Dissertation Defense Announcement by Yang Jiang

This event occurred in the past

Dissertation Defense Announcement by Yang Jiang

This event occurred in the past

Date and Time

  • Wednesday, April 24, 2019 at 9:00 a.m.

Location

Mother Rosalie Hill Hall, 135

5998 Alcala Park San Diego, CA 92110

Cost

0

Details

SEEKING MIRRORS: REPRESENTATION AND IDENTITY AT ASIAN PACIFIC ISLANDER FILM FESTIVALS

By: Yang Jiang

Abstract 

     Media representation plays an important role in shaping how we perceive ourselves and others. For ethnic and racial minorities, studies have confirmed that exposure to stereotypical and negative representations can harm the development of ethnic and racial identity. Currently, however, there is little understanding of what kinds of representations might actually support the development of ethnic and racial identity. Essentially, what might visibility, rather than invisibility, look like and what is the relationship between visibility and ethnic and racial identity?
     This dissertation sought to answer this question by looking at the experience of Asian Pacific Islander (API) attendees at an API film festival. Compared to mainstream media, where less than 6% of characters in mainstream films are API, API film festivals focus exclusively on showing a wide range of API and Asian films. Therefore, they are rich sites for the study of visibility and its relationship with ethnic and racial identity development.
     Using an exploratory sequential mixed methods approach, this study interviewed 19 API individuals who had attended at least 1 API film festival and used their answers to create a 63-item survey about identity-related motivations for attending API film festivals. Interviews were thematically analyzed, while descriptive statistics, exploratory factor analysis, and correlational analyses were conducted on the survey data (N=114).
     Results indicate that exposure to diverse and complex media representation was related to enhanced self-identification for participants with their ethnic and racial identities. Also, participants agreed that they were motivated to attend API film festivals to develop their ethnic and racial identity, access non-mainstream content, support the API community, and experience viewing safety.
     The findings from the study have implications for media research on visibility and ethnic and racial identity development, as well as media creators and distributors who want to create more visibility for minorities. The study also provides evidence for the importance of ethnic film festivals as resources for ethnic and racial identity development. Overall, the significance of the study lies in its potential to contribute to our understanding of the nature and value of visibility within media representation.

*Note: Dissertation defense is open to USD faculty, students, staff and alumni.

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Beth Garofalo
bethg@sandiego.edu
(619) 260-7790

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