According to the majority-minority paradigm, racial and ethnic minorities have lower socioeconomic characteristics than whites owing to discrimination. Asian Americans defy this conventional view, however, at least on average. Asian Americans tend to have higher mean levels of educational achievements, and several recent studies indicate approximate parity with whites in most arenas of the labor market for those Asian Americans who were schooled in the United States. Their favorable socioeconomic outcomes stand in contrast to the widespread discrimination and labor market disadvantages that Asian Americans encountered during the earlier part of the twentieth century. The improved opportunities for Asian Americans suggest increasingly successful interrelations with whites in the post–Civil Rights era, with its more multicultural ethos. Less encouragingly, the favorable average socioeconomic profile of Asian Americans in the post–Civil Rights era in part reflects the rising significance of class resources and associated inequalities. The latter trend is evident in the notable socioeconomic variability within the racial category of Asian Americans.


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  • Article Type: Review Article
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