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Equity Lens: Model Minority

In 1966, sociologist William Petersen coined the term "model minority" in an article he wrote for The New York Times Magazine entitled "Success story: Japanese American style." The article emphasized that family structure and a cultural emphasis on a hard work ethic allowed Japanese Americans to overcome the discrimination against their group, thus allowing Japanese Americans to achieve a measure of success.

Model minority myth combats the enduring stereotype that certain groups of people are the ideal racial or ethnic minority. Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders battle this concept as they are often viewed as great students, hardworking, and having successful careers. This stereotype can affect many negatively and according to this article, may hold many Asian Americans back in upper-level management positions. Learn more about the model minority timeline and a resourceful reading list.

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