The Cultural Production of Racial Narratives About Asian Americans in Mathematics

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  • 1 Temple University
  • | 2 Rutgers University

Although considerable literature illustrates how students’ experiences and identities are racialized in mathematics education, little attention has been given to Asian American students. Employing ethnographic methods, this study followed 10 immigrant Chinese-heritage families to explore how the racial narrative of the model minority myth was locally produced in mathematics education. We draw on constructs of racial narratives and cultural production to identify the local production of the narrative Asians are smart and good at math during K–12 schooling. Specifically, the Asian American students (re)produced racial narratives related to three cultural resources: (a) Their immigrant parents’ narratives about the U.S. elementary school mathematics curriculum; (b) the school mathematics student tracking system; and (c) students’ locally generated racial narratives about what being Asian means.

Footnotes

The guest editor for this article was Karen Graham.

Contributor Notes

Shelley Yijung Wu, Temple University, School of Education & Human Development, Ritter Hall/Ritter Annex, 1301 Cecil B. Moore Ave., Philadelphia, PA 19122; shelleywu0817@gmail.com

Dan Battey, Rutgers University, Graduate School of Education, 10 Seminary Place, New Brunswick, NJ 08901; dan.battey@gse.rutgers.edu

Journal for Research in Mathematics Education
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