Embodying Difference on YouTube: Asian American Identity Work in “Shit Asian Dads Say”

Embodying Difference on YouTube: Asian American Identity Work in “Shit Asian Dads Say”

Helen K. Ho (Saint Mary's College, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-0212-8.ch001
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Abstract

This chapter analyzes the content and responses of a popular video, “Shit Asian Dads Say,” produced by YouTube production company JustKiddingFilms. In analyzing video content in conjunction with themes emerging from comments left in response to the video, the chapter discusses the ways in which comedic/satirical, citizen-produced content on YouTube helps to shape, construct, and reflect the boundaries of group membership. As the video hinges on second-generation performances of immigrant parenthood, its content provides a prime site to investigate how age, gender and race are performed and become contested or reified in digital space. An analysis of the YouTube videos grounded in the responses, commentary and discussion that accompany the videos in the user comments, ultimately empowers viewers' interpretations of digital creative expression.
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Background

Using the Internet to produce and promote independent videos, racial and ethnic minorities have found a medium with which to portray themselves to audiences. A body of literature is growing regarding the role of Internet sites such as YouTube, Vimeo, Twitter and Facebook in minority self-representation. Kent Ono and Vincent Pham’s (2009) work, for example, provides insight into Asian American blogs on the Internet that facilitate discussions on a variety of issues concerning Asian American experiences; these sites provide forums for consumers to interact with mainstream information in a critical context to discuss racial tensions, gender politics, and issues of ethnicity (Ono & Pham, 2009, p. 148).

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