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Opportunities and Inaudibilities: Asian American Internet Musicians


With the rise of social media and Internet 2.0, Asian Americans have experienced increased visibility through various social media and streaming video websites. Using a combination of virtual ethnography and real-time ethnographic fieldwork, this thesis explores not only the reception and framing of Asian American musicians on the Internet, but also the content of the videos uploaded by these artists. In addition, the strategies employed by Asian American Internet musicians, including the activation of panethnicity, presentation of masculinity, and self-branding across social media platforms, play a significant role in these artists’ degree of success and visibility through streaming websites such as YouTube. Ultimately, this thesis argues that while YouTube provides a platform for wider Asian American visibility, it also serves to ghettoize Asian American artists, providing them with limited options for self-representation to gain success.

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