Text Review on Crazy Rich Asians

The work that I want to examine is an American romantic comedy-drama called Crazy Rich Asians. This movie is an adaption of the eponymous novel written by Singaporean-American author Kevin Kwan.

The movie follows Rachel Chu (Wu), a deep-rooted American-born Chinese (so-called “banana”) economics professor who appears to be an Asian but is an American inside. Racheal’s boyfriend Nick Young (Golding) brought her from New York City to his hometown, Singapore, for his best friend’s wedding, and she expects to spend the summer getting to know Nick better. Before their departure, Rachel’s mother tries to impart to her daughter the importance of tradition, while she and her mother have a very nontraditional mother-daughter relationship for Chinese families indeed. From this scene, we can see the juxtaposition of American and Chinese traditions in an authentic immigrant family. In Singapore, Rachael finds out that Nick is from an unbelievably wealthy family, which Nick didn’t inform her. In such an upper social class like Nick’s, people regard wealth, pride, and prestige as the determinants of their identity in the society, therefore, they are constantly entangled in fierce competition. Because of his distinguished family background, Nick Young is one of the most eligible bachelors in his country, thus, every single woman in his social class is especially jealous of Rachel. Rachael is othered by Nick’s family and friends that she is not only gossiped and threatened by the rich “sisters” in a luxurious beach party, but also is she severely examined and blamed by Nick’s mother. All these factors of cultural collision, othering, and rigid hierarchy in the society contribute to Racheal’s deep feeling of unbelonging as well as isolation in Singapore. However, Racheal, as a Chinese descendant as well as a rational professor with both Asian and American values in her mind, tries to break through the cultural norms and to be her best and unique self.

Happily, at the end of the story, Racheal successfully settled the confliction and difficulties with Nick’s family, and they finally entered the marriage hall with their persistence and faith in love. Although the plot of this movie is quite similar to that of the typical Cinderella kind of story, the internal meanings and values behind it are really noteworthy.

Market Fundamentalism

Market fundamentalism (also known as free market fundamentalism) is a term applied to strong belief in the ability of regulated laissez-faire or free-market capitalist policies to solve most economic and social problems. The single word “Fundamentalism” means a religious movement characterized by a strict belief in the literal interpretation of religious texts, especially within American Protestantism and Islam, and it is originated from the American Protestant fundamentalism movement which arose in the late 19th and early 20th centuries in reaction to modernism, while the term “Market Fundamentalism” was coined by Nobel Prize winner and former chief economist of the World Bank itself –Joseph Stiglitz.

Critics of such policies have used the term to denote what they perceive as an unfounded misguided belief, or deliberate deception, that free markets provide the greatest possible equity and prosperity, and that any interference with the market process decreases social well-being. Users of the term include adherents of interventionist, mixed economy and protectionist positions, capitalists, as well as economists. Critics cite as fundamentalist the unshakable belief, even against the evidence, that unfettered markets maximize individual freedom, that they are the only means to economic growth and that society should adhere to their specific ideas of progress means. Stiglitz (2015) stated in an recent interview “The theories that I (and others) helped develop explained why unfettered markets often not only do not lead to social justice, but do not even produce efficient outcomes. Interestingly, there has been no intellectual challenge to the refutation of Adam Smith’s invisible hand: individuals and firms, in the pursuit of their self-interest, are not necessarily, or in general, led as if by an invisible hand, to economic efficiency.”

The myths of Market Fundamentalism include:

  1. The market is the only source of innovation and it must be left alone if we want to accelerate technological change.
  2. Government will always spend money less productively than private citizens; this is why tax cuts are almost always a good idea.
  3. Regulation of business is wasteful, unproductive and usually unnecessary.
  4. Financial markets thrive when regulation is kept to a minimum.
  5. Private firms will always produce a good or a service more efficiently than the government.
  6. It is wrong to regulate wages or executive compensation because markets always get prices right.
  7. Government assistance always ends up hurting the people it is supposed to help.

Market Fundamentalism has dominated public policy debates in the United States since the 1980’s, when financial markets started to become globalized and the US started to run a current account deficit, serving to justify huge Federal tax cuts, dramatic reductions in government regulatory activity, and continued efforts to downsize the government’s civilian programs. While Republicans and conservatives have embraced Market Fundamentalist ideas, many Democrats and liberals have also accepted much of this mistaken belief system.

During the 1990s, Williamson’s original conception of the ‘Washington consensus’ became distorted as it was popularized, and evolved ‘to signify a set of ‘neoliberal’ policy prescriptions’. The Washington consensus quickly became associated with market fundamentalism. In Stiglitz’s view, all versions of the Washington consensus, but especially the neo-liberal or market fundamentalist interpretation, are fundamentally flawed. Their policy prescriptions, concept of development and agenda for government all embrace far too narrow a perspective. With respect to the modern role of government Stiglitz argues that the “ideological debates should be over; there should be agreement that while markets are at the center of the economy, governments must play an important role. The issue is one of balance, and where that balance is may depend on the country, the capacity of its government, the institutional development of its markets. In other words, development advice should be adapted to the circumstances of the country” (Stiglitz, 1998). Further, Dani Rodrik has argued that “The idea of a mixed economy is possibly the most valuable heritage that the twentieth century bequeaths to the twenty-first in the realm of economic policy”, and that “successful development requires markets underpinned by solid public institutions” (Rodrik, 2000).


Stiglitz, J.E. (1998), “Towards a new paradigm for development: Strategies, policies, and processes”. The Prebisch Lecture at UNCTAD, October. www.worldbank.org

Longviewinstitute.org. n.d. Market Fundamentalism — Longview Institute. http://www.longviewinstitute.org/projects/marketfundamentalism/marketfundamentalism/

Stiglitz, Joseph E. The pact with the devil. Beppe Grillo’s Friends interview”. Beppe Grillo’s Blog. Jan. 24, 2015. https://web.archive.org/web/20150124040716/http://www.beppegrillo.it/eng/2007/01/stiglitz.html

Stiglitz, J.E. (1998), “Towards a new paradigm for development: Strategies, policies, and processes”. The Prebisch Lecture at UNCTAD, October. www.worldbank.org




Chinese/Asian People Become the Target of Discrimination in Coronavirus Outbreak

By Jiali Sun

Due to the rising outbreak of Coronavirus around the world, there has been increasing cases of prejudice, xenophobia, discrimination, violence, and racism against Chinese people, and even Asian people, particularly in Europe, the United State and the Asia-Pacific region. What is worse, such discrimination not only happens on the Internet, some cases even involve violence in public as well as well-known news media.

On Feb.3, The Wall Street Journal published an article titled “China is the Real Sick Man of Asia”, which has aroused the uproar among Chinese people and overseas Chinese since it deploys derogatory reference to China. The phrase “sick man of Asia” has been historically used to perpetuate the stereotype that Chinese people were disease-ridden and unclean. The expression is also resented by the Chinese, whose country has suffered from past foreign invasion. Such reference is thought to be instigating panic, skewing public opinion, and deepening discrimination. The likely consequence is rising racism against Chinese and other Asian ethnicities. Therefore, many Chinese people were petitioning to bring down the article or rectify the title in recent days.


As one of the most well-known international newspaper, WSJ’s improper choice of such an controversial headline at such a sensitive time of health crisis in China’s history demonstrates the author’s/editor’s lack of empathy and compassion, and will consequently harm the fame of WSJ as well as offend a sizable community in the US. All in all, there is an urgent need for WSJ to retract the headline, make claims and apologize.

Face masks are commonly worn by Asians to protect against germs or prevent any pathogen from spreading. However because of irrational fears over coronavirus, overseas Chinese have been dealing with horror stories about mask-wearing people being verbally and even physically attacked by strangers. In one such assault, videotaped by a passenger at a subway station in Manhattan’s Chinatown, a mask-wearing woman was pummeled and kicked by a man. The witness told the media that the attacker called the woman a “diseased bitch.”


I think such racial discrimination or anti-Chinese sentiment is a kind of systematic injustice since those discriminate and biased people irrationally abused innocent Chinese and Asian people who just want to protect themselves from being infected by the virus. As it is said by de Beauvoir in her Second Sex, “it is that no group sets itself up as the One without at once setting up the Other against itself”. However, the Coronavirus outbreak is the issue of the whole world combatting with the virus rather than confronting certain racial groups. Those discriminating cases will not only arouse a higher level of social unrest and fear but also increase the work burden of public police and workers. There is still an urgent need for more strict government regulations as well as scrutiny on the swirling misinformation and viral rumors and racist cases.