Book co-authored by UCI sociologist debunks idea that Asian American academic achievement is due to unique cultural traits or values
One in four Americans today are either immigrants or children of immigrants. As the U.S. moves from a black and white society to a potpourri of racial and ethnic groups, researchers are turning their attention to why certain immigrant and second-generation groups are more likely to succeed. Asian Americans stand out for having the highest median household income and education level of all groups, including native-born whites, according to the Pew Research Center.
It’s a demographic that’s often stereotyped as the “model minority,” who seemingly get ahead because they have the “right” cultural traits and values. But there are very specific immigration patterns, institutions and social psychological factors that foster high academic achievement among certain Asian American groups, says Jennifer Lee, UCI professor of sociology and co-author of The Asian American Achievement Paradox – a forceful rebuttal to Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother.