What is it about?

Asian Americans have often been stereotyped as the model minority. Despite the pervasiveness of these supposedly positive racial/ethnic stereotypes, there has been limited research on the effects of internalization of model minority stereotypes among Asian American adolescents. Given that identity formation and vocational development are major developmental tasks during adolescence and early adulthood, this study aims to contribute to the literature by using a prospective research design to examine whether and how adherence to traditional Asian cultural values and internalization of model minority stereotypes during adolescence among Chinese American youth and their first-generation immigrant parents relate to the youth’s future educational and vocational goals in early adulthood. Recognizing the diversity and heterogeneity within Asian Americans, we focused on Chinese Americans, the largest proportion of Asians in the United States, as a starting point for this line of inquiry. Our study findings have implications for educators and practitioners or school and career counselors to be aware of issues related to racial/ethnic (model minority) stereotypes among Asian Americans and be mindful to overcome implicit racial bias, unintentional racism, and racial/ethnic microaggressions when working with Asian Americans. To continue making advances in diversity, equity, and inclusion in education and career development, it would be important for educators, school and career counselors, and school or university leaders to engage in culturally sensitive and culturally responsive practices that empower parents and youth to resist internalized racism and to break the cycle of intergenerational transmission of internalized racism.

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Why is it important?

Internalization of racial/ethnic or model minority stereotypes can be considered as a form of internalized racism that oppress both the parents and their children. Specifically, internalized racism may restrict parents’ expectations and goals for their children and, in tandem, serve as a barrier for youths’ self-determination or sense of autonomy in their selection of college majors and career development. The intergenerational correlation or transmission of internalized racism highlights its long-term and multigenerational impact on individuals’ educational and career futures. Thus, efforts to deconstruct racial/ethnic stereotypes such as the model minority myth will help challenge or debunk group-based career beliefs and group-based career myth.

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Cultural Values, Intergenerational Transmission of Internalized Racism, Education, and Career Goals in Chinese American Families, Journal of Career Development, June 2021, SAGE Publications,
DOI: 10.1177/08948453211026973.
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