Asian kids and the fall from academic greatness to middling Ok

‘Whatever you do, there will be always an Asian kid who does better than you’

The joke has been around in the Internet since I first encountered the digital world. The stereotype that ‘Asian kids are good at math’, for example, is fascinating for me because it’s partly true.  Most of the Asian students admitting at my university study Economics or Business, Finance and Marketing. Finding one in Social Science field like me is a rare gem.

Asian kids always win high places at competitions such as International Mathematician/ Physics Olympiad. Among immigrants in the United States of America or in Europe, Asian migrants or Asian-born people prove to have better life standard, academic performance and employment opportunities compared to other ethnic groups. A 2010 Pew Research study showed that Asian households earning a median $66,000 a year vs. $49,800 for the average US household, a 32% difference. A 2013 Nielsen Research Report found that Asian American households have a median net worth of $89,300 compared to $68,800 for overall US households, a 30% difference. Meanwhile, roughly 49% of Asian Americans have Bachelor’s degrees vs. 28% of the general US population, a 75% difference.

It’s no doubt that the average Asian doing much better than average American in the USA and in many regions in the world. However, looking at the top of those fields, it’s predominantly Whites. This recurring topic has been under scrutiny for decades among Asian mass media and scientists, attempting to debunk the myth of excellence and creativity and what factors set individuals apart.

Why is that?

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‘Us’ versus ‘them’ or similarity is attractive- the basic social rule that you are not aware of

You might be familiar with the saying “Opposite attracts”. It’s been around for generations as some might recall. I might think that the recent phenomenon that people use to elucidate the ambiguous chemical reaction which is called “love”. Thinking from the instinctual standpoint, one might find a very hot headed and outgoing man can go along with a silent type girl with the love for reading, or the one who knows nothing about math can love a crazy scientist guy who is totally incomparable to her physically, are totally unreasonable and hard to comprehend. Hence, the phrase “Opposite attracts” was born.

From psychological point of view, opposite does not attract, instead similarity is attractive. In general situation between a human being and another human beings, what matters is what they share in terms of norms and values, ways of speaking, religious beliefs and cultural practices.There comes to the situation of dividing on two sides: “Us” versus “them”.

And when we think of it, the problems of the world only lies on this thin line – a divide between “us” vs “them”

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