8_Medicalization and Racial Features - Kaw

8_Medicalization and Racial Features - Kaw - 80 MEDICAL...

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MEDICAL ANTHROPOLOGY QUARTERLY These associations that Asian American women make between their features and personality characteristics stem directly from stereotypes created by the dom- inant culture in the United States and by Western culture in general, which his- torically has wielded the most power and hegemonic influence over the world. Asians are rarely portrayed in the U.S. popular media and then only in such roles as Charlie Chan, Suzie Wong, and "Lotus Blossom Babies" (a.k.a. China Doll, Geisha Girl, and shy Polynesian beauty). They are depicted as stereotypes with dull, passive, and nonsociable personalities (Kim 1986; Tajima 1989). Subtle de- pictions by the media of individuals' minutest gestures in everyday social situa- tions can socialize viewers to confirm certain hypotheses about their own natures (Goffman 1979). At present, the stereotypes of Asians as a "model minority" serve a similar purpose. In the model
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