Racism and Life-Changing Events: An Exploration of Discrimination Against the Asian Community in Relation to the Coronavirus Pandemic

  • Rachna K. Minhas Kwantlen Polytechnic University
Keywords: COVID-19, racism, discrimination


There has been a surge of hate crimes and discrimination against the Asian community in relation to the coronavirus pandemic in the past year. These are similar to hate crimes that occurred against Sikh and Arab communities after 9/11. Some research attributes the rise in hate crimes to the othering theory, where fear of outgroups invokes individuals to marginalize other groups. This study used the Stereotype Content Model (SCM) and the Assessment of Cultural Stereotypes Test to examine perceptions of society’s beliefs of the Asian community during the Coronavirus pandemic. It was hypothesized that—given the Coronavirus Pandemic—non-Asian participants would perceive society’s views of the Asian community as less warm and less competent compared to Asian participants, and that non-Asian participants would attribute more negative stereotypes to the Asian community than Asian participants. A total of 68 undergraduate students from Kwantlen Polytechnic University were recruited for this study. Asian and non-Asian participants did not differ significantly in their ratings of society’s beliefs about the warmth and competence of Asians. The only significant adjective selected in assessing the Asian communities’ cultural stereotypes was “bad drivers.”

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