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Asian Americans and the Media

ISBN: 978-0-7456-4273-4
216 pages
January 2009, Polity
Asian Americans and the Media (074564273X) cover image
Asian Americans and the Media provides a concise, thoughtful, critical and cultural studies analysis of U.S. media representations of Asian Americans. The book also explores ways Asian Americans have resisted, responded to, and conceptualized the terrain of challenge and resistance to those representations, often through their own media productions.


In this engaging and accessible book, Ono and Pham summarize key scholarship on Asian American media, as well as lay theoretical groundwork to help students, scholars and other interested readers understand historical and contemporary media representations of Asian Americans in traditional media, including print, film, music, radio, and television, as well as in newer media, primarily internet-situated. Since Asian Americans had little control over their representation in early U.S. media, historically dominant white society largely constructed Asian American media representations. In this context, the book draws attention to recurring patterns in media representation, as well as responses by Asian America. Today, Asian Americans are creating complex, sophisticated, and imaginative self-portraits within U.S. media, often equipped with powerful information and education about Asian Americans. Throughout, the book suggests media representations are best understood within historical, cultural, political, and social contexts, and envisions an even more active role in media for Asian Americans in the future.


Asian Americans and the Media will be an ideal text for all students taking courses on Asian American Studies, Minorities and the Media and Race and Ethic Studies.

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1. Introduction.

Section 1: Historical and Mainstream Media Representations.

2. The Persistence of Yellow Peril Discourse.

3. Media Yellowface "Logics".

4. Problematic Representations of Asian American Gender and Sexuality.

5. Threatening Model Minorities: The Asian American Horatio Alger Story.

Section 2: Striving for Media Independence.

6. Asian American Public Criticisms and Community Protests.

7. Asian American Media Independence.

8. The Interface of Asian American Independent Media and the Mainstream.

9. Asian American New Media Practices.

10. Mobilizing Organizations.

11. Conclusion: Many Languages, One Voice.

Glossary.

References

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Kent A. Ono is a Professor of Communications and Asian American Studies at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.

Vincent N. Pham is a Doctoral Student at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.

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  • First book to provide an overview of the complex relationship between Asian Americans and the media.
  • Synthesizes a wealth of scholarship in this emergent field and also contributes its own original perspective whilst remaining pedagogically focused.
  • Covers both historical and contemporary media representations of Asian Americans and shows how stereotypes emerged and have transformed over time.
  • Also looks for the first time in depth at the involvement of Asian Americans in the media industries and how alternative and independent media counteract traditional stereotypes.
  • Designed for use in the classroom, with a glossary and highly accessible style.
  • a volume in the Polity Media and Minorities Series 
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"Significant books reveal gaps in knowledge and compel readers to share an author's ideas. This excellent book succeeds on both counts."
Journalism Studies

"An excellent introduction to many critical issues in Asian American film and media studies. However, its ease of understanding is deceptive since the book is extensively researched and rigorously explores the topics it discusses ... [a] significant addition to the scholarship on Asian American media arts."
Afterimage

“In lively, engaging prose, Ono and Pham deftly survey scholarship on the mass media (film, television, radio, and the Internet) and outline the history of media stereotyping. Well-chosen examples illuminate the give and take between mainstream media, consumers, activists, and independent artists engaged in defining and redefining the popular image of Asian Americans. If you are interested in learning more about the ways we talk about race, start with this volume.”
Peter X. Feng, University of Delaware

“Ono and Pham present a fascinating read on the representational politics of Asian Americans. Using history as a guide to read these images, Ono and Pham underscore the necessity of understanding the cultural politics and social construction of the category ‘Asian American’ itself. By exploring contemporary images, they offer insightful readings and constructive directions for future work in media and communication studies. This is a very important work at the contemporary moment that does not ignore the past.”
Thomas K. Nakayama, Northeastern University

Asian Americans and the Media offers us the much needed critical tools, terminology, and historical framework for reading, deconstructing, and intervening in the politics of ambivalent representation of Asian Americans across a wide range of old and new media, from silent films to YouTube.”
Elena Tajima Creef, Wellesley College

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