Recent Developments Hitting the Ceiling: An Examination of Barriers to Success for Asian American Women
28 Pages Posted: 1 Sep 2013 Last revised: 18 Mar 2014
Date Written: August 31, 2013
This paper aims to fill the void in legal research on the experiences of Asian American women. This paper is limited in scope and focuses specifically on the experiences of middle-class, educated, Asian American women. It also focuses on societal forces that create barriers to success for Asian American women, such as stereotyping. Asian Americans are not a monolithic group. They are from different countries with distinct histories, and differing languages, cultures, cuisines, and religions. Nevertheless, our dominant society often mistakes all Asian Americans as being members of a monolithic group. For that reason, this paper focuses specifically on external forces creating barriers to success. It will not discuss internal cultural forces that may also create barriers to success for Asian Americans. Part II discusses the exclusion of Asian American women from the theories of the “glass ceiling” and the “bamboo ceiling.” Part III describes the study of intersectionality, its limitations, and potential for understanding and eradicating the barriers to success for Asian American women. To fully understand the barriers to success for Asian American women, Part IV will examine the history of exclusion and stereotypes of Asian American women; this Part will also discuss the model minority myth and how Asian American women fit into this narrative. Part V will examine how these stereotypes contribute to discrimination against Asian American women in the workplace. This paper concludes with a discussion on ways to acknowledge the experiences of Asian American women and remove these barriers to success.
Keywords: stereotyping, gender, physical attractiveness, beauty, Beauty is Good, Beauty is Beastly, Gender Discrimination, Law
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