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Essay/Term paper: The asian as superior myth

Essay, term paper, research paper:  Humanities Essays

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The author, Ronald Takaki, wishes to illustrate that the perceptions of Asian Americans as a "model minority" are not entirely accurate. Takaki writes that the facts and figures used to compare Asian-Americans to other, less successful minority groups are misleading. For example, the author writes that although Japanese Americans are seen as upwardly mobile, they have not yet achieved equality. The essay states that "while Japanese American men in California earned an average income comparable to Caucasian men in 1980, they did so only by acquiring more education and working more hours." In addition, the author found that while some Asian American groups do have higher family incomes than Caucasians, at the same time the Asian American families are larger and have more members of working age than Caucasian families.
The author's purpose is to show the reader that although Asian Americans are portrayed as "successful" when compared to other minority groups, they still have ground to make up before they begin to accurately approach the ranks of the Anglo majority. The author uses his own personal experiences as the grandson of agricultural laborers to relay to the reader than he, too, can relate to the plight of Asian Americans in this country. The essay was written to show and give reasons why Asian Americans are seen by other minority groups as a "model minority." The author attempts to show that this is not the case and that Asian Americans can relate to the plights of other minority groups in the United States.
The author does address counter arguments in his paper. He evidently has researched the
Lozano, p.2
topic quite extensively and has the facts and figures to back up his points. For example, the author states that although there are many successful Asian Americans in the business world, many have hit the "glass ceiling" and will not rise to the higher ranks of their business. This presents problems for the community and proves that calling Asian Americans the "model minority" is not entirely accurate.
The essay is well-written and very convincing. The author writes it from experience and from his personal observations, both as the grandson of agricultural workers and as a scholar. The essay is useful in understanding that while the public regards Asian Americans as successful, Asians Americans are in most ways just like other minority groups: undereducated, poverty- stricken and unemployed.
The author may have wanted to lengthen the essay by adding more facts and figures, as well as more interviews with Asian Americans who are impoverished and working to better themselves. This is the one weakness to this article. Strengths include the author's ability to relate to those Asian Americans he spoke with, his first-hand knowledge of the Asian American culture and his willingness to improve relations with other minority groups.
I believe the author has done a good job of showing both sides of this story. He explains, for example, while there are Asian Americans who own grocery stores, most find themselves working in menial labor, including grocery store clerks, seamstresses and janitors. But the public perceives that most Asian Americans are successful business persons who own their own business in the United States and have risen above a lack of education and poverty. Fact is, most Asian Americans can relate to the plights of other minority groups in the United States. I believe the text has properly responded to alternate points of view.
Lozano, p. 3
The paper is strong, well-written and very convincing. I can now better understand that Asian Americans, although portrayed as "successful," have many of the same problems as other minority groups. When people realize this hopefully relations between Asian Americans and other minority groups will improve.

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