Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Asian Images Portrayed in the Web Sites of U.S. Higher Education Institutions: Proportionality, Stereotypical Status and Power Positions
by Wang, Xiaopeng, Ph.D., Ohio University, 2007, 143; 10834934
Abstract (Summary)

This study examines the portrayals of Asians in U.S. college and university Web sites. By analyzing the representation of Asian American and Asian students, this study assesses the proportionality and stereotypes of Asians in an educational environment, interprets the social implications and sheds lights on ethnic representations, visual consumptions and the emerging higher education marketing in the Internet era.

A purposive sample of 265 U.S. colleges and universities were selected for a quantitative content analysis, including 257 four-year-above accredited institutions (from California, Florida, Michigan and Maine) and eight Ivy League universities. The analysis identified 378 Asian models from 8,319 human models presented on the homepages and admissions homepages of the sampled college and university Web sites. The proportion of Asian images on a Web site and the portrayals of Asian models' status and power position were the focus of this study.

Results show that Asian American and Asian students were under-presented on the Web compared to their proportion in the student body, disregarding the statistical error caused by two definitions of Asians. In contrast, African Americans were proportionately represented. Instead of being stereotypically portrayed as passive, submissive and devoted to work, Asians appeared neutral in terms of status and power positions. However, genders differed significantly in representing stereotypes of Asians. Asian females appeared more active in interacting with others and more often to be the visual focus than Asian males. On the contrary, Asian males were more likely than Asian females to be appearing alone, submissive, as a background role and as an action receiver.

This study indicates that Asian Americans and Asians are of less ideological, political and social importance compared to the non-ethnic majority and other ethnicities, whereas the improving portrayals of Asians may serve as part of the marketing strategies to positively influence prospective students' choices in higher education. Social norms and ideologies influence gender images, which further complicates the portrayals of Asians. Images of an ethnic minority mirror marketers' utilitarian strategies and social ideologies. With the changing of markets and society, Asian images transform accordingly.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Cooper, Anne
School: Ohio University
Department: Journalism
School Location: United States -- Ohio
Source: DAI-A 79/09(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Mass communications
Keywords: Asian american, College admissions, Stereotype, World wide web
Publication Number: 10834934
ISBN: 978-0-355-94713-7
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