Hey what’s up everyone! My name’s Kelvin Li, I’m a soon to be fourth-year majoring in Environmental Studies, Sociology, and minoring in Asian American Studies. I noticed the widespread Asian American pop culture through two different aspects – one macro and one micro. On a macro scale, let’s talk YouTube. Some of the most subscribed people on YouTube (including Nigahiga, Kev Jumba, Wong Fu, etc.) are in my opinion bringing Asian American awareness to the public through pop culture ties. On a micro level, there’s a phenomena where I’m from called the “626” area. There’s even a YouTube video made on this area code, as it designates one of the heaviest Asian populations in California. The best part of 626 is the wide variety of cheap Asian food.
I think popular culture represents what the majority of the population can attest to. Simply put, it’s what someone from the United States can share with someone from Korea without any language barriers (for example, Gangnam Style and my study abroad adventures in Korea). Asian American popular culture consists of what Asian Americans find “popular”. For example, the standard boba drink has been widely attested to Asian heritage, and it’s a gathering symbol of popular culture amongst Asian ethnicities. It’s important to study pop culture to not only analyze it through a scholarly lens to predict where societal trends might be headed, but also raise self awareness into current trends and changing cultural norms.