Critically Examining the Discourse of Urban Asian American and Pacific Islander Achievement
The practice of critical discourse analysis examines the relationship between language, institutions, and power. This capstone essay critically examines the bimodal, culture-bound, racialized discourses to describe both high and low academic achievement in urban Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) students and institutionally position them using deterministic and oversimplistic stereotypes in school and society. As it currently stands, the discourse of urban AAPI education relies on dichotomous identities of the model minority or the urban delinquent to explain achievement. These identities are embedded in racializing discourses that are critiqued for emphasizing anthropological explanations of culture clash and assimilation-opposition typologies. The underlying ideologies, pervasiveness in urban school culture, and disempowering impacts of this discursive positioning on the racial and academic identity development of urban AAPI youth are explored. Furthermore, culturally responsive practices are proposed as potential teaching strategies to create dynamic, diversified discourses that accurately represent urban AAPI academic experiences.
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