Mormon and Asian American Model Minority Discourses in the News and Popular Magazines
Edwin Mellen Press
This study examines a key element of media-magazines; presentations of two minority groups in the United States--Mormons and Asian Americans. The study first reviews early Mormon and Asian American images in their historical context. The centerpiece of the study is a close analysis of magazine stories about Mormons and Asian Americans in the past several decades. Success stories of the two groups in selected magazines during the past six and a half decades are analyzed. The researcher found that magazine articles have portrayed Mormons and Asian American success in a very similar manner. Many journalists depict both groups as 'models'; by emphasizing their economic success and hardworking, thrifty, self-reliant, and family-oriented 'nature'; of members of these two communities. At the same time, both groups are seen as deviating from the mainstream American culture and discursively constructed as 'Others'; to American norms. The researcher argues that although the two discourses are profoundly similar, there are significant differences between how the two discourses (re)shape the power relationships between minorities and majorities. Alternative suggestions for the media in telling stories about minority groups in American society are provided.