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Chinese American Educational Research and Development Association

Educational Research & Development Journal



Vol 17, No 2 (2014)

Images of “Model Minority” in Print Media and the Inclusion and Exclusion of Asian-Americans
Chenyu Wang
This study examines the multifaceted images of Asian-Americans illustrated in popular print magazines, i.e., Life, New York Times, and Saturday Evening Post in 1945 to 1966. Specifically, he study asks, what were the characteristics of the “model minority” group that render them the model” of other ethnic groups? Who created these images, from what sources, and for what purposes? More importantly, how can educators better understand issues facing Asian-American students, given a historicized concept of “model minority”? Through a detailed analysis of the traits, values, and beliefs of Chinese- and Japanese-Americans portrayed by popular print magazines, this study argues such traits serve the war of ideology between the United States and the Soviet block in postwar era. In other words, the model minority discourse includes Asian- Americans in the post war America citizenry landscape due to their apparent embrace of values such as democracy and freedom, while at the same time, excludes Asian- Americans through the emphasis on values associated with Asian cultures. As such, attributing the “model minority” image to Asian-Americans in contemporary America denies us critical lens through which to examine, analyze, and interpret the dilemmas and issues Asian-Americans face today. The study then concludes with suggestions for educators to demystify the “model minority” images in a globalized era.
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ISSN: 1526-8659