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Stereotype Threat v. Stereotype Pet
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November 14, 2011, 09:38 PM
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The Stanford sociology department is sponsoring a speech on an exciting conceptual breakthrough: "Stereotype Promise."

Jennifer Lee

Professor of Sociology, University of California, Irvine

Visiting Scholar, Russell Sage Foundation 

The Tiger Mother and Asian American Exceptionalism?
Framing Success and “Stereotype Promise” among LA’s Second Generation 

*Jointly sponsored with the Department of Sociology and the Center for Comparative Studies on Race and Ethnicity

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Colloquium with Q&A 12:30-1:45

email suemartin@stanford.edu for more information 

"Why do second-generation Asians exhibit exceptional academic outcomes, even when controlling for socioeconomic factors like parental education, occupation, and income? ... Moreover, the external validation and reinforcement of the frame by teachers can generate a “stereotype promise” among Asians—the promise of being viewed through the lens of a positive stereotype that leads one to perform in such a way that confirms the positive stereotype, thereby boosting one’s performance. As a result, Asian students—regardless of ethnicity, class, and gender—gain an advantage over their non-Asian peers in the context of U.S. schools."

I don`t think "stereotype promise" reminds people enough of "stereotype threat." "Threat" and "promise" are kind of antonyms, but it`s not self-evident that they are being used as opposites. Therefore, this concept that Asians outperform others because teachers are biased in favor of apple-polishing Asian students should be renamed "stereotype pet."

Is it true? I don`t know, but it`s definitely more memorable as Stereotype Threat / Pet.