David Eng describes the limiting attributes of the term Asian American by conveying the struggle between their identity with Asian and White culture. He describes how Asian Americans have been denied certain political and societal rights because of this ambiguity of identity.  Within this community, the Asian American males have been subjugated to the polarized feminine and hyper-masculine martial artist stereotypes.  This hyper-masculinization was accompanied by an effort to propagate the stereotypical notions of heterosexuality. “… reinscribes a dominant system of compulsory heterosexuality with all its attendant misogyny and homophobia.” Eng then goes on to say that in by creating this stereotypical heterosexual Asian American male, they actually created the same type of racist and “heterosexist” illusion that undermined the masculinity of Asian American males to begin.

            As the word domestic carries two meanings, one of the public spaces, which is typically masculine, and the other as the private space, which is typically feminine, the convention of modern masculinity can be brought into question. The idea of masculinity is that the male must show in the masculine domestic space that he is in control of his private space. Although this idea of a patriarchal household is sexist, it can confirm the sexuality and thusly the degree of masculinity of the male in the public space. As this antiquated ideal of heterosexuality is becoming less prevalent in America, it is still prevalent and widely enough held to contribute to the public identity of the male. The character Lloyd from the TV show Entourage is a gay Asian American male who at times is heavily stereotyped, but as the seasons progress he becomes more assertive and like his mentor Ari Gold. I believe this TV show depicted these stereotypes only to show afterwards that these “actions” do not diminish the masculine traits of Lloyd, which are very similar to the heterosexual Ari Gold. 

Bruce Lee: Hypermasculinization of the Chinese-American

The study we are proposing focuses on the remasculinization of the Asian-American male in particular in cinema. The shifting image of Asian-American males in popular culture starting in the 1970’s deals predominantly hypermasculinazion.   In direct contrast with World War II propaganda the American Populace was introduced to Bruce Lee. Bruce Lee is a major figure highlighting the trend, which changed popular opinion about the Asian American male from one of submissiveness to a more powerful, physically and politically, representative image. We are proposing to create a video timeline that highlights the growing or shrinking of Asian-American masculinity post World War II till modern times with emphasis on the hyper-masculinization and stereotypes created and afforded through Bruce Lee.

            The project we have in mind calls for a split of work which would have one of us creating a video timeline highlighting Bruce Lee’s growth in American culture as well as his growing masculinity as perceived by American audiences, especially Asian-American audiences.  The other one of us will be writing an accompanying short essay detailing the points brought up from the video timeline.





Works Cited

Enter the Dragon

The Chinese Connection

Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story

American Born Chinese

Yankee Dawg You Die


Hi everyone, my name is Kevin Thompson and I am a fourth year majoring in chemical engineering. Martial arts movies are my favorite example of Asian American popular culture.

I think popular culture is the information and ideas that are consumed by the majority of people. Popular asian american culture for me represents the portion of that popular culture mentioned earlier, but has a higher consumer base for asian americans compared to other ethnicities. This area is necessary for study because it allows for others to see the traditions and history of the different regions of Asia. Any ethnic studies is worthy of study for this same reason, to see how other cultures have and are currently contributing to American society.