In todays mainstream media, there exists a visible lack of Asian
American representation. When it comes to the representation of Asian Americans
in popular media culture, there is not just one typical stereotype. The way that the media represents the
stereotypes for Asian American can range from them being bad drivers, being
super smart at math to doing karate. The
question that pops into mind is why isn’t there just one dominant known thing
about Asian Americans that is be truly represents through the media?
According to the textbook, “The media are
not only a powerful source of ideas about race. They are also one place
where these ideas are articulated, worked on, transformed and elaborated”
(Hall, 2015 pg. 105). The media is the
main source for mass communication for its viewers. Either it be the news, television show or
memes on the Internet, viewers pick up information from what is being represented
in the media. Since there are a low number
of Asian American actors out there, viewers cannot get a true sense on who/what
Asian Americans are. This is probably
one of the many reasons why Asian Americans are represented in the media to be
so different and not just have one characteristic.
Something else that
needs to be considered is how the lack of Asian American actors impacts the
representation for Asian American people.
This is because Asian Americans are represented in various ways in the
media. According to the textbook
article, “Asian Americans were also represented as “perpetual foreigners”, as
not being from the United States, as having cultural practices that are not
“American,” and as embodying loyalty to a home country over the Untied States”
(Drew, 2015 pg. 170). Then again the encouraging
thing is that not all Asian Americans are the same, so having various representations
of Asian Americans helps show viewers the many different ways Asian Americans
are. But then at the same time there is
a negative consequence to why Asian Americans are represented in so many ways.
When thinking about what is shown on
screen Asian Americans are represented so effortlessly, meaning that the media
does not think Asian Americans are significant or good enough for big roles, or
to even act as themselves. An example of
this would be the movie Aloha, where the director made the decision to cast Emma Stone who is a White as an Asian-American
In conclusion, representation is the identity or image
public built for particular target. The media plays an important role in
delivering the representation of Asian American to the public. In the article Le Princesa Plastica
the author writes, “Like Hollywood promoters, who need to “design” stars that
will engage the identification of the largest number of viewers” (Goldman, 2015
pg. 442). So the media needs to promote to the
different demographic of individuals in the world. Therefore when media representations are used
to positively represent Asian American it is important for them to remember to build
appropriate representation. These way
viewers cannot be base their perception of Asian Americans
on what the media shows them.
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