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IngratitudeThe Debt-Bound Daughter in Asian American Literature$
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erin Khuê Ninh

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780814758441

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9780814758441.001.0001

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(p.1) Introduction

erin Khuê Ninh

NYU Press

This introductory chapter discusses model minority discourse. In the model minority paradigm, Asian Americans are identified with a system of social values that prioritizes family, education, and sacrifice and prioritizes obedience and hierarchy; these values incline the group to be reluctant to blame others for any lack in their social position, willing to accept their social position with gratitude, and guided by self-sacrifice rather than self-interest. The paradigm deems that, thanks to these accomodationist virtues, Asian Americans are able to raise themselves out of poverty without public assistance or special consideration, serving thus as a silent but willing rebuke against those who would demand changes from the system rather than strive to succeed by its rules.

Keywords:   model minority discourse, Asian Americans, accomodationist virtues, immigrant families, second-generation Asian Americans

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