Date of Award
Asians are often viewed as the “model minority” group for assumptions about their high income and education level. Does this necessarily translate to higher self-esteem, social desirability, and self-perceived social rank for Asians? Building upon literature examining confidence, beauty, masculinity and the “model minority” stereotype, I use the General Social Survey (2016—2018) to study the relationships between attractiveness and perceived social rank for 124 Asian Americans and 3,038 White Americans. The attractiveness data was collected by the GSS rating respondents on their physical attractiveness. Social rank helps examine a general sense of perceived ranking in society that may not be explicitly expressed by socio-economic class. I propose that a high attractiveness rating positively affects the level of self-perceived ranking for Whites but not for Asians. I also control for sex, age, family income and education. The results of the regression support my hypothesis showing a statistically significant relationship between attractiveness and social rank for the White sample but not the Asian sample. However, the strongest predictor of self-perceived social rank was the level of family income. Therefore, the more money someone makes, the higher they self-reported their social rank for both Asians and Whites. Due to the limited sample size of Asians, further research including a larger group of Asian participants should be conducted to study the relationship between attractiveness and social rank.
Lamb, Ally, "Do You Feel Important? A Comparison of White and Asian Americans’ Perception of Their Social Rank" (2019). Sociology Senior Seminar Papers. 37.