The word “media” is fundamentally about the power and control over the dissemination of information in mass culture. The intersections between Asian American studies and media explore Asian American cultural production and representation from the joint perspective of global culture and American cultural trends. The term “media” first appeared in the mid-nineteenth century, but the word takes its roots from the Greek language, where it is related to aspects of performance and literally means “voiced stop” (OED). The more common usage of “media,” related to communicating with the masses, developed in the 1920s. “The media” was associated with reporters, journalists, and people working for organizations devoted to mass communication in print, radio, and film, and eventually television. While early media studies examined the types and influences of communications on the population that included the effects of advertising, consumerism, and audience response, contemporary discussion, research, and scholarship in Asian American studies address the types of messages created, consumed, propagated, and repeated about Asian Americans in American culture. In addition, scholars discuss how different mediums (digital, electronic, film, print, radio, and television) are used to communicate, influence, and challenge perceptions of Asian American identity and culture.

This essay may be found on page 149 of the printed volume.

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