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ABSTRACT

The Chinese-Filipinos as Chinitos and Chinitas: A Self-Reflexive Ethnographic Analysis of Chinese-Filipinos in Music Videos. Unpublished undergraduate thesis. University of the Philippines, Diliman: College of Mass Communication
by Lee, Rebecca I. (2017).

This study examines how the representation of ethnicity relates to issues of nationalism and belongingness. Specifically, it studies how the Philippine media’s representations of Chinese-Filipino actors and/or musicians in music videos are similar and different to my own experiences as a Chinese-Filipino.

This study uses Daniel Chandler’s discussion of the basics of semiotics and Richard Dyer’s and Paul McDonald’s discussion of the “stars” to investigate the celebrification of the Chinese-Filipinos and to establish them as constructed and market-informed images. This study also uses Benedict Anderson’s Imagined Communities and Edward Said’s Orientalism and Culture and Imperialism to explore issues of representation, nationalism, and belongingness in a postcolonial world. This study analyzes two texts, which are juxtaposed with each other: myself, a Chinese-Filipino, and the music videos featuring Chinese-Filipinos. I narrate events that are relevant to my research question. These are then juxtaposed with music videos released from 2007 to 2015. I chose 2007 as my starting point because that was when Kim Chiu, a Chinese-Filipino celebrity, launched her first music album. I believe the period is pivotal in the representation of Chinese-Filipinos in the media.

This study’s goal is to contribute to the growing body of knowledge clamoring for a just representation that is not based on exaggerated stereotypes and commodified images of, and uninformed assumptions about, Chinese-Filipinos. Through this study, I hope to examine the representation and mediation of ethnicity as a measure of belongingness and nationalism.

Keywords: Chinese-Filipinos, ethnicity, orientalism, celebrification, postcolonialism


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