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The Race CardFrom Gaming Technologies to Model Minorities$
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Tara Fickle

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9781479868551

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: May 2020

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9781479868551.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM NYU Press SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.nyu.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of NYU Press Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in NYSO for personal use.date: 12 April 2021

Against the Odds

Against the Odds

Chapter:
(p.79) 3 Against the Odds
Source:
The Race Card
Author(s):

Tara Fickle

Publisher:
NYU Press
DOI:10.18574/nyu/9781479868551.003.0004

This chapter uses games of chance to illustrate the overlooked kinship between the appeal that hardworking Asian Americans held for white sociologists and the appeal that gambling held for Asian Americans. In other words, the chapter emphasizes again the formal symmetry between the way both parties were using gambling to try to rationalize larger paradoxes in cultural theories of race and economic mobility by reframing immigration and social mobility as a risk-taking opportunity. Gambling served an ideational narrative function that is made clear through its representations in both literary and journalistic fictions of the model minority. The model minority myth was, from that perspective, essentially a racialized version of the gambling narrative, wherein Asian Americans modeled a new way of representing and explaining the relationship between past and future, merit and heredity.

Keywords:   model minority, gambling, games of chance, social mobility, class inequality, neoliberalism, meritocracy, Wakako Yamauchi, Hisaye Yamamoto, C Wright Mills

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