, 38-41, 43.
Ramirez, A. (1986).  America's Super Minority.  Fortune (November
     24),148-149, 152, 156, 160-161.
Success Story of One Minority Group in U.S. (1966).  U.S. News &
     World Report (December 26), 73-76.
Suzuki, B. H. (1977).  Education and the Socialization of Asian
     Americans: A Revisionist Analysis of the "Model Minority"
     Thesis.  Amerasia Journal 4 (2), 23-51.
Takaki, R. (1989).  Strangers from a Different Shore: A History
     of Asian Americans.  New York: Penguin Books.
"The Ultimate Assimilation": Asian Intermarriage, Once Taboo, Is
     on the Rise (1986).  Newsweek (November 24), 80.
White, H. (1973).  Metahistory: The Historical Imagination in
     Nineteenth-Century Europe.  Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins
     University Press.
Wilson, C. II & Gutierrez, F. (1995).  Race, Multiculturalism,
     and the Media: From Mass to Class Communication, 2nd ed.
     Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
Winnick, L. (1990).  America's "Model Minority."  Commentary, 90
     (2), 22-29.
Won, Y. J. (1994).  "Model Minority" Strategy and
     Asian-Americans' Tactics.  Korea Journal. 34 (2), 57-66.
Zinsmeister, K. (1988).  Asians and Blacks: Bittersweet Success.  Current
(February), 9-16.
[1] For the primary sources, about 25 articles between 1960 and 1989 from
popular news magazines (such as Time and US News & World Report) and journals
(such as Current) discussing the "model minority" or the successful image of
Asian Americans were located.
[2] Also see B. H. Suzuki (1977).  He cites William Caudill and George DeVos'
"Achievement, Culture and Personality: The Case of the Japanese Americans."
(American Anthropologist. 1956 (58), 1102-26).  They examined Japanese Americans
in Chicago after their release from detention camps at the end of World War II.
They concluded that Japanese cultural attributes, such as respect for authority
and parental wishes, diligence, punctuality, cleanliness, neatness,
self-discipline, and high-achievement motivation are viewed favorably by members
of the majority group, particularly employers.
[3] "The Ultimate Assimilation" (1986).  Newsweek (November 24), 80.  Also see
Winnick, L. (1990).  America's "Model Minority."  Assimilation is always
portrayed (though not always explicitly stated) as Asian Americans becoming more
like whites (never like blacks, Latinos, etc.).
[4] Travels of Marco Polo, p. 128.  Quoted in Okihiro (1994), p. 119-120.
[5] Park, R. E. (1917).  Introduction to Jesse Frederick Steiner's book, The
Japanese Invasion: A study in the Psychology of Inter-racial Contacts.  pp. xiv.
Chicago: A. C. McClurg & Co.  Quoted in Okihiro (1994), p. 147.
[6] "Black Korea," by Ice Cube (O'Shea Jackson), from the album Death
Certificate. Priority Records, 1992.  Quoted in Okihiro (1994), p. 31.
[7] Fiske, J. & Hartley, J. (1978).  Reading Television.  London: Methusen.
Cited in Campbell (1995), p. 15.

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