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1. Asian Americans and the Media
2. Asian American Media Reference
3. Media, Politics, and Asian Americans
4. Asian Americans and the Mass Media:
5. Moving the image: independent
6. Asian American media reference
8. Moving the Image: Independent
9. Moving the Image: Independent
10. Are there real Asian American
11. Moving the Image: Independent
12. Asian American Media Reference
13. Asian American Media Reference
14. Student Almanac of Asian American
15. Successful Marketing to U.S. Hispanics
16. On Visual Media Racism: Asians
17. Indian American: Indian American.
18. Student Almanac of Asian American
19. Mobile Cultures: New Media in
20. Making Waves: An Anthology of

1. Asian Americans and the Media (MM - Media and Minorities)
by Kent A. Ono, Vincent Pham
Hardcover: 216 Pages (2008-11-25)
list price: US$69.95 -- used & new: US$55.96
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Asin: 074564273X
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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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. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars No Azns preez
Author's note: I was encouraged by a blog reader to post this here. This book was very resourceful for the following essay I wrote for class on March 8, 2010. Some rights reserved. Email me at kwok[dot]jolin[at]gmail should you like to use (parts of) it for personal publication/essay-writing, thank you.

My class blog is thisisbanal[dot]wordpress :o)


No Azns, preez:
a discourse on the absence of leading roles in Hollywood films for Asian Americans

"Wow," I say, upon reading page 51 of Asian Americans and the Media by Kent A. Ono and Vincent N. Pham. "Did you know that Asian actors could barely play their own race in Hollywood for most of the 20th century? Most of the roles for Asians have been played by Whites or anyone else but Asians."

"Well, that's because there haven't been many prominent Asian [American] actors in the industry." My boyfriend is quick to reply.

"No," I respond, "that's just what [we] don't see; doesn't mean they're not there."

He then uses the economics of demand and supply to support his argument, stating it as a matter of fact: if there were more bankable Asian and Asian American (AAA) actors, logically, we would be seeing more of them. I try to explain that it may have to do with economics, but socio-political culture has more relevance to it.

"For instance," I say. "You know The King and I (1956)?"

"Yeah," he says, "Yul Brynner, right?"

"Is not Asian. Much less Thai, and yet he's cast as King Mongkut."

"But Yul Brynner is a good actor though. Not only did he do a great job at playing the King, his facial structures are unique enough that he looks ethnically ambiguous." He looks back at his laptop.

I look at my boyfriend. The way his argument is going seems to explain the very reason why we do not know many "prominent" AAA actors with leadings roles in Hollywood films: The dynamics of both explicit and implicit yellowface logics keep AAA actors in typecast roles in line with the constructed images of the Oriental Asian and the Model Minority.


Over the years, I have seen bad kung fu movies where white men attempt to pass off as Chinese men with taped eyes and bad Chinese accent. I used to wonder why someone would subject themselves to a position that would bring upon ridicule from people who know the subject at hand better than they do. Then again, these `Chinese' white men often played the role of someone of high status in society like a Chinese official. Sometimes it felt as if they should be praised for trying to speak in a foreign language at all. While in those cases, they usually are found in the mass of Chinese people, in Breakfast at Tiffany's (1961), Mr. Yunioshi-who is played by Mickey Rooney-is found in a mass of white people. He is portrayed as "inept, buck-toothed, puffy cheeked, and sexually depraved" (Ono and Pham 48). Little did I know, this contrast of racial portrayal is exemplary of the explicit yellowface logic.

Ono and Pham defines yellowface "as when a non-Asian or Asian American plays the role of an Asian or Asian American"; explicitly, this means that white human faces are made-up to look `Asian'-with exaggerated black-lined, taped Almond-shaped eyes, wigs, and acting in "an obsequious manner"-and sound vaguely Asian or speak infantile-like broken English (46). I try to imagine what it would have been like if a Japanese actor played Mr. Yunioshi and I realize that he would not produce the same comic effect as someone of a different, foreign race (i.e. a white person) would. Surprisingly, it is not the white actor who takes the hit of ridicule here but the image he attempts to represent-the Japanese race.

This is an important epiphany, because it relates to how "current practices of yellowface...blur Asian American identity and deploy cultural essentialism to view [AAA] people as "All Seem Identical, Alike, No different" (ASIAN). Writing scripts that assume "biological and phenotypical commonalities" in AAA people renders their life experiences banal and insignificant. This also reproduces "institutional and structural processes of disempowerment and disenfranchisement", continuing the "Orientalization and the foreignization of [AAA people]"(Ono and Pham 55). Moreover, it is the Western framework that first conceived the ideology of Orientalism "without input by the East" to define the position of the East in their relationship of power: "Europe is powerful and articulate; Asia is defeated and distant" (Ono and Pham 43-4). Originally made for "the pleasure of white audiences" by encouraging the "consumer's suspension of disbelief", yellowface focuses on the humane relation between white people than with their Asian counterparts; those who believed in its caricatures "became imprisoned in a world of racial caricatures and power relations" (Ono and Pham 47).

This has a lot to do with the so-called yellow peril discourse-the idea that Asian people are going to take over the [Western] world. By racializing their own xenophobia, the West assumes the White Man's burden to globally distribute public service announcements of their representations of the East (Ono and Pham 28). Ono and Pham summarizes the fate of AAA actors before the 21st century:

In part because of racism and specific racist and xenophobic policies against miscegenation, [AAA] actors could not even play genuine character parts in early media culture. [AAA actors] were not ordinarily given jobs in Hollywood, and [AAA] characters were scarce. When such characters did exist, a convention of yellowface ensured that they were played primarily by whites...Yellowface logics...help support and maintain a condition of unequal power relations between whites and [AAA people]. Whereas whites, blacks, and others have played Asian characters, Asian Americans, for the most part, have not been accorded such masquerading `privileges' (45-6).

Since Hollywood is populated mainly by European white actors, they act as the primary gatekeepers of the films produced, thus affecting the employment of AAA actors in leading roles. There are various examples of AAA actors being denied genuine characters of their races. In The King and I, AAA actors mostly played background roles like "the secondary wives of the King and the King's children", a casting that implies "the gendered and infantilizing ways in which [AAA people] take a back seat to whites and Latinos". Even the iconic Bruce Lee could not act in the lead role of Kung Fu (1972-1975), the very TV program he helped create,"because he `looked `too Asian'". The character was written to be "half American and half Chinese" so that it was easier to portray his White substitute David Carradine as "heroic" (Ono and Pham 51). For All-American Girl (1994-1995), a show based loosely on Margaret Cho's life, the "[p]roducers hired an acting coach to help her act more authentically Asian" (Ono and Pham 56). As an Asian myself, I can imagine few things to be more insulting than that. Honoring one's cultural background is a value especially venerated in the Asian culture. No wonder there is a lack of actors of Asian heritage fighting for their rights to be or to remain in Hollywood.

Some people may say that having non-AAA people play AAA roles "at least provides some level of inclusion" in the film narrative (Ono and Pham 53). My boyfriend also tells me I should take such interest of the other races as a compliment instead of an insult. But what theses critics of the yellowface logic do not seem to realize is that it "authorizes racist and degrading representations to be played for comedic effect" (Ono and Pham 53). It further implies that this is what AAA actors need to comply with in order to be successful in Hollywood (Ono and Pham 61). Having white actors in [AAA] roles may also imply the assumption that audiences "prefer" white actors. According to The Slanted Screen (2006), a revised script of The O.C. (2003) cancelled out non-white races from cool-kid roles. As positive role models, survey shows that American youths expect to see White people in positive roles whereas African Americans and Latino/as in limited roles like the maid or the janitor roles. They did not expect to see an Asian cast at all. ("The Slanted Screen")


The denial of Bruce Lee as the lead actor of his own show and the denial of Margaret Cho's authentic portrayal of herself are prime examples of implicit yellowface. Implicit yellowface influences the ideas of what makes AAA people `authentically' Asian. According to Ono and Pham, "[l]ike explicit yellowface, implicit yellowface involves both stage and social actors looking, sounding, and acting according to some notion of normativized, authentic standard of Asianness". With the spotlight on "directed Oriental affections", the acting skills of AAA actors reduce in meaning. It "downplay[s] their own existential identities and experiences", even more so when they are playing what seems like an arbitrary role that belongs to "ethnic groups other than those they themselves know most intimately". While white actors do "play non-white ethnic roles", they do not get a "racial expectation" like ASIAN that results in the implicit yellowface logic (54).

Ultimately, the yellowface logics limits the diversity of roles AAA actors can take on successfully. This often pose a dilemma for mixed-race Asian American actors as they are often stuck with monoracial roles. As Ono and Pham write, "[i]t is extremely rare for...dominant media generally, to create a role for a mixed-race Asian American character" (55). Taking advantage of the "fudge factor" according to yellowface logics, Hollywood scripts bank in on the economical and political efficiency of "racial and ethnic ambiguity" (Ono and Pham 57). With the constant reproduction of stereotypical variants of Dr. Fu Manchu, Madame Butterfly, Dragon Lady, and Lotus Blossom, AAA actors are restricted from leading roles in Hollywood films. This underrepresentation of positive role models of their kind on-screen is disheartening and disempowering for the Asian communities. Although Bruce Lee broke the emasculating stereotypes by creating leading roles for actors who can fight well, actors like him are "the exceptions, not the rule" ("The Slanted Screen"). Ironically, Bruce Lee's cinematic success brought upon the stereotype that all Asians know kung fu, creating yet another limitation for AAA actors.


In the recent years, we can see a slow but steady change. The Slanted Screen claims that after years of playing the stereotype, Asian Americans are finally entering the mainstream as "truthful portrayals are finally beginning to emerge". Films like A Great Wall (1986), Eat a Bowl of Tea (1989), Catfish in Black Bean Sauce (1999), Charlotte Sometimes (2002), Torque (2004), as well as TV shows like 21 Jump Street, Heroes and Lost all have shown AAA actors and stories in leading roles and promising light. The National Asian American Telecommunications Association (NAATA) is cited to help to protect and ensure eligible the AAA actors' right to prominence in Hollywood ("The Slanted Screen").

However, this documentary may be overly optimistic. I am not sure how much things are really changing with a movie like Fu Manchu (2011) in the making ["Internet Movie Database (IMDb)"]. Statistics of "prime-time APIA regulars" suggest that even mainstream television is reluctant to represent Asian Americans, as much as most mainstream media would. (Ono and Pham 94-5). Moreover, the media [still] portrays Asianness generally as synonymous with being non-American. Many AAA actors are limited to action roles, often as villains; during the production of The Replacement Killers (1998), the producers were uncomfortable with Asian men portrayed as the heroes while the White men as the villains, so the villains became Asian men. In Romeo Must Die (2000), the producers cut the scene of Jet Li kissing Aaliyah ("The Slanted Screen"). This clearly shows how the urban audience is still disapproving of Asian males in strong romantic leading roles.

Outside the action film genre, in relation with the Model Minority myth, AAA actors are limited to two extreme types of character. They may either play the role of Charlie Chan, "someone successful even as he is dis-empowered" (Ono and Pham 82) or the role of the successful but less humane one, as found in medical roles today. Portrayed as machine-like "rote learners" who work for the

"modernist, capitalist, industrial society...the role of the doctor can double, ambivalently, for the villainous yellow peril image of yesteryear. In other words, by overrepresenting Asian Americans as doctors while underrepresenting them overall, the media evoke anxiety about a potential Asian `takeover' of yet another set of US jobs. It is clear that roles are still incredibly limited for Asian Americans, that single-occupational typecasting significantly restricts possible jobs for [AAA] actors, and that limiting actors to such roles radically reduces the ability to represent [AAA people] as diverse human beings" (Ono and Pham 86)

We can also explain the lack of leading roles for AAA actors by drawing parallels with the realm of US education. Parents are taking their children out of public schools and universities they feel are "overpopulated" by Asian students, regardless of whether they are first-generation Asian Americans or not. While `white flight' used to refer to how whites moved from the inner cities to the suburbs to escape the `overrun' of mainly African Americans, now `white flight' "refers to white families leaving top-notch academically superb high schools because of the influx of highly competitive, educationally superior Asians". Again, Asian Americans are "overrepresented" and are "taking over" the white country of America. Yet again, being successful at what one does here is accused of having the modus operandi to take over the world-a rehash of the yellow peril discourse. (Ono and Pham 60-94)


History shows us that the dominant media is comprised of the works of "those with little first-hand knowledge of the Asian American experience" (Ono and Pham 6). Following the yellowface logics, we saw that AAA actors "were excluded from working in Hollywood while simultaneously being mocked and made fun of in a form of racial masquerade" (Ono and Pham 61). This "assumed power differential" can be changed by the AAA people, as it relies on "popular consumption" of the masses (Ono and Pham 59). In spite of the hyperbolized xenophobia, "US Americans demonstrated enough...curiosity...about [the AAA people] to construct a complex representational edifice to include them visually and narratively but to exclude them physically" (Ono and Pham 50). Ideally, as far as Hollywood is concerned, it should create more non-racial-specific roles, not just for actors of Asian descent. To stir real change, it may be wiser for the AAA people to focus less on getting the leading roles and more on being part of the decision-making process-that is, to take on the roles of directors, producers, writers, executives, and performers-for it is the writing and directing that starts the form of the story. Like Tzi Ma, of Dante's Peak (1997) fame says, "you have to look not for a specifically Asian American role but an acting role." ("The Slanted Screen")

Works Cited

"IMDb Search." The Internet Movie Database (IMDb). Col Needham, 2010. Web. 4 Mar 2010.

Ono, Kent, and Vincent Pham. Asian Americans and the Media. Cambridge, UK: Polity P, 2009. Print.

The Slanted Screen. Dir. Jeff Adachi. Perf. Frank Chin, Daniel Dae Kim, Bobby Lee, Jason Scott Lee, Will Yun Lee, Mako, Tzi
Ma, Dustin Nguyen, Phillip Rhee, James Shigeta, Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa, and Kelvin Han Yee. Asian American Media Mafia, 2006. DVD. ... Read more

2. Asian American Media Reference Guide; 2nd Edition; a Catalog of More Than 1, 000 Asian American Audio-Visual Programs for Rent Or Sale in the United States
by Bill J., Editor Gee
 Paperback: Pages (1990-01-01)

Asin: B003NY72R4
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3. Media, Politics, and Asian Americans (Hampton Press Communication)
by H. Denis Wu, Tien-Tsung Lee
 Paperback: 150 Pages (2009-05-26)
list price: US$22.95 -- used & new: US$22.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1572738715
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Product Description
Although there are books about Asian Americans and media or politics, this is likely the first and only in-depth investigation into both media and political issues facing this racial minoirty. Using a variety of qualitative and quantitative methods, this book examines racial attitudes toward Asian Americans, their media habits, how Asian American politicians are covered in the news media, and what election candidates and their campaign staff think about their treatment by the press.It also offers helpful suggestions for Asian Americans who want to run for public office, their campaign managers, and the journalists wo will cover the campaigns. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars Well written with interesting insights
Media, Politics and Asian Americans is a well written and well documented research work.H. Denis Wu and Tien-Tsung Lee do an admirable job of protraying the challenges of Asian Americans as an invisible minority in American society.The format is an easy-to-read mixed methods approach using quantitative analysis as well as the rich description of qualitative research to give the reader a well balanced view of the role of Asian-Americans in American politics: How they are preceived, how they are protrayed, and how they view their own role.

This is a must read for scholars and researchers in the Political Science, Journalism, and Human Resource disciplines, as well as anyone with an interest in Diversity Awareness issues. ... Read more

4. Asian Americans and the Mass Media: A Content Analysis of Twenty United States Newspapers and a Survey of Asian American Journalists (Studies in Asian Americans)
by Virginia Mansfield-Richardson
Hardcover: 256 Pages (2000-05-22)
list price: US$130.00 -- used & new: US$116.81
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Asin: 0815334761
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Asian Americans are the fastest growing minority in the United States comprising nearly 3 percent of the population, yet they are rarely given coverage in the U.S. media, as this book demonstrates.This book, written by an 11-year reporter of The Washington Post who is now an Associate Dean at Ithaca College, is broad in scope and studies the relationship between mass media and this important minority, including: 1) examines the scope and type of coverage afforded Asian Americans in mainstream newspapers through a content analysis of twenty leading newspapers for the year March 1, 1994 to February 28, 1995;2) examines the opinions of Asian Americans who work in print, radio, and television media both in mainstream media and specialized Asian American media, through a survey asking their negative and positive experiences on the job as related to their ethnicity, and their opnions on how well the media cover Asian Americans; and 3) an historical examination of Asian Americans and media treatment of Asian Americans, and specialized publications serving Asian Americans.No other book has looked at media coverage of Asian Americans as in-depth as this fascinating account of how attitudes towards Asian Americans are shaped in America through questionable coverage of this diverse segment of the population. ... Read more

5. Moving the image: independent Asian Pacific American media arts, with a preface by Linda Mabalot.
by Russell, ed Leong
 Paperback: Pages (1991)

Asin: B0044MOVBE
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6. Asian American media reference guide; 2nd edition; a catalog of more than1,000 Asian American audio-visual programs for rent or sale in the UnitedStates.
by Bill J., editor Gee
 Paperback: Pages (1990-01-01)

Asin: B001CK476A
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7. DECEPTIVE SIMPLICITY.(Asian Americans and the Media)(Ghostlife of Third Cinema: Asian American Film and Video)(The Hypersexuality of Race: Performing Asian/American ... review): An article from: Afterimage
by Valerie Soe
 Digital: 6 Pages (2010-03-01)
list price: US$9.95 -- used & new: US$9.95
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Asin: B003ZCQSFQ
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This digital document is an article from Afterimage, published by Visual Studies Workshop on March 1, 2010. The length of the article is 1673 words. The page length shown above is based on a typical 300-word page. The article is delivered in HTML format and is available immediately after purchase. You can view it with any web browser.

Citation Details
Title: DECEPTIVE SIMPLICITY.(Asian Americans and the Media)(Ghostlife of Third Cinema: Asian American Film and Video)(The Hypersexuality of Race: Performing Asian/American Women on Screen and Scene)(Book review)
Author: Valerie Soe
Publication: Afterimage (Magazine/Journal)
Date: March 1, 2010
Publisher: Visual Studies Workshop
Volume: 37Issue: 5Page: 37(2)

Article Type: Book review

Distributed by Gale, a part of Cengage Learning ... Read more

8. Moving the Image: Independent Asian Pacific American Media Arts
Paperback: 287 Pages (1992-01-01)
list price: US$19.95 -- used & new: US$6.98
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0934052131
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Product Description
is the most comprehensive effort to define independent Asian Pacific media arts and to describe its course from 1970-1990.The words, essays, and statements by the fifty media artists and cultural workers in this book challenge, celebrate, and contradict each other.Over ninety film stills and archival photos from the early 1900s to the 1990s illustrate this volume, designed to be used as a creative sourcebook and as an introductory text.

Russell C. Leong is the editor of Amerasia Journal and Adjunct Professor of English at UCLA. ... Read more

9. Moving the Image: Independent Asian Pacific American Media Arts
by Russell Leong
 Paperback: Pages (1991-01-01)

Asin: B000KWUFHG
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10. Are there real Asian American women in Hollywood movies?: Media representations of Asian American women
by U.K. Kwak
Paperback: 64 Pages (2010-05-16)
list price: US$61.00 -- used & new: US$61.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 3639254910
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As the title suggests, the author questions if thereare true representations of Asian American women inHollywood movies. The book discusses how AsianAmerican women are portrayed in Hollywood moviesstarting from the 1920s up to the early 2000s. Witha careful analysis of interrogated screen images ofAsian American female characters, this book uncoversAsian American women's ideological positions andhistorical circumstances of the times, and exploresracist, sexist, and Oriental discourses projected onthe silver screen. ... Read more

11. Moving the Image: Independent Asian Pacific American Media Arts
by Various
 Paperback: Pages (1992-01-01)

Asin: B0039HV38O
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12. Asian American Media Reference Guide: A Catalog of More Than Five Hundred Asian American Audio-Visual Programs for Rent or Sale in the United States
 Paperback: Pages (1990-11)
list price: US$19.95
Isbn: 9992839694
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13. Asian American Media Reference Guide
 Paperback: Pages (1990-11)

Isbn: 9996361756
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14. Student Almanac of Asian American History
by Media Projects Inc.
Hardcover: 144 Pages (2004-01-30)
list price: US$87.95 -- used & new: US$15.87
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0313326029
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When Asian people began to immigrate to the United States in the 1800s, they met with both gratitude for providing labor, and mistrust for their unfamiliar culture. This two-volume set, written for students in grades 6-8, traces the turbulent history of Asian Americans from their first arrival to the present day. ... Read more

15. Successful Marketing to U.S. Hispanics and Asians: Players, Agencies, and Media : An American Management Association Research Report on Target Marke (AMA briefings & surveys)
 Paperback: 122 Pages (1987-11)
list price: US$45.00
Isbn: 0814435149
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16. On Visual Media Racism: Asians in the American Motion Pictures (The Asian Experience in North America)
by Eugene Franklin Wong, Franklin E. Wong
 Hardcover: 321 Pages (1979-06)
list price: US$33.95
Isbn: 040511303X
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17. Indian American: Indian American. Non-resident Indian and Person of Indian Origin, United States Census Bureau, Racial classification of Indian Americans, ... South Asians, List of Indian American media
Paperback: 92 Pages (2009-09-18)
list price: US$50.00
Isbn: 6130034849
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Indian American. Non-resident Indian and Person of Indian Origin, United States Census Bureau, Racial classification of Indian Americans, Stereotypes of South Asians, List of Indian American media, List of Indian Americans, Bobby Jindal, Neel Kashkari ... Read more

18. Student Almanac of Asian American Histor
by Media Projects Inc
 Paperback: Pages (2003)

Asin: B000OTNCVQ
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19. Mobile Cultures: New Media in Queer Asia (Console-ing Passions)
Paperback: 312 Pages (2003-01-01)
list price: US$24.95 -- used & new: US$20.00
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Asin: 0822330873
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Mobile Cultures provides much-needed, empirically grounded studies of the connections between new media technologies, the globalization of sexual cultures, and the rise of queer Asia. The availability and use of new media—fax machines, mobile phones, the Internet, electronic message boards, pagers, and global television—have grown exponentially in Asia over the past decade. This explosion of information technology has sparked a revolution, transforming lives and lifestyles, enabling the creation of communities and the expression of sexual identities in a region notorious for the regulation of both information and sexual conduct. Whether looking at the hanging of toy cartoon characters like "Hello Kitty" from mobile phones to signify queer identity in Japan or at the development of queer identities in Indonesia or Singapore, the essays collected here emphasize the enormous variance in the appeal and uses of new media from one locale to another.

Scholars, artists, and activists from a range of countries, the contributors chronicle the different ways new media galvanize Asian queer communities in Taiwan, South Korea, Japan, Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia, India, and around the world. They consider phenomena such as the uses of the Internet among gay, lesbian, or queer individuals in Taiwan and South Korea; the international popularization of Japanese queer pop culture products such as Yaoi manga; and a Thai website’s reading of a scientific tract on gay genetics in light of Buddhist beliefs. Essays also explore the politically subversive possibilities opened up by the proliferation of media technologies, examining, for instance, the use of Cyberjaya—Malaysia’s government-backed online portal—to form online communities in the face of strict antigay laws.

Contributors. Chris Berry, Tom Boellstorff, Larissa Hjorth, Katrien Jacobs, Olivia Khoo, Fran Martin, Mark McLelland, David Mullaly, Baden Offord, Sandip Roy, Veruska Sabucco, Audrey Yue ... Read more

Customer Reviews (1)

4-0 out of 5 stars Extremely Comprehensive
The most enlightening thing that this book has done for me was to get me to recognise how the term "Queer" can be just as hegemonic and oppressive as compulsory heterosexuality. The essays written about queer sexualities in Asia reveal an even more complex understanding of the workings of human sexuality than Western Queer discourse would be inclined to argue for.

As we enter an age of a new colonialism with the spread of Western culturally subversive attitudes and ideologies through various forms of mass media such as the internet, magazines and television, sexuality in Asia is changing its shape in response. I loved Tom Boellstroff's essay "I Knew It Was Me: Mass Media, "Globalization," and Lesbian and Gay Indonesians," on the 'gay' and 'lesbi' communities in Asia that came to occupy their subject-positions through an appropriation of the English terms 'Gay' and 'Lesbian' within the Indonesian cultural context, with a different set of definitions.

The essays on Japan were extremely thought provoking for me, as they bring up discussions on Japanese women's "Yaoi" (homoerotic boy-love stories and depictions), "Nyuhafu" (the Japanese transgendered, who occupy unique socio-economic positions in Japanese culture), the aesthetics of Japanese fiction when viewed and commodified by the Western gaze, "Kawaii" (or 'cute') as a possible form of subversive female identity by the masochistic embrace of child-like femininity to the extreme, and the adoption of a Japanese aesthetic in order to make an extreme genderqueer porn by Taiwanese-American filmmaker Shu Lea Cheang.

I enjoyed the essays on Singapore and Malaysia as well, having come from the region myself, as they discuss a unique embrace of a new hegemonic "Asian values" as a defensive response to the growing cosmopolitanism of the country which those in power feel brings in countercultural Western sexual values.

My only disappointment was the essay "Syncretism and Synchronicity: Queer'n'Asian Cyberspace in 1990s Taiwan and Korea" by Chris Berry and Fran Martin, because of the fact that it was primarily a list of statistics to showcase broad points, when in fact the actual number of people covered in these statistics was too small to make any generalised comment on the queerscape of these two very different countries. It became less of a comparison of these two nations more than it became a tedious and unsuccessful attempt at compare and contrast.

All in all, however, it is an incredible read, and a very well-researched book that I had difficulty putting down once I picked it up. ... Read more

20. Making Waves: An Anthology of Writings By and About Asian American Women
Paperback: 481 Pages (1989-06-28)
list price: US$23.00 -- used & new: US$6.74
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Asin: 0807059056
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Customer Reviews (4)

5-0 out of 5 stars An Important Response
This anthology is a collection of works by 53 Asian American women that contains works of fiction, poetry and essays and is an "equal representation of all ethnic groups and of all written forms of expression" (p. ix). The aim of this anthology is to challenge the stereotypes vis-à-vis Asian women as docile and subservient (Asian Women United of California ix-xi). Stigmatized and vilified throughout history from their roots in China, Japan, the Philippines, Vietnam, India, Korea; this collection challenges those stereotypes and tries to present a vision for the future. On of the more poignant pieces belongs to Elaine Kim. In War Story (Asian Women United of California 80-92), Kim writes about her half-sister's experiences vis-à-vis the Korean War. Kim balances the narrative with counterfactuals imagining that it could have been her sister in America and the reverse with her in Korea.

Despite the uniqueness of Kim's narrative, all the pieces share the same message of struggle, tension, and, in some cases, resolution. All the writers write using a language of those fighting for survival in a unsympathetic and often antagonistic environment. Some of the storiesinevitably overlap but all focus on one or the other issues involvingimmigration, war, work, generations, identity, injustice, and finally activism. In reading about the items identified in the last sentence, I learned a great deal about the history of Asian American women's work as they transitioned from trades and professions. This book broadened my perspective vis-à-vis the rage at injustices they face up to as women but more so as Asian Americans. Finally, hearkening back to Karen Aguilar-San Juan this book is also helpful for understanding the activism that has helped Asian American women to discover themselves.

5-0 out of 5 stars Another anthology?
Another anthology - but it's OK, because "Making More Waves" is a follow-up on the 1989 anthology "Making Waves." These two books should be read together to show how the editors' definition of Asian American women and decision about what to emphasize and focus on changed between the late 1980's and the late 1990's. "Making Waves" contained a lot of historical introductory material, especially on Chinese and Japanese Americans. "Making More Waves" stretched itself to deal more with Indian, Cambodian, Laotian, and Filipino Americans, with some similar topics but many new ones, like Susan Ito's essay on mixed race identity, Dana Takagi's piece on sexual orientation, Lisa Park's thoughts on race and suicide, and Anuradha Advani's piece on organizing South Asian taxi drivers in New York City. Writers and thinkers like Helen Zia and Lisa Lowe contributed great essays to this new volume. There are a lot of published writers of poetry and novels as well. An excerpt from a Lisa See novel is included, as well as work by Kimiko Hahn, Mitsuye Yamada, Chitra Divakaruni, Marie G. Lee, Nora Okja Keller, Carolyn Leilani-Lau, Marilyn Chin, Myung Mi Kim, and Mong Lan. But what I like best is that first-time writers of really good stuff are sprinkled in among the veterans. A great collection.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great Collection of Nom-Fiction from Asian American Ladies
Let me first qualify myself in saying that I'm not Asian nor am I female. I'm a Caucasian male who is also a pastor. Most of the people that I worship with and minister to are Asian Americans. I became fascinated with it when I read about it on Amazon a few years back. Not Long later I read about "Making More Waves," a follow-up book with many of the same ladies from the first book.

This book details the struggles that Asian ladies go through. Some of the things covered are immigration, tension w/parents, growing up in 2 cultures (Asian & American), sexism, racism, interracial marriages, among the many. It really is thorough from start to finish. One of the best parts about it is that it's written by several ladies, not just one. So in the end, you hear many voices instead of just one.

This book has been an immense help to me, both personally and professionally. It was both an eye-opener and a life changer. I'd recommend this book to all Asians and those who are friends with, dating, or married to an Asian.

Kudos to Elaine Kim and the other ladies that wrote this book!

3-0 out of 5 stars Good book
Parts of it were good. The plot thickened in the midlle but faded nearer the end. An OK read for passing time. ... Read more

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