Daily Notes on Literature, Pop Culture & Media, and Academia

Silencing the “Tiger Mom” Story

Posted by litdaily on January 18, 2011

When I opened my web browser this morning, I was pleasantly surprised to see that there were no new articles on Amy Chua’s memoir, her parenting style, and/or just her in general.  I didn’t receive any more emails about her and in the past 24 hours, no one has mentioned her name to me as a topic of conversation.  Yes!

I’m hoping (and not very secretly) that her sensation will die down just as quickly as it swallowed America. Obviously, this whole ordeal is a cash cow for Chua and her family.  But for the rest of us, what does this exactly mean?  I’m not referring to her parenting style here or the difference between “Chinese” parenting and “Western” parenting (come on people, can we be more essentialist??), but why we are so enamored , obsessed, and/or threatened by Chua and her memoir.

It’s not as if parenting is a new topic or that people haven’t yet noticed the different stereotypes between “Asian” parenting and “Western” parenting. It’s also not as if she and her daughters are the only notable, accomplished Asian Americans in the United States.  So why is print/press/media so interested in upholding and displaying their model minority status? Does this possibly have something to do with the broader place that Chinese Americans occupy in the American imaginary? Would the hype be the same if an Indian or a Japanese mother/Yale professor wrote the same memoir?


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