Discipline is definedby Oxford Dictionaries as “The practice of training people to obey rules or acode of behaviour, using punishment to correct disobedience”.
In many ways,discipline within the Asian community can add to the stigma surrounding mentalhealth as a large part of Asian society to surpass in all aspects of life;Asians as individuals tend to view the mind and body in a holistic therefore itstands to reason that the idea of having somewhat of a complication in mindwill cause a complication in everyday life. They are therefore taught todiscipline themselves in all aspects of life and can fail to identify or admitthat the pressure of having to excel is placing stress on them mentally. Thiscan also be due to the way discipline is used in the community; it differs fromthe use of (physical) strength as it is a method used to convince the mind andbody that they are being guided as opposed to moulded to fit into societalstandards, as a result making it feel as though it is a natural behaviour forthem to adopt and that anything outside of excelling is to some extentabnormal.
The impact that theidea of discipline can have on a community as a whole has been present frompast generations and passed on to newer generations both consciously and subconsciously.Foucault states that “Discipline ‘makes’individuals; it is the specific technique of a power that regards individualsboth as objects and as instruments of its exercise. It is not a triumphantpower…it is a modest, suspicious power, which functions as a calculated, butpermanent economy.
” From this, we can interpret the cause and effect behindthe idea of discipline within the Asian community. There is a stereotype builtaround each and every ethnic minority with the stereotypical Asian individualhaving to live up to the standards of surpassing in all aspects possible –throughout the many stages of life, the Asian community in particular disciplineboth mind and body in order to be able to meet the standards that are set forthem; what was initially expected of a group of individuals became the norm forthe community thus reinforcing the idea of a permanent economy. The conceptbehind it is that the individuals that meet the standards set for them byeither their elders or society make up the ideal economy. The idea ofdiscipline therefore reflects on may, if not all, aspects of general life forthe community. According to mental health charity Time to Change Adherence to social norms is the key to achieving andmaintaining respect and standing within the community. These include doing wellacademically, being married, having children and being employed.
Living outsideof these norms, whether through poor academic achievements or having a mentalproblem can be considered abnormal and damage the reputation and standing ofthe person with the mental health problem and their immediate family,reinforcing feelings of shame and the need for secrecy.