Understanding the racial grammar of the model minority myth and its impacts

Jessica Walton, Mandy Truong

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstract


Since the model minority myth (MMM) first emerged in the United States in the 1960s, people of Asian descent in white majority countries have often been praised for being hard-working and successful claiming that they have overcome social barriers caused by racial discrimination. However, as shown by the recent COVID-19 global pandemic and subsequent anti-Asian racism worldwide including in Australia, the label of ‘model minority’ is flawed and fails to capture the breadth and depth of the experiences of Asian people. Rather than seeking to disprove or debunk the MMM, our review examines the impacts of the MMM to show how the MMM operates within a racial grammar of whiteness, perpetuating stereotypes and reinforcing racial inequities while normalising white domination. This paper presents key findings from the review and outlines why it is important for future research to adopt holistic, multilevel frameworks and methods to further understand community and structural impacts of the MMM on people of Asian descent and consider how the MMM contributes to racial stratification and racist structures in white dominant countries.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 12 Nov 2021
EventAlfred Deakin Institute International Conference 2021 -
Duration: 11 Nov 202112 Nov 2021


ConferenceAlfred Deakin Institute International Conference 2021
Internet address

Cite this