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Culture Shock for Asians in U.S. Academia

Breaking the Model Minority Myth

Eunkyong Lee Yook

Culture Shock for Asians in U.S. Academia: Breaking the Model Minority Myth discusses the unique cultural challenges that Asians face in U.S. academia. The issues facing Asians in academia are worthy of our attention for two major reasons: the numerical significance of Asians in U.S. academia and the fact that their problem has been largely eclipsed due to their visible success and status as model minority. Asian immigrants are often called the “model minority” because of their Confucianist work ethic and emphasis on “ye," or social order, as well as the high value placed on education. Additionally, Asians generally have often been stereotyped as excelling in academics. However, they face serious problems in adjusting to the U.S. academic system. These problems are due to cultural patterns and variables that are largely invisible, yet nonetheless have an undeniable impact on academics. The issues that affect students ranging from kindergarten through graduate school, and that also affect scholars in academic careers beyond the formative process, are reviewed systematically in this book. Analysis of issues is based on intercultural communication theories and suggestions for overcoming these challenges are suggested.

Becoming aware of and addressing the roadblocks for Asians is important not only for Asian students and scholars, but also for educators, education administrators, and institutions. Additionally, helping Asians to overcome the challenges in academia not only helps academia to become a more inclusive place where all students can learn and all scholars can work in academia successfully, it also benefits society by producing a more literate, educated, and qualified workforce overall. By promoting understanding of this important topic in a systematic and theoretic fashion, valuable resources can be realized to their full potential.
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Lexington Books
Pages: 228Size: 6 x 9
978-0-7391-7884-3 • Hardback • November 2013 • $90.00 • (£60.00)
978-1-4985-5630-9 • Paperback • March 2017 • $42.99 • (£29.95)
978-0-7391-7885-0 • eBook • November 2013 • $39.99 • (£24.95)
Eunkyong Lee Yook is associate professor in the Department of Communication at George Mason University.
Part I: Introduction
Chapter 1: Introduction
Chapter 2: Asia: Change and Stability
Part II: Understanding Asian Traits and Patterns
Chapter 3: Past and Present Perceptions of Asia
Chapter 4: Asian Cultural Traits
Part III: A Chronological Review of Issues for Asians in U.S. Academia: Insights for Students, Instructors, and Administrators
Chapter 5: Issues Arising during the Formative Years
Chapter 6: The College and Graduate School Years
Chapter 7: Careers in Academia: The Academic Job Application Process and Beyond
Chapter 8: Asian Women with U.S. Academic Careers
Part IV: Selected Research Articles for Intercultural Understanding
Chapter 9: A Cross-cultural Comparison of Communication Apprehension between Korean and American Students
Chapter 10: Strategies for Evaluation of ESL Students in Speech Communication Courses
Chapter 11: Administrative Considerations Regarding Class Formats for Non-native Speakers of English, by Bobbi Elaine Lee, Eunkyong L. Yook
Chapter 12: Asian Faculty Satisfaction Level and Roles in U.S. Academia, by Min Sun Kim, Eunkyong L. Yook, Yu-Chuan Chuang
Part V: Learning Modules and Resources
Chapter 13: Critical Incidents for Grades 3 - 12 Students
Chapter 14: Critical Incidents for College Students
Chapter 15: Critical Incidents to Promote Faculty Understanding of Asian Students
Chapter 16: Suggested Film and Media Resources for Promoting Understanding of Asian Cultures
About the Author and Contributors
Culture Shocks for Asians in U.S. Academia deals with an important issue that has been neglected so far by academics. This book is a scholarly analysis of one of most challenging issues confronting Asian American students and scholars in their academic lives, breaking the common myth of the Asian American ‘success’ model, and uncovering the hidden failures behind the ‘success.’ This book will be a valuable addition to scholarly research, and provide a deeper of understanding of Asian Americans in North America.
Young-chan Ro, George Mason University

This book presents an inner picture of Asian model minority students struggling to meet parental and societal expectations and Asian faculty at American academic institutes experiencing cultural and linguistic difficulties to adapt to the prevailing culture and customs. The author, herself a Korean immigrant mother who has raised two children and an intercultural communication scholar, analytically examines her own first-hand experiences, observations, and research from an integrated perspective of a model minority parent, an Asian female faculty member, and an intercultural communication researcher. Anyone interested in understanding the inner issues and challenges of Asian model minority students and Asian faculty in U.S. academia should read this book.
Ok-choon Park, U.S. Department of Education

The book is uniquely structured for everyone in higher education, K-12 practitioners, community leaders, and policy makers and political leaders at all levels in understanding Asian Americans’ ideals, struggles, despairs, and hopes in American education and beyond. Due to the increasing Asian American presence in American education, the need to understand these issues is urgent. Esther Yook examines both myths and realities, providing many compelling cases and theories that challenge the education community and beyond to rethink stereotypical perceptions of Asian Americans in academia. A comprehensive and insightful work that de-mythifies Asian American culture and education.
Eung-Jun Min, Rhode Island College

• Winner, Sue DeWine Distinguished Award for a Scholarly Book (2015)