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“I Haven’t Done Anything to Be Polarizing”: Jeremy Lin’s Strategic Appropriation of Black Masculinity

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posted on 23.05.2021, 10:15 authored by Nicholas Wong
This thesis investigates the appropriation of Black masculinity by Asian American basketball player Jeremy Lin. Subjecting media coverage to a combination of content analysis and critical discourse analysis uncovers the presence of four appropriative themes of Asianness: (a) the supraethnic viability of Asianness; (b) the necessary defeat of Blackness; (c) the disallowance of anti-Asian sentiment; and (d) the presence of a helpful Black cohort. These themes are themselves given meaning by five racially magnetized frames that position Asian Americans in opposition to Blackness across multiple dimensions: (a) Asian Americans as model minorities; (b) Asian American men as emasculated; (c) Asian Americans as invisible; (d) Asian Americans as forever foreign; and (e) Asian and Black Americans as enemies. The results of this study suggest that Asian American men benefit from the appropriation of Blackness, but that this benefit is contingent upon their ability to uphold heterosexist, white supremacist ideologies. Keywords: Jeremy Lin, basketball, race





Master of Arts


Communication and Culture

Granting Institution

Ryerson University

LAC Thesis Type