May 15, 2012
A stereotype plagues the Asian demographic: They’re good, smart kids. And they don’t need much attention in school because they do so well. America’s wholesale perception of the Asian demographic as one with good ethics, studious appetites, and a quiet persistence began in 1966 with an article by William Petersen in The New York Times Magazine. In it, he described the values inherent in Japanese culture that made them a “model minority” for U.S. society, theorizing that their good qualities stemmed from cultural values. All of a sudden, Asians were the group to compare other minorities to, becoming a standard of achievement for anyone who was not white.