Language, Identity, and Stereotype Among Southeast Asian American Youth
The Other Asian
By Angela Reyes
Routledge – 2006 – 192 pages
Routledge – 2006 – 192 pages
This book—an ethnographic and discourse analytic study of an after-school video-making project for 1.5- and second-generation Southeast Asian American teenagers—explores the relationships among stereotype, identity, and ethnicity that emerge in this informal educational setting.
Working from a unique theoretical foundation that combines linguistic anthropology, Asian American studies, and education, and using rigorous linguistic anthropological tools to closely examine video- and audio- recorded interactions gathered during the video-making project (in which teen participants learned the skills for creating their own video and adult staff learned to respect and value the local knowledge of youth), the author builds a compelling link between micro-level uses of language and macro-level discourses of identity, race, ethnicity, and culture. In this study of the ways in which teens draw on and play with circulating stereotypes of the self and the other, Reyes uniquely illustrates how individuals can reappropriate stereotypes of their ethnic group as a resource to position themselves and others in interactionally meaningful ways, to accomplish new social actions, and to assign new meanings to stereotypes.
This is an important book for academics and students in sociolinguistics, linguistic anthropology, discourse analysis, and applied linguistics with an interest in issues of youth, race, and ethnicity, and/or educational settings, and will also be of interest to readers in the fields of education, Asian American studies, social psychology, and sociology.
"As the title indicates, Language, Identity, and Stereotype among Southeast Asian American Youth is a collection of identity and stereotype writings that uses an ethnographic and discourse method."
"Reyes’ provocative and tightly studied work reveals the complex intersection of language, identity, and stereotype, as suggested by the title of her book."
--Journal of Southeast Asian American Education & Advancement
"Reyes’ book achieves its goals and has appeal for its desired audience. The text contributes to an understanding of Asian American identity construction through the use of stereotypes."
-Journal of Communication Studies, Vol. 1, No. 1
"Reyes’ book is a smart and thought-provoking exploration of the ways in which language and interaction are used to construct the identity of what these teenagers call the ‘Other Asian’, an emergent identity category that recognizes Southeast Asian Americans as distinct from East Asian Americans."
--Journal of Sociolinguistics
"Clearly and engagingly written, this book makes a timely and important contribution to our understanding of the role of language and social stereotyping in young Southeast Asian Americans’ identity formation."
--Journal of Linguistic Anthropology
“…truly outstanding work….Its significance goes beyond its status as a pathbreaking study of a major (yet still understudied) U.S. ethnic category. Reyes is well versed in current issues in racial and ethnic theory, Asian American history and politics, sociocultural linguistic theory and method, and alternative education, and she draws these different strands into a compelling and readable account of how Southeast Asian American youth position themselves and others in discourse as they engage in the shared activity of creating videos about their lives and experiences.”
University of California at Santa Barbara
“Reyes spans an impressive breadth and depth of literature to formulate a coherent portrait of the interstices between language, identity, and circulating racializing discourses of what constitutes ‘Asian-ness.’”
University of Utah
Contents: Preface. The Other Asian: Emergence of an Identity. "No Kiss, No Money": Constructing Identities With Asian Newcomer Stereotypes. Aite and Na Mean: Constructing Identities With African American Stereotypes. From Storeowners to Minivan Drivers: Building Panethnicity With Asian American Stereotypes. "Yo, Yo, He Cambo": Dismantling Panethnicity With Asian American Stereotypes. Implications for Minority Youth in Alternative Education and Grassroots Video. Appendix: Transcription Conventions and Phonetic Symbols.