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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.    

METHOD

YELLOW PERIL  

CHINESE STEREOTYPES  IN  THE  MEDIA  

A textual  analysis  of  3  TV  clips  and   interviews  with  3rd  generaGon  BriGsh   Chinese  youths  

CONTEXT

NEO-­‐ CHINESE

•  The Chinese  in  the  UK:  4th  largest  ethnic   minority  and  the  largest  South  East   Asian  minority.   •  Overlooked  and  feel  ‘invisible’  in   mainstream  UK  culture.  

CLIPS

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.  

TAKEAWAY LIVES  

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  

ICS Showcase Presentation  

Presentation on my dissertation on British Chinese representation on UK Television and British Chinese youth cultural identity.

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