ERIC Number: ED384070
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1995-Jun
Reference Count: N/A
Nerds, Normal People, and Homeboys: Asian American Students and the Language of School Success. Revised.
Goto, Stanford T.
Asian Americans have been viewed as a model, high-achieving minority, but recently some researchers have questioned the "myth" of universal Asian-American success. A study examined the validity of current explanations of Asian-American success in school. With a group of high-achieving Chinese-American high school freshmen in Northern California as subjects and using ethnographic methods of research, the study looked at: (1) how the students view educational achievement and group membership in the school setting; (2) how these sets of beliefs interrelate; and (3) how these beliefs influence the students' actions in school. Findings suggest that the usual hypotheses advanced for Asian-American students' success do not offer sufficient explanation. The family/cultural hypothesis (with its emphasis on group harmony) provides no way of accounting for conflict among Asian-American children and their parents, teachers, and/or peers. Likewise, the status mobility hypothesis (which examines how Asian Americans react to conditions outside the group) cannot account for conflicting values within the group. Chinese Americans' perceptions of peers was the most immediate factor influencing their attitudes and behaviors within the school setting--this factor mediated the influence of cultural norms and status awareness. These findings call into question culturally based explanations of school success or failure. (Includes a table of data, 5 figures, and 6 notes; contains 35 references.) (NKA)
Descriptors: Academic Achievement, Asian American Students, Asian Americans, Classroom Research, Conflict, Cultural Influences, Discourse Communities, Ethnography, Group Membership, High Achievement, High School Students, High Schools, Minority Groups, Peer Relationship, School Culture, Student Attitudes, Student Behavior
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: National Center for the Study of Writing and Literacy, Berkeley, CA.; National Center for the Study of Writing and Literacy, Pittsburgh, PA.
Identifiers - Location: California