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Contemporary Issues Faced by Asian Americans

Asian Americans have constantly been experiencing socio-economic and political problems. However, over the last several years, the number of issues faced by Asian Americans has significantly increased. Namely, with the COVID-19 pandemic, Asian Americans’ already dire situation has been exacerbated. Currently, Asian Americans encounter three significant issues in terms of a) stigma and racial violence, b) model minority myth and mental health, c) political participation.

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One of the most acute issues that Asian Americans have faced over the last year is the increased amount of stigmatization and racial violence. During the pandemic, xenophobia and aggression towards Asian Americans have escalated as they have been blamed as carriers of the virus (Roberto et al., 2020; Croucher et al., 2020). Hence, mass media and government officials should constantly inform citizens that Asian Americans are not virus carriers and are the same victims of the pandemic as the other half of the population. Thus, Asian Americans currently face racial violence and stigma towards them due to the pandemic.

As a result of the perception that Asian Americans are ‘successful minorities, they are often expected to ignore the institutional barriers and discrimination. These expectations have a detrimental effect on the mental health of Asian Americans, particularly the youth population (Cheng et al., 2017). One way to address this problem is to stop the portrayal of Asian Americans as model minorities and pay attention to the struggles they face. Thus, addressing this issue of model minority myth is particularly important for the mental health of Asian American population, but also to address institutional problems they face.

Finally, due to a staggeringly limited representation of Asian Americans in politics, many Asian Americans are becoming increasingly apolitical. Although traditionally, it is perceived that political participation depends on socioeconomic status, most Asian Americans are not politically active despite their high levels of income (Lee & Kye, 2016). Therefore, it is crucial to increase the representation of Asian American people by electing more Asian American politicians.

To conclude, Asian Americans currently face racial violence, stereotypes of the model minority, and subsequent mental health issues, and limited political inclusion. The solutions mentioned above emphasize raising public awareness about the struggles that Asian American population experiences. Electing more Asian American politicians is more likely to increase the political activeness of these minorities. However, these measures will not be enough, and the effective solution requires a systematic and multidimensional approach.


Cheng, A. W., Chang, J., O’Brien, J., Budgazad, M. S., & Tsai, J. (2016). Model minority stereotype: Influence on perceived mental health needs of Asian Americans. Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health, 19(3), 572–581. Web.

Croucher, S. M., Nguyen, T., & Rahmani, D. (2020). Prejudice toward Asian Americans in the COVID-19 pandemic: The effects of social media use in the United States. Frontiers in Communication, 5. Web.

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Roberto, K. J., Johnson, A. F., & Rauhaus, B. M. (2020). Stigmatization and prejudice during the COVID-19 pandemic. Administrative Theory & Praxis, 42(3), 364–378. Web.

Lee, J. C., & Kye, S. (2016). Racialized assimilation of Asian Americans. Annual Review of Sociology, 42(1), 253–273. Web.

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