Screening a hidden minority:
The representa4on of the Bri4sh Chinese on UK television
and how this relates to Bri4sh Chinese youth self-‐percep4ons of cultural iden4ty AIM: Examining the presence of long-‐standing stereotypes in BriGsh Chinese media representaGons. Media portrayals vs. experiences of the BriGsh Chinese, highlighGng the importance of cultural idenGty, which remains largely undeﬁned in the UK.
CHINESE STEREOTYPES IN THE MEDIA
A textual analysis of 3 TV clips and interviews with 3rd generaGon BriGsh Chinese youths
• The Chinese in the UK: 4th largest ethnic minority and the largest South East Asian minority. • Overlooked and feel ‘invisible’ in mainstream UK culture.
MADAME BUTTERFLY NARRATIVES
First and only Chinese lead. the ‘Charlie Chen’ stereotype -‐ the demasculinized benevolent Chinese detecGve. Longest recurring Chinese character-‐ illegal immigrant female in a sham marriage with an Englishman Documentary on the lack of Chinese on UK TV. Used humor and irony to present issues facing the BriGsh Chinese and the media.
EDUCATIONAL HIGH ACHIEVERS
INTERVIEWS ‘if you have a bit of a Chinese accent, you do get treated diﬀerently’ Language and accent as key factor on whether a member of an ethnic minority can claim BriGsh naGonality ‘My brother iden4ﬁed himself as more Chinese, and so would take those kinds of comments as an aRack. But because I saw myself as more Bri4sh, that sort of comment I never saw it as an aRack’ Degree of idenGﬁcaGon and consequent treatment by society: ‘her Chinese life at home and lives her English life outside of home’. BC youths oQen have to negoGate their Chinese and English cultures to cope with challenges of the host environment -‐ separaGng spaces for expressing of their dual cultures.
CONCLUSION Media presentaGons sGll depicted elements of these stereotypes, BUT were signiﬁcant in portraying BriGsh Chinese idenGty crisis BriGsh Chinese people oQen feel they need to ‘downplay their Chinese-‐ness’ in order to be accepted in society, but at the same Gme, there is a societal expectaGon for them to ‘perform their ethnicity’. This contradicGon adds an extra layer to their idenGty crisis, and is communicated in the media clips through the narraGve, dialogue and visual elements. BriGsh Chinese people as ideal vehicles to challenge stereotypes in the media. – new alternaGve images of the Chinese and improve intergroup relaGons. Only when Chinese people can ﬁnally be on TV without a racial agenda or need to ﬁll a racial quota, can we expect an improvement in percepGons of the BC in society.
SYLVIA SUYEON WONG