Once upon a time, when I was a Race Man, I used to look more seriously at questions of identity, politics and identity politics. Now I have shed that burden, but remains marginally curious at the depravity of those endless debates. Still, it has been a very long time since I have seen any update of the stereotypes about Asians in America (not brown Asians, but yellow Asians). It also bears mentioning that Asians themselves were not particularly interested in joining the conversation. I might guess why there is no 'Asian perspective' and that is because Asians themselves are too diverse and have never bought into unity theories as Hispanics and Blacks have. Aside from all that, they don't comprise a big enough voting block for any mainstream politician to give a rat's.
So now I will (toungue in cheek) promote Kikka to speak for the millions in the context of Byron Hirota's classic Model Minority mythbuster.
Other criticisms have been raised against the model minority thesis, mainly by researchers associated with the Asian American community organization, ASIAN, Inc., in San Francisco. First, more than half of the Asian/Pacific American population in the United States lives in only five metropolitan areas - Honolulu, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago, and New York - and of these, more than nine-tenths are found in urban centers. These cities are not only high-income areas but also high-cost-of-living-areas. Thus, while Asian Americans (and others) living there may earn more, they also have to spend more.
Second, in areas with the highest density of Asian Americans, the percentage of Asian Americans in low-status, low-income occupations - that is, service workers, laborers, farm laborers, and private household workers - is considerably higher than among whites. In 1970, for example, fully 25 percent of all gainfully employed Chinese men in the United States were cooks, waiters, busboys, dishwashers, and janitors. Such a figure gives an impression of Asian American economic well-being that is quite different from based on consideration of median income alone.
Third, a detailed study of the San Francisco-Oakland Stanard Metropolitan Statistical Area (SMSA) showed that Asian Americans were unevenly dis- tributed in the economy. Professionals clustered in accounting, dentistry, nursing, health technology, and engineering and were underrepresented in law, teaching, administration, social services, and the higher levels of the medical professions. Managers were more likely to be self-employed than employees of large firms. Salespersons were retail clerks but seldom brokers or insurance agaents. Clerical workers were mostly file clerks, typists, or office machine operators, and not secretaries or receptionists. Few Asian Americans held jobs in the heavy-machine, electrical, paper, chemical, or construction industries. Most female operatives were garment workers. In short, Asian Americans were concentrated in occupations that did not pay as well as other jobs in the same industries.
I wonder how Asian Americans feel about their competence. Do they feel (or care) about their social capital for social or for inherent reasons? It's funny that I go back to the film Departures noting the biting irony that a Japanese cellist must lose his job due to declining interest in (Western) symphonic music in the big city, and must go back to basics in the country.