Talk Back to Me!! Asian Americans and the Reclamation of Media Imposed Identity

T. Khytt Lawrey

Talk Back to Me!!

Key Questions

  • Why do stereotypes exist? Who creates them?
  • Are stereotypes positive or negative? What is gained and/or limited by stereotypes?
  • How do stereotypes affect the way we view, behave, and perceive others? How do stereotypes affect the way we view, behave or perceive ourselves?
  • Do you believe that the media is biased or mostly based on the truth? How should a society regulate its media?
  • How should someone who disagrees with a stereotype productively respond? How can media be held responsible for creating stereotypes? How can media be manipulated to combat stereotypes?

Concepts and Key Terms

  • Stereotype: an exaggerated belief, image or distorted truth about a person or group — a generalization that allows for little or no individual differences or social variation. Stereotypes are based on images in mass media, or reputations passed on by parents, peers and other members of society. Stereotypes can be positive or negative.
  • Bias: preference or disposition that prevents impartiality; prejudice
  • Social Media: platforms and mediums for creating and sharing content, or engaging in social networking.
  • Blog/Blogger: portmanteau of “web log”; A blog is a website containing topically and/or chronologically organized writings, musings, or other digital content created by an individual or community of bloggers. A blogger is someone who creates content for a blog.
  • Vlog/Vlogger: portmanteau of “video log”; Similar to a blog, but utilizing video as the primary medium instead of prose or images.
  • Social Network: network of, and sometimes a platform for, developing and maintaining interpersonal relationships and communities around any type of social relationship (e.g., family and friends, common interest, political affiliation).
  • Hashtag: in social media, a word or phrase (tag) preceded by a pound/hash symbol (#), used to identify content as relating to the tagged topic (e.g., #BlackLivesMatter)
  • Pop Culture: modern, popular, cultural references spread through mass-media, and often targeted at younger, white audiences for the purposes of commercial consumption.

Writing Prompts

  • What is it about yourself and your beliefs that make you unique from other people, and how might these practices or beliefs be misunderstood or misperceived by another who does not understand your background?
  • Locate a current event news article where stereotyping has led to violence or a hate crime. Briefly summarize the article and then give suggestions for how this situation could have been prevented.

Activities and Lessons to Examine Stereotypes

  • Watch the following video of the Siamese Cats from Lady and the Tramp. How does a depiction that appears innocent on the surface level represent deeper negative stereotypes? Discuss other non-human racial depictions that are symbolic stereotypes? What audiences are these stereotypes geared toward?

About T. Khytt Lawrey

Khytt Lawrey is a part time teacher, part time grad student, and all time awesome at Ms. Pacman. She lives in Houston, TX with her clan of cats and some people too.

Special Thanks to Jennifer, Chi-hui, Melissa, & Keith who fed me delicious food for my belly and knowledge for my brain. I am also indebted to all my former students who answered my annoying questions. I will let you buy me lunch in the future.

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