Citation

The Caste of the Cast: The South Asian "Model Minority" on Broadcast Television Sitcoms

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Abstract:

In the world of television entertainment, Americans of African, Hispanic and East Asian heritage have endured decades of representations that were marginalized or nonexistent. While minority characters are in overall decline on American broadcast networks, the South Asian immigrant from India is emerging as the most visible ethnic culture in television shows, at the expense of Hispanics, African Americans, and other Asian immigrants. There has been an increase in the number of South Asian characters on situation comedies, such The Office, Parks and Recreation, The Big Bang Theory, The New Girl and How I Met Your Mother. These representations provide new racist material for American entertainment purposes. This study examines the shift in minority characters in prime time television through textual analysis of three characters in current highly rated network comedy programs. These characters are well-educated and hard-working, but their "otherness" still keeps them from attaining the levels of class afforded white characters in these shows. These elements combine to make South Asians in the United States the "model minority:" successful enough to poke fun at their culture, but sufficiently alien to use these qualities against their achieving class parity. The way we frame this ethnic group may also deepen perspectives of all minorities in our society, as entertainment media is a prime source of information about other cultures and has proved to have effects on racist stereotypes in the real world.

Most Common Document Word Stems:

american (103), charact (70), asian (64), televis (63), cast (62), south (55), comedi (36), represent (31), indian (31), white (31), cultur (30), ethnic (30), sitcom (28), show (27), success (26), minor (26), immigr (25), parent (24), media (23), time (23), raj (21),
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Association:
Name: Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication
URL:
http://www.aejmc.org


Citation:
URL: http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p743995_index.html
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MLA Citation:

O'Boyle, Jane. "The Caste of the Cast: The South Asian "Model Minority" on Broadcast Television Sitcoms" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication, Le Centre Sheraton, Montreal, Canada, Aug 06, 2014 <Not Available>. 2014-12-19 <http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p743995_index.html>

APA Citation:

O'Boyle, J. , 2014-08-06 "The Caste of the Cast: The South Asian "Model Minority" on Broadcast Television Sitcoms" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication, Le Centre Sheraton, Montreal, Canada Online <PDF>. 2014-12-19 from http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p743995_index.html

Publication Type: Conference Paper/Unpublished Manuscript
Review Method: Peer Reviewed
Abstract: In the world of television entertainment, Americans of African, Hispanic and East Asian heritage have endured decades of representations that were marginalized or nonexistent. While minority characters are in overall decline on American broadcast networks, the South Asian immigrant from India is emerging as the most visible ethnic culture in television shows, at the expense of Hispanics, African Americans, and other Asian immigrants. There has been an increase in the number of South Asian characters on situation comedies, such The Office, Parks and Recreation, The Big Bang Theory, The New Girl and How I Met Your Mother. These representations provide new racist material for American entertainment purposes. This study examines the shift in minority characters in prime time television through textual analysis of three characters in current highly rated network comedy programs. These characters are well-educated and hard-working, but their "otherness" still keeps them from attaining the levels of class afforded white characters in these shows. These elements combine to make South Asians in the United States the "model minority:" successful enough to poke fun at their culture, but sufficiently alien to use these qualities against their achieving class parity. The way we frame this ethnic group may also deepen perspectives of all minorities in our society, as entertainment media is a prime source of information about other cultures and has proved to have effects on racist stereotypes in the real world.


Similar Titles:
Dating and Marriage: Schemas and practices of Asian Indian Immigrant and Anglo-American parents

“The Third Sex?”: Beliefs about Sexual Orientation among Anglo-American Parents and Asian Indian Immigrants

Narratives and Morality: A Study of Narrative Culture among First and Second Generation South Asian Indian-Americans


 
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