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The Internet as a Digital Thirdspace: Evolving Representations of Asians and Asian Americans in Popular Culture

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Title:The Internet as a Digital Thirdspace: Evolving Representations of Asians and Asian Americans in Popular Culture
Authors:Lee, Edward Hunter
Contributors:Payne, Darin (advisor)
English (department)
Keywords:Rhetoric
Asian American studies
Asian American Rhetoric
Digital Rhetoric
Digital Thirdspace
show 3 moreParticipatory Culture
Rhetoric of Popular Culture
YouTube
show less
Date Issued:2019
Publisher:University of Hawai'i at Manoa
Abstract:In response to the nominations for the 2016 Academy Awards’ top acting categories, the 2015 hashtag, #OscarsSoWhite, was resurrected and addressed by almost every major news organization in North America. While many treated this as a “black and white” issue, the topic of media representations of Asian Americans (or a lack thereof) seemed to come to fore. Scholars and academics have addressed the recurring social constructions of Asian American “otherness” in the traditional mainstream media productions of Hollywood and popular culture, and research has shown that such representations affect how Asians and Asian Americans are perceived and treated by others and themselves. The advent of the Internet and its ability to disrupt the power arrangement that dominated American popular culture has enabled more equitable representations of Asians and Asian Americans. This study aims to reveal the rhetorical dimensions of the Internet as a Digital Thirdspace as a purveyor of popular culture and how this Digital Thirdspace’s productions of new media texts, texts created primarily in digital environments, are a convergence of exigence, the rhetoric of empowerment, the subaltern counterpublic (a space where members of marginal groups can communicate), and the dialectic of the participatory culture of Digital Thirdspace.
This project reviewed of a selection of Asian American (or Asian) related new media texts on Digital Thirdspace and examined the content and participatory culture of YouTube. Analyses of the videos, online actions (e.g. “likes”), and comments demonstrated that the Internet not only provided a venue for beneficial representations for Asians and Asian Americans in media industries but also provided a space for like-minded individuals to create and/or strengthen communities due to the participatory culture of Digital Thirdspace. YouTube users have created a bounty of new media text selections for consumers, and among these are positive representations of Asians and Asian Americans in popular culture. These developments have countered the stereotypic tropes of Asians and Asian Americans that have been prevalent in American popular culture for generations.
Description:Ph.D. Thesis. Ph.D. Thesis. University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa 2019
Pages/Duration:249 pages
URI:http://hdl.handle.net/10125/63181
Rights:All UHM dissertations and theses are protected by copyright. They may be viewed from this source for any purpose, but reproduction or distribution in any format is prohibited without written permission from the copyright owner.
Appears in Collections: Ph.D. - English


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