Producer 1990 Institute

Asian Americans as the “model minority” may sound like a compliment, but it’s actually a harmful racial stereotype. Disparities within specific populations are hidden, leading to misperceptions, a lack of resources for the disadvantaged groups, and the perpetuation of poor data collection and analyses. This video breaks down the facts to show the full spectrum of the Asian American population and highlights the gaps within this group in different aspects of society.

0:00 Introductions and definition of Model Minorities

0:24 Myth: Asian Americans are all the same

0:47 Myth: Asian Americans are all highly-educated

1:11 Myth: Asian Americans are all high income earners

2:09 Myth: Asian Americans all have elite jobs

2:20 Every facts reveals a little more truth: See, Hear, Understand Asian Americans

Publish Date:

May 26, 2021

Updated May 23, 2023

Resources Model Minority  Watch:


The myth of the ‘model minority‘, April 14, 2017, The Washington Post

Asian Rapper DESTROYS Model Minority Myth, Matt R. Fact, July 18, 2020, Youtube

A For Average, B For Bad: Behind The Model Minority Myth | NBC Asian America, August 22, 2017, NBC News

The “Model Minority” Myth: Jennifer Ho and Frank H. Wu, August 6, 2020, National Committee on U.S.- China Relations

How the model minority myth keeps Asian Americans out of management, May 3 2021, CNBC

The Model Minority Myth | Asian Americans, PBS LearningMedia

The Myth, May 18, 2022, Wieden + Kennedy


The Model Minority Myth (25:00), December 11 2020, Study Date Podcast

The Model Minority Myth with Ellen Wu (57:00) Factually! with Adam Conover

How the ‘model minority’ myth fuels anti-Asian racism and white supremacy – This Matters (Toronto Star), 30 minutes


Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month: May 2021 – US Census April 2021

‘Model Minority’ Myth Again Used As A Racial Wedge Between Asians And Blacks

The model Minority myth says all Asians are successful. Why that’s dangerous.

How ‘Crazy Rich’ Asians Have Led to the Largest Income Gap in the U.S.

Key facts about Asian Americans, a diverse and growing population – April 2021

Asian Americans are the fastest-growing racial or ethnic group in the U.S. – April 2021

Virtual Event: Between the Data: The Unseen Stories of Asian Americans, April 29, 2021, Pew Research Center

Model minority, by Cheryan, S. and Bodenhausen, G. V., 2011, Routledge Companion to Race & Ethnicity (pp. 173-176)

When positive stereotypes threaten intellectual performance: The psychological hazards of “model minority” status, by Sapna Cheryan and Galen V. Bodenhausen, 2000, Psychological Science

Social Tracking of Asian Americans in the U.S., LAAUNCH

AAPI Demographics: Data on Asian American ethnicities, geography,

income, and education, May 17, 2021, USA Facts 

What Is the Model Minority Myth?, by Sarah-Soonling Blackburn, March 21, 2019, Learning for Justice

The mental health toll of being a ‘model minority’ in 2020, by Kimmy Yam, December 23, 2020, NBC

Affirmative Action Is in Peril and ‘Model Minority’ Stories Don’t Help, by Serena Puang, March 30, 2023, The New York Times

Asian Americans: Model or marginalized minority?, August 19, 2021, American Psychological Association

Hmong Americans are often obscured by model minority myth. Why Suni Lee’s win means so much., by Kimmy Yam, July 30, 2021, NBC Asian America

The Myth of the Model Minority Asian Americans Facing Racism, by Rosalind S. Chou and Joe R. Feagin, 2010

 Teacher Resources

Model Minority Myth, AAEdu

Model Minority Myth, Episode 3, Lesson 1, Asian Americans Advancing Justice, Los Angeles

Downloadable Lesson Guide in word doc format

View Lesson Guide in pdf format




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