Author ORCID Identifier

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Christie Hartley

Second Advisor

Andrew I. Cohen


In this thesis, I argue the Model Minority Stereotype (MMS) of Asian Americans is a systematic hermeneutical injustice, and I justify a previously unrecognized distinction within the literature: positive and negative hermeneutical injustices. To show that the MMS is a systematic hermeneutical injustice, I argue that: (1) the MMS renders a significant area of one’s interests difficult to interpret by collective understanding (the hermeneutical disadvantage); (2) this hermeneutical disadvantage excludes Asian American’s from equal hermeneutical participation (the hermeneutical marginalization and injustice); and (3) the resultant hermeneutical injustice contributes to continuing structural prejudice against Asian Americans and is part of a larger pattern of social powerlessness (the ‘systematic’ part of a systematic hermeneutical injustice). The distinction between a positive and negative systematic hermeneutical injustice is whether the hermeneutical disadvantage occurs because of the imposition of a hermeneutical resource or the lack of a hermeneutical resource.


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