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Beyond Yellow EnglishToward a Linguistic Anthropology of Asian Pacific America$
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Angela Reyes and Adrienne Lo

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780195327359

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195327359.001.0001

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Ideologies of Legitimate Mockery

Ideologies of Legitimate Mockery

Margaret Cho's Revoicings of Mock Asian

Chapter:
(p.261) 16 Ideologies of Legitimate Mockery
Source:
Beyond Yellow English
Author(s):

Elaine W. Chun

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195327359.003.0016

This article examines Margaret Cho's use of Mock Asian, a parodic language style that indexes a stereotypical Asian identity. Although this Korean American comedian's use of Mock Asian necessarily marks Asian racial otherness and reproduces simplistic ideological links among race, nation, and language, the analysis suggests that audiences generally understand her practices as culturally legitimate in public space because of particular ideologies of race, community membership, and humor. In particular, Cho's successful authentication as an Asian American comedian who is critical of Asian marginalization in the United States yields an interpretation of her practices primarily as a critique of racist mainstream ideologies.

Keywords:   Korean American, race, humor, stereotype, legitimacy, mock language

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