Edited Volume: Immigrant Generations, Media Representations and Audiences (Palgrave, coming soon)
According to the Pew Research Center, foreign-born immigrants comprise about fourteen percent of the American population. Second-generation Americans (U.S. born children of immigrants) comprise about 12% of the population and is projected to increase to 18% in the next 30 years. As a result, Schildrkraut (2007) argues that multiculturalism is a competing definition of Americanism as it “endorse[s] this notion that America’s unique identity is grounded in its immigrant legacy and in its ability to convert the challenges immigration brings into thriving strengths, pg. 600.” According to the Institute of immigration research report (2015), foreign-born immigrants comprise up to 11% of the entertainment industry with up to six percent representing producers and directors. Series like Master of None, Jane the Virgin, and films like My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 and Crazy Rich Asians have emerged telling stories which resonate with the intergenerational and intercultural characteristics of American identity. Recently, the Hollywood Reporter initiated a video series hosted by Charlamagne Tha God titled “Emerging Hollywood”. This interview-platform show captures some new game players in Hollywood who engage American cultural politics from their ancestral perspective and as such offer a more nuanced view of what it is to be American. Entertainers and producers like Hasan Minhaj (Patriot Act), Yvonne Oriji (Jesus and Joloff), Ali Wong (Fresh off the Boat), and Gina Yashere (Bob Hearts Abisola) unashamedly represent their (or their parent’s) ancestral land within their home country and engage this hybridity with ingenuity. Challenging Hollywood’s beliefs that White dominated narratives are universal, these new players demonstrate the story of immigrants and their children both resonates and presents an evolving definition of American identity. The aim of this anthology is to make room for scholarship which examines how immigrants and their U.S. born children use media to negotiate their American identity and how audiences engage with mediated narratives about the immigrant experience (i.e. cultural adjustments, language use etc).