At the end of the 20th century, there were profound changes in the American society, characterized by an increasing pressure on the conceptualization of whiteness. There were numerous questions culminating from the events of the 1960s, of Americans from different walks of life. The decade was also characterized by an improvement in the realms of information and technology and increased expressivity of marginalized communities. For example, there was an increased growth of the hip hop culture dislodging the aspect of whiteness from the center of Americans lives. The developments in information and technology brought about the aspect of the digital age, in which numerous concepts that were generally accepted changed improving the lives of people tremendously. The digital age has been characterized by an increased use of the internet (Nakamura 132). However, research has found that Americans of Asian origin have used the internet more than any other ethnic group in the US inclusive of the whites.
For example, based on data collected in the year 2001, seventy five percent of English speaking Asian Americans used the internet and have been attributed to being the highest number of internet most active users. This was compared with the 58 percent of the native Americans 43 percent of the African Americans and 50 percent of English speaking Hispanics. This is a contradiction of the conceptualization of the digital divide in the American society, where the whites have been perceived as being more technologically advanced as compared to other communities. It has been identified that there are numerous Asian American websites, which provide online forums and listserves (Nakamura 268). Although such websites and list serves are invisible, they are highly influential of the American racial minorities forming part of the digital majority. Asian Americans have self-identified themselves as being techno savvy and being avid users of the technology making technology one of the aspect of identifying Asian Americans.
The functionality of the cyberspace has also been identified as a factor that facilitates resistant cultural practices enabling the Asian Americans not only to use the internet, but also produce cyberspace. The potential of the new media is much attributed to its ability of distinguishing the users and the producers as well as rigidifying the notions created to authenticate the Americans of Asian origin. For example, online discussion forums and sites such as Giant Robot, as well as magazines and discussions question the notions created about the Asian American. These notions falsely represent the image of Asian Americans as being models of progressive politics, gender and youth (Chopra and Gajjala 25). This has resulted from the incorporation of youth culture and dialogue, considering the aspects of race and ethnicity.
Therefore, the development in information and technology and increased use if the internet has led to the destabilization of the created notions in regard to the Asian American identity and nationality. This has been from the increased personal participation in the sites. For example, the websites use photographs of Asian Americans from different countries such as China, Japan and Korea. This has been used in evaluating the ability of the user to identify whether the identity and nationality of the people in the photographs. For example, the alllooksame.com has been among the most exemplary site in enhancing the recognition of the hybridity appreciating the intra-Asian American differences. Researchers and authors have constructed a persuasive argument in enhancing an understanding of the Asian American (Nakamura 132). This has led to a more critical analysis of the Asian American society identifying it as unproblematic with strong reference in terms of nationality, identity and cultural authenticity.
This has created critical concerns that the analysis of the American of Asian origin have been fraught with numerous internal incoherencies that cause more problems in the analysis than good. The study of Asian American new media in a critical way has provided an essential opportunity that facilitates intervention in a developing media practice. The center of focus in this analysis is the possibilities of hybrid and decentralization of the Asian identities. This has been from the perspective of addressing essential contemporary narratives in regard to power, differences, visual and perceptions (Chopra and Gajjala 36). The increased online presence of the Asian American has led to the creation of new representational landscape for identity issues since it offers what static media has been unable to offer.
For example, interactive media such as web have facilitated the questioning of earlier notions enabling the development of a discursive community, which is not possible with a static media practice. There has been numerous media studies exploring the cyber-cultures and practices of the new media enhancing understanding of the Asian American cultures. This will play an essential role in removing misleading information disputing the overly simplistic rhetorics notions of the digital divide (Nakamura 129). This stems from the fact the common notions have placed the whites as being more technologically savvy than other races. However, the new media studies and the role of Asian American in the developments of technology facilitate the questioning of the basic notions.
The development of these new technologies play an imperative role in the erasure of digital discourses that perpetuate notions that people of color are characterized by power imbalances, with tendencies of demonizing people of color. This has been from the characterization of colored people as uneducated, unsophisticated and lagging behind in terms of technology. It is essential to understand the conditions under which the new media is produced, exchanged, circulated and consumed. This has been from increased concerns that websites have the ability of creating users with the ability of communicating with them similarly as texts which create readers. There has been concerns that the new media have the ability to valorize ethnic identities websites based on the aspects of progressive politics, in which some are more culturally authentic than others (Nakamura 265). Therefore, understanding of Asian American issues without the creation of wrong notions involves a deconstruction from the current understanding and facilitate the incorporation of new media practice.
In conclusion, the 20th century’s last decade has been characterized with numerous changes with the increased incorporation of modern technology in different aspects. The majority of the development were a culmination of the events in the 1960s, which involved increased civil rights movement. The last decade of the 20th century has been characterized by increased development in information and technology. Asian Americans have been identified as among the major players in these developments. Irrespective of the highly disillusioned digital divide conceptualization that place white as being technologically savvy than other ethnic groups, research has found that Asian Americans are more advanced in the use of the modern technology. This has played an imperative role in the erasure of basic untrue notions about the Americans of Asian origin.
Chopra, Rohit and Radhika Gajjala. Global Media, Culture, and Identity: Theory, Cases, and Approaches. New York: Routledge, 2012.
Nakamura, Lisa. "'Alllook'? Mediating Asian American Visual Cultures of Race on the Web." Dave, Shilpa, Leilani Nishime and Tasha G Oren. Asian American Popular culture. New York, 2008. 262-272.
—. "Don't Hate the Player, Hate the Game: The Racialization of Labor in World of Warcraft." Critical Issues in Media Communication (2009): 128-144.