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Exploring the origins of the model minority myth : a visual and cultural analysis of Idaho's Japanese American detainment camp /

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Abstract

This research explores the relationship between the origins of the Asian American stereotype of the model minority myth and a series of two-dimensional images taken during World War II by the War Relocation Authority (WRA) of Idaho's ethnic Japanese detainees. The historical context of the Japanese American community and the detainment experience is overlaid by theoretical considerations regarding ethnicity, assimilation, and the representation of the "other" in U.S. culture. Eighty images, reprinted in the body of this text, were examined using a qualitative framework of interpretation known as photographic discourse analysis. Findings suggest that when viewed within context and as a whole, the photographs display themes of Anglo conformity, compliance to authority, patriotic loyalty toward the United States, and a strong work ethic marked by professionalism--all traits associated with the "model minority." Printout (photocopy), signed. Thesis (M.A., Sociology)--Idaho State University, 2005. Includes bibliographical references (leaves 109-119) and abstract.

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