Advertisement

Multiculturalism: The Missing Bodies and Voices

  • Ayla Raza
Chapter
Part of the Explorations of Educational Purpose book series (EXEP, volume 27)

Abstract

There is a void within anti-racism literature: the realities of Brown students are missing. There is also a lack of Canadian research on the model minority myth and on how Canadian multiculturalism is enacted within the education system and its effects on students. It is my hope to add the Brown perspective to anti-racism research by shedding some light to the experiences of Brown students as one example of the education system’s continued racism. The current system of education privileges Western knowledge and operates within the notion that Whiteness is the norm. Mainstream, or liberal multiculturalism, and its category of the model minority assist in maintaining the system as it exists. Bringing a critical perspective to liberal multiculturalism, this chapter demonstrates how the model minority myth has created and continues to maintain a hierarchy of non-White bodies within the education system. Further, the model minority category perpetuates the stereotype that all Brown students are academically successful. As one way to disrupt this homogenization of Brown bodies, this chapter utilizes the term Brown over South Asian. Using personal experiences as a Brown student and educator, this chapter engages an anti-colonial and anti-racism framework to disrupt the model minority myth. To do this, experiences of Brown students who fit within the myth, as well as the silenced experiences of Brown students who do not fit within the myth, will be discussed and analyzed, bringing the missing voices to the forefront.

Keywords

White Student Racial Category Colour Blindness Model Minority Asian American Student 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

References

  1. Dei, G. J. S. (1996). Basic principles of anti-racist education. In Anti-racism education: Theory and practice (pp. 25–29). Halifax: Fernwood Publishing.Google Scholar
  2. Dei, G. J. S. (2011, Spring). In defense of official multiculturalism and recognition of the necessity of critical anti-racism. In Canadian issues. Diversity and education for liberation: Realities, possibilities, and problems (55th ed., pp. 15–19).Google Scholar
  3. Dei, G. J. S. (2006). Introduction: Mapping the terrain – towards a new politics of resistance. In G. J. S. Dei & A. Kempf (Eds.), Anti-colonialism and education: The politics of resistance (pp. 1–23). Rotterdam: Sense Publishers.Google Scholar
  4. Desai, S., & Subramanian, S. (2000). Culture and dual consciousness: Issues identified by South Asian immigrant youth in the Greater Toronto Area. The Council of Agencies Serving South Asians and The South Asian Women’s Centre. http://settlement.org/downloads/cassa_youth_report.pdf. Retrieved 15 Dec 2012.
  5. Du Bois, W. E. B. (1903/1994). The souls of black folk. New York/Avenel: Gramercy Books.Google Scholar
  6. Fanon, F. (1952). Facts of Blackness. Accessed at http://portal.utoronto.ca
  7. Fanon, F. (1963/2004). Wretched of the earth. New York: Grove Press.Google Scholar
  8. Foucault, M. (2008). Society must be defended. http://mv.ezproxy.com.myaccess.library.utoronto.ca/2008/02/foucault_soc_defended.pdf. Retrieved 12 Apr 2012.
  9. Gerin-Lajoie, D. (2011, Spring). Multicultural education: Nothing more than folklore? In Canadian issues. Diversity and education for liberation: Realities, possibilities, and problems (55th ed., pp. 24–27).Google Scholar
  10. Ghosh, R. (2011, Spring). The liberating potential of multiculturalism in Canada: Ideals and realities. In Canadian issues. Diversity and education for liberation: Realities, possibilities, and problems (55th ed., pp. 3–8).Google Scholar
  11. Hall, S. (1996). Race: The floating signifier. Northampton, MA: Media Education Foundation.Google Scholar
  12. Ladson-Billings, G. (2004). New directions in multicultural education: Complexities, boundaries, and critical race theory. In J. A. Banks & C. A. M. Banks (Eds.), Handbook of research on multicultural education (pp. 50–65). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.Google Scholar
  13. Lawrence, B., & Dua, E. (2005). Decolonizing antiracism. Social Justice, 32(4), 120–143.Google Scholar
  14. Lee, S. J. (1994). Behind the model-minority stereotype: Voices of high- and low-achieving Asian American students. Anthropology & Education Quarterly, 25(4), 413–429.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Lee, S. J. (2009). Unraveling the model minority stereotype: Listening to Asian American youth (2nd ed.). New York: Teachers College Press.Google Scholar
  16. McLaren, P. (1995). White terror and oppositional agency: Towards a critical multiculturalism. In C. Sleeter & P. L. McLaren (Eds.), Multicultural education, critical pedagogy, and the politics of difference (pp. 33–63). Albany: State University of New York Press.Google Scholar
  17. Museus, S. D., & Kiang, P. N. (2009). Deconstructing the model minority myth and how it contributes to the invisible minority reality in higher education research. New Directions for Institutional Research, 142, 5–15.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Naseem, M. A. (2011, Spring). Conceptual perspectives on multiculturalism and multicultural education: A survey of the field. In Canadian issues. Diversity and education for liberation: Realities, possibilities, and problems (55th ed., pp. 9–14).Google Scholar
  19. Nicholas, A. B. (2001). Canada’s colonial mission: The great White bird. Accessed at https://portal.utoronto.ca
  20. Sandoval, C. (2000). The methodology of the oppressed. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.Google Scholar
  21. Sue, D. W. (2004, November). Whiteness and ethnocentric monoculturalism: Making the ‘invisible’ visible. American Psychologist, 59(8), 761–769.Google Scholar
  22. TDSB Achievement Gap Task Force – Draft Report. (2010, May 17). http://educationactiontoronto.com. Retrieved 20 March.
  23. Weaver, S. L. (2009). Perfect in America: Implications of the model minority myth on the classroom. Colleagues, 4(2), Article 7.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Master of Education, Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE)University of TorontoTorontoCanada

Personalised recommendations