How do US stereotypes of Asian girls affect students’ school performance?

by Akimi Yano

According to Pyke and Johnson (2003), Asian American girls feel that they behave differently, depending on if they are with Asian Americans or with non-Asian Americans. It is because white society has created stereotypes of Asian Americans connoting that whites are more egalitarian than Asians, and has expected Asian Americans to act in a certain way, which affects how Asian Americans think about themselves. Therefore, they feel the necessity to differentiate their behavior, depending on if they are with Asian Americans or they are with non-Asian Americans. Because of the stereotypes, they feel like they are expected to act that way by both Asian Americans and by non-Asian Americans. At the same time, Asian American girls think that Asian femininities are inferior to white femininities. Therefore, some Asian American girls distance themselves from other Asians by following not Asian femininities but white femininities.

According to what I can interpret from the article, there are at least three possible ways of Asian girls’ performance in the classroom:

  • first, being active in the classes because they do not want to be categorized as stereotypical Asian girls;
  • second, being quiet because they feel the pressure to follow the stereotypes of Asians as passive, shy, and quiet;
  • finally, being quiet because they know that a professor would not have them talk in front of the class, by being told by the professor that it is okay if they does not want to talk in front of the class, so they take advantage of it.

However, the authors did not summarize what makes the female Asian students make decisions for their performance in detail. The differences in their performance in the classroom leads to diverse levels of educational achievement as well. In the first pattern, they speaks their minds because they do not want to be labeled as typical Asian girls, which in itself shows that they are not submissive people, in contrast to the stereotypes of Asian girls. This kind of person could do well at school.

In the second pattern, they feel the expectations of being quiet in the classroom by both Asian Americans and by non- Asian Americans, and they are afraid of others’ reactions against them being active in the class, therefore they comply with the expectations. This kind of student might not do well at school.

In the third pattern, they are vocal people but they act as if they were quiet people in order to make use of the opportunity of not having to talk in front of the class. This kind of student could do poorly if they do not start being active in the class. In all these three patterns, they act the way they do since the action leads them to a profitable or at least harmless outcome.

Moreover, in this article, teachers’ stereotypes of Asian Americans such as being passive, shy, and quiet could contradict with their more common stereotypes of Asian American students being “model minorities“; however, the authors did not explain it. Therefore, I analyzed it by myself. Since the targeted Asian American students are second-generation, they are to some extent assimilated into American society, where Asian students think being typical passive Asian is a negative thing when they interact with non-Asian Americans. Therefore, those female Asian students who live up to the standards to be “model minorities” might have intentionally disobeyed the expectations to be stereotypical passive Asian girls differentiating themselves from other Asians in order to be successful in the U.S. society, where white society implies that following white people’s norms is the only way to become successful in the U.S.

Finally, the authors also mentioned as an example of Asian girls feeling that they do not fit the stereotypes of Asian girls “some claimed that because they are assertive or career oriented, they are not really Asian”, yet I think being career-oriented fits the stereotypes of Asian American girls, considering the fact that it it is well known that Asian parents constantly encourage their kids to do well at school and to obtain a good occupation as they did in their country of origin; thus there must be a stereotype of Asian American girls as career-oriented, which the authors did not point out, either.

Reference

Pyke, K. & Johnson, D. 2003. Asian American Women and Racialized Femininities: “Doing” Gender across Cultural Worlds. Gender and Society 17(1):33-53. Retrieved June, 1, 2014, from http://links.jstor.org/sici?sici=0891-2432%28200302%2917%3A1%3C33%3AAAWARF%3E2.0.CO%3B2-5

Advertisements

How do US teachers’ stereotypes of Asian students affect performance?

by Akimi Yano

A stereotype that some teachers hold of Asian American students is “model minorities.” Teachers‘ expectations for Asian students are higher than those for White students, Hispanic students, and Black students. Teachers tend to have higher standards and more positive perceptions of the social, emotional, and academic characteristics of Asian students than they do for other students of different race, which affects Asian students’ performance in the classroom and on the standardised tests in a positive way. Further, higher standards and higher expectations for Asian students learning play an important role in their positive self-perception.

Sirota and Bailey do not mention the fact that stereotypes do not always function in a positive way. Teachers having high expectations and standards could imply not only that Asian students get motivated by them but also that those students who are not able to meet the high standards could feel inferior. If the standards are so high, there must be some Asian students who could not live up to the expectations of teachers, their parents, their friends, and their community, which results into their negative self-perception.

Moreover, not all Asian American students are academically successful. The levels of educational achievement of Asian American students vary. Lee roughly divided Asian students into two groups: high achievers and low achievers. As for high achievers, they responded to teachers’ high expectations by having a fear that they would get categorised into low achievers if they do not fit the stereotype of the “model minorities” and responsibility to their family which motivated them to make efforts to live up to the high standards. As for low achievers, they reacted to high expectations of teachers by feeling embarrassed about revealing their academic difficulties and keeping them inside, and teachers take a laissez faire attitude towards those students who do not reach out for academic support.

Lee does not talk about any case where Asian students are motivated to study harder as a result of positive feelings made by teachers’ continuous high expectations for Asian students’ learning; however, there must be some Asian students who are motivated to do well at school since teachers give them more attention, more positive perception of them, and higher expectation than they do to other students of different race.

Sirota, Elaine, & Lora Bailey. (2009). “The impact of teachers’ expectations on diverse learners’ academic outcomes.” Retrieved June 3, 2014, from http://www.thefreelibrary.com/The+impact+of+teachers’+expectations+on+diverse+learners’+academic…-a0198931267

Lee, Stacey J. 1994. “Behind the Model-Minority Stereotype: Voices of High- and Low- Achieving Asian American Students.” Anthropology & Education Quarterly 25(4):413-429. Retrieved June 3, 2014, from http://searchuci.files.wordpress.com/2014/01/week-3-lee-1994-behind-the-model-minority.pdf

Enhanced by Zemanta

10,000 views

by Robert Moorehead

Props to Ritsumeikan alum Yuya Kuori for having his post “The stereotype of black people in Japan” get its 10,000th view this weekend. The blog has had nearly 80,000 views, so about 1 in 8 of those views have been of Yuya’s post.

Most of the traffic for Yuya’s post has come from Google searches that include the words “stereotype,” “black people,” and “Japan.” So if you’re writing a post, don’t make the title an afterthought! The right title can lead to more traffic to your post.

Most student papers sit unread in a drawer (or on a hard drive) after being graded, but the posts on this blog continue to draw hits long after students have graduated. Congratulations, Yuya. Which post will be the next to hit 10,000?