Expression Through the Small Screen: How Asian American Students in UC Berkeley Respond to Asian American Cultural Productions on YouTube

Spring 2013
  • Undergraduate
Steven Hanyun Cong
Ethnic Studies (Asian American and Asian Diaspora Studies)
Expression Through the Small Screen: How Asian American Students in UC Berkeley Respond to Asian American Cultural Productions on YouTube

 While Asian Americans were historically marginalized from dominant media structures like Hollywood, they are able to form large followings through new media platforms like YouTube. Many of these cultural producers have hundreds of thousands of subscribers, and some of them produce videos with millions of views on a weekly basis, but are not commonly researched in academia. With this new space for widespread cultural production, I hope to explore whether these videos impact or express the opinions of Asian Americans at UC Berkeley in regards to pertinent Asian American topics like Alexandra Wallace’s video blog, Linsanity, family, and stereotypes. I will divide sixty Asian American UC Berkeley students into four groups of fifteen, based on these topics. I hope to understand how Asian American cultural producers on YouTube, along with their content, interact with UC Berkeley Asian American students and their experiences to structure or reflect their opinions, as well as the framework with which students consume the videos.  It is important to understand the relationship between Asian American videos on YouTube and the Asian American audience because it reflects the changing dynamics of Asian American self-representation as it branches into new domains of cultural production and politics.