We also read Coloring the Academic Landscape: Faculty of Color Breaking the Silence in Predominantly White Colleges and Universities. We found this article to be a very good model for discussing challenges faced by minorities without needing to focus specifically on underrepresented minorities. We also found this article to address well the vital importance of intersectionality, the idea that an individual cannot be broken down into distinct identity groups, but rather that the interplay of multiple disadvantaged identities creates unique perspectives.
“Well represented minorities” present a very interesting perspective. While they are well represented at lower levels, they are still not found in management positions and positions of power. This is true despite the rampant stereotypes that Asian Americans are incredibly intelligent and hard working (in short, the 'model minority' myth). We determined from this that stereotypes do not tell the whole story. It is not true that scientists perform as well as the stereotype predicts they will. If this were true, we would see more Asian Americans in positions of power. We found that the structures in place in academic science do more than disadvantage women and underrepresented minorities. These structures actually privilege white men.
The rest of our discussion focused on the idea that Asian Americans are labeled as ‘perpetual foreigners’ and the xenophobia that produces this stereotype. We also discussed the need for equality beyond representation. Asian Americans have achieved representation in science similar to the proportion of Asian Americans in the American population at large. However we have yet to achieve equality as evidenced by the distinct lack of Asian Americans in positions of power.