In a recent academic journal article, two PhD candidates argue that Asian Americans indirectly help promote “meritocracy” in STEM, thus “perpetuating racism.”
In the Journal of Race and Ethnic Education, PhD candidates Jason Y. Buell and Grace A. Chen discuss the “historical and contemporary ‘racializations’ of Asian (Americans)” in the field of STEM within an article titled, “Of models and myths: Asian (Americans) in STEM and the neoliberal racial project.”
Buell and Chen argue that the “prevailing perception of Asian (Americans) as model minorities masks how their multiple and contradictory positionings in the STEM system perpetuate the neoliberal racial project and reproduce systems of racism and oppression.”
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According to the authors, “the neoliberal racial project is currently the predominant racial project in the United States,” and is characterized by “a focus on individualism and individual rights, rather than the collective, and the achievement of its aims through persuasion and rationalization rather than violence or coercion,” as well as an emphasis on “freedom and competition,” which they assert “concentrates resources for those who are already politically and economically powerful.”
This approach is buttressed by the “model minority myth (MMM),” they contend, asserting that “Asian (Americans) have long been used to promote meritocratic ideals” under that framework.
At the same time, they say, “the neoliberal racial project employs a producerist ideology that determines whether people...deserve resources based on their potential for contribution to national interests,” a perspective that they see as being especially prevalent in STEM fields.
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The practice of Asian Americans as “an idealized labor force” began shortly after World War II, the authors claim, saying that in the face of a shortage of STEM-trained labor, the STEM education system chose to embrace Asian American migrant workers rather than trying to solve the problem through “improved education for Black students in post-Brown vs. Board of Education schools.”
They assert that this was a
Read more: https://www.campusreform.org/?ID=11219