Needs Help: All Asians Are Alike

Deadlock Clock: 1st Jul 2013 11:59:00 PM
Total posts: [83]
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26 Pig_catapult15th May 2013 09:03:34 PM , Relationship Status: GAR for Archer
[up][up][up]It's not even an issue of political correctness. I like to think of myself as someone who tries to keep up with the social justice vocab and euphemism treadmill stuff, but race is definitely still a thing. "Caucasian" and "Mongoloid" make me side-eye because of etymology and Unfortunate Implications, though.

[up][up][up][up]Whether you like it or not, people divide themselves and each other into arbitrary groups. That's how people work. These groups may be ill-defined, but that doesn't stop people from using those ill-defined groups. It doesn't stop people from identifying as being part of these ill-defined groups. It doesn't stop tropes from emerging about those ill-defined groups.

We're not here to cater and conform to your ideology. We're here to document tropes, whether or not they're about things you think are irrationally arbitrary.

[up]That said, the whole essay thing on race in the sandbox does seem unnecessary.

edited 15th May '13 9:06:24 PM by Pig_catapult

Because underscores break everything: Working link to my Troper page
27 Larkmarn15th May 2013 09:08:39 PM , Relationship Status: Hello, I love you
Huh? In the Sandbox? The racial breakdown I was referring to (and I assumed that Duck was talking about) are in the trope page, not the sandbox. What's the one in the sandbox?

Made a sandbox for a split for AAAA. Cut out the race/ethnicity essay and the All Asians Look Alike paragraph, naturally.

edited 16th May '13 6:38:58 AM by Larkmarn

28 Larkmarn16th May 2013 07:10:11 AM , Relationship Status: Hello, I love you
If they do get split, how about Asians All Look The Same or Asians Are Identical for a name to distance itself a bit from All Asians Are Alike? Or maybe Ditto Asians, based off of the Ditto Aliens trope?

edited 16th May '13 7:51:53 AM by Larkmarn

29 SeptimusHeap16th May 2013 07:11:51 AM from Laniakea , Relationship Status: Mu
First ones. I do not know how to get to the second ones.
30 shimaspawn16th May 2013 08:21:15 AM from Here and Now , Relationship Status: In your bunk
Something like Japan Is China might be clearer for the one that's about countries.
Reality is that, which when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away.

-Philip K. Dick
31 Larkmarn16th May 2013 08:33:03 AM , Relationship Status: Hello, I love you
[up]Interchangeable Asian Cultures? Asialand?

edited 16th May '13 9:16:45 AM by Larkmarn

Master of Tediousness
Well, get got Anime Land, Asia Land can work.

edited 16th May '13 12:34:09 PM by KZN02

With a "0", not an "O".
What about the earlier argument - that the trope of mistaking races for each other or mistaking people for others of their race applies equally well to several groups of races? The latter trope seems especially common with black characters, maybe more so than Asians.
34 Larkmarn17th May 2013 07:12:39 AM , Relationship Status: Hello, I love you
It is something of a Missing Supertrope. Are you suggesting having All Asians Are Alike to cover the "All Asian Cultures are Interchangeable," and make a new trope along the lines of "Can't Distinguish People Of Other Race"?
Master of Tediousness
With a "0", not an "O".
I mean we should have one page for Interchangeable Races (Chinese/Japanese, Indian/Pakistani, Mexican/Puerto Rican etc) and one page for All You X People Look Alike (Mistakes one black character for another, mistakes one Asian character for another, etc).
37 Larkmarn17th May 2013 01:30:27 PM , Relationship Status: Hello, I love you
Hrm. We already have several of the former (Spexico, Mayincatec, Scotireland, at least) so I say rather than a supertrope we should add one for Asians, then do a general All You X Look Alike.

edited 17th May '13 1:31:30 PM by Larkmarn

All those tropes are for when the story itself considers cultures interchangeable. Asialand could be an extension of this. But it's a different matter when a character considers them interchangeable.

  • A: "And tell that Mexican guy..."
  • B: "He's Spanish.

That's not an example of Spexico, and it's the same trope as:

  • A: "And tell that Chinese guy..."
  • B: "He's Korean.
39 Larkmarn17th May 2013 02:10:33 PM , Relationship Status: Hello, I love you
So... there's three tropes at play:

Asian Individuals Look Identical ("Is that Bruce Lee or Jackie Chan?"); Asian Cultures get mashed together ("Jackie Chan is an awesome samurai"); People can't tell a Chinese person from a Japanese person ("Jackie Chan is the best Japanese dude").

That sound about right?

edited 20th May '13 1:14:57 PM by Larkmarn

Master of Tediousness
I regret the mess I made.
With a "0", not an "O".
42 Larkmarn20th May 2013 01:15:46 PM , Relationship Status: Hello, I love you
I think the second two tropes (cultures mashed together and Mistaken Nationality) could work as the same trope, but mistaking a Chinese guy for anothe Chinese guy wouldn't.
To clarify: in one, the work mashes the two cultures, and in the other, a character does.

So the second can be something like Asia Land, where we describe the common portrayal that all Asian cultures have in fiction. But the third is Mistaken Nationality - it doesn't especially matter that the characters are mistaking Chinese and Japanese people; the trope is that they mistake one nationality for another.
glis glis
Hey, I'm new here. Hello. I think the 'All Asians Are Alike' and 'All Asians Look Alike' (the version the sandbox as of this post) definitely point two wholly different levels. 'All Asians Are Alike' points to a general social phenomenon and widely held beliefs (depending on what culture you're from) that doesn't necessarily have anything specifically to do with storytelling per se. 'All Asians Look Alike,' on the other hand, is the use of this social phenomenon/knowledge to somehow make a point in a story.

Usually the All Asians Look Alike device is used in American television shows to point out how backwards and closet-racist one of the characters is, like in that Peter Griffin example above. In a similar way, you could make the same joke with any ethnicity, "All x looks like y", where x is any ethnicity and y is any ethnicity save for x. The meaning of the joke would thus be dependent on who's saying what and what they represent in the story, as well as the gender, age and ethnicity of the character in the story itself. Of course, the way they are used in a story has a connection to the real world, but if they want that kind of information, they should go to Wikipedia and read the entries on 'Asian Americans' (the link for which I can't post), for example.

There should also be a separate page for the in-universe imagined audience reaction by characters in the story to using actors of different ethnicity than the roles they play. That's a much different field altogether, and should be handled separately.

It ought to be mentioned that a lot of the examples in All Asians Are Alike deal with racism against Asian people in general and not with the phenomenon that all Asians are alike. This is all very confusing.

And then there's the issue that there's East Asians (Chinese, Koreans, Taiwanese), South Asians (from the Indian subcontinent), Southeast Asians (Thailand, Myanmar, Indonesia, etc.), North Asians (from northern Mongolia and Siberia) and West Asians (like from Afghanistan). This further complicates the issue even further, because these groups do have very different characteristic features. For someone to say that a West Asian looks like a Southeast Asian, this person would have to be blind or just be trolling.

edited 27th May '13 11:32:02 PM by glisglis

45 AnotherDuck28th May 2013 06:42:33 AM from Stockholm , Relationship Status: In season
No, the other one.
I'd apply Hanlon's Razor to that. Not so sure it's about racism as plain ignorance and stupidity.
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glis glis
Point taken. Not being able to distinguish could signal a fundamental ignorance. It just came to me: Sometimes a character might willfully not distinguish. I could imagine Archie Bunker doing something like that, calling a Japanese person "Mr. Wang" or a Pakastani "Mr. Patel" or something, as a malicious gesture which a '70s television audience would reward with heartily guffaws.

edited 28th May '13 8:21:53 AM by glisglis

47 AnotherDuck28th May 2013 09:58:41 AM from Stockholm , Relationship Status: In season
No, the other one.
I don't think it matters if it's willful or not. You're either using the trope because you don't know better, or deliberately as an insult.
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48 Willbyr28th Jun 2013 03:41:41 AM from North Little Rock, AR , Relationship Status: Pining for the fjords
Clock is set.
49 Larkmarn28th Jun 2013 06:03:47 AM , Relationship Status: Hello, I love you
50 Larkmarn1st Jul 2013 01:20:31 PM , Relationship Status: Hello, I love you
Since the clocks up, does anyone have issue with the proposed split?

Total posts: 83
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