Reimagining Model Minority: An Inquiry into the Post-1965 Chinese Immigration in the United States

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2019

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Abstract

This purpose of this thesis is to investigate the most significant issues and concerns confronting the Chinese immigrant community in the U.S. through a quantitative analysis of the current states of Chinese America and a qualitative inquiry with Chinese immigrants themselves. Data for this thesis were mainly collected from U.S. Census Bureau and the Immigration Naturalization Services, which served as part of a broad overview of the current states of Chinese society in the U.S. To answer questions that the data alone cannot elaborate on, I inquired into the everyday experience and struggles of immigrant Chinese by conducting oral history interviews.

Based on a careful examination of government records and oral histories, this thesis has recognized that Chinese immigrants’ affluence, high education and cultural identity have positioned Chinese as a “model minority.” However complimentary that term may sound, it represents a stereotype that homogenizes the Chinese community as a successful community and further obscure issues facing the community such as glass ceiling and assimilation. This thesis further examines the complex relationship between Chinese immigrant perceptions regarding model minority as a myth and their expectation to live up to it in the next generation.

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Xie, Shiqi (2019). Reimagining Model Minority: An Inquiry into the Post-1965 Chinese Immigration in the United States. Master's thesis, Duke University. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10161/18931.

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