Here's an op-ed by UCLA Professor of education and Asian American studies Mitchell Chang on one possible negative effect of the Tiger Mom book (Amy Chua's Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother): more stereotypes of Asian American college applicants that will (further) hurt their chances of getting into colleges and universities.
Here's an excerpt from the op-ed:
This image contributes to an already problematic stereotype by suggesting not only that most Asian Americans are high-achieving, but also that their achievements are due to overbearing parents.
Her characterization can further tax Asian American college applicants by reducing the chances that they will be viewed as self-starters, risk-takers and independent thinkers -- attributes that are often favored by admissions officers but rarely associated with Asian American applicants. If the "Tiger Mother" image leaves a lasting impression and is applied broadly beyond Chua's own experiences, this characterization can advance a one-dimensional view of Asian Americans that minimizes their achievements and overlooks their diversity.
There's been much discussion about the parenting methods of Chua, and the mental health aspect of kids who grow up under the iron-fisted rule of Tiger Moms (and recently, some discussion about Dads). But more recently, there have been articles about how Chua's book may have broader implications on civil rights and education. Hyphen columnist Victoria Yue also has a good piece on our blog. There's been a history, as Chang and Yue point out, of alleged discrimination against Asian American applicants.
One of our feature stories by Lin Yang, out in April, focuses on this exact topic of Asian American college admissions -- specifically, on the complexity of this issue. We hope to broaden the discussion around admissions, education and the overall well being of children and students.
For now, what do folks think -- will this hurt Asian American applicants? That Chua's book could lead to more stereotypes and hurt students' chances of getting into the top, most competitive and prestigious schools, is sort of ironic, no? Or do parents and students need to stop buying into the elitism and status of Ivy League and other top schools? Are colleges and universities discriminating against Asian American applicants?