Career and work implications of the model minority myth and other stereotypes for Asian Americans


The Model Minority Myth encompasses a broad, largely positive stereotype that describes Asian Americans as a perseverant, intelligent, academically and socioeconomically successful people who have built a comfortable and desirable lifestyle in the United States despite their minority status. However, the widespread acceptance of this viewpoint has led to the perception of Asian Americans as robotic, emotionless workers and human beings, subsequently affecting their ability to gain cultural and societal acceptance and achieve upward economic and social mobility. This chapter specifically explores the impact of the Model Minority Myth in the workplace and its resulting implications for career development. The description begins with a general discussion of the nature of stereotype development and evaluation, helping to set the stage for a more specific explication of the Model Minority Myth and other relevant Asian American stereotypes. The final half of the work discusses the potential consequences of the Model Minority Myth on various processes of normal organizational functioning, including selection, organizational entry and socialization, personnel training, performance appraisal, and mentoring. The chapter closes with a brief discussion of future research questions for the field with the goal of continuing to shed new light on the phenomenon and possible ways in which the Model Minority Myth can be overcome in organizations.

Model minority myths revisited: An interdisciplinary approach to demystifying Asian American education experiences, 91-115
James A. Grand
James A. Grand
Associate Professor, Psychology

A scientist at heart, an organizational psychologist by training, and a lucky dad and husband all the time.