UNBREAKABLE DONG NGUYEN: REAFFIRMING ASIAN-AMERICAN MASCULINITY IN THE SERIES UNBREAKABLE KIMMY SCHMIDT

Tsamarah Augustina Setiaki, Herlin Putri Indah Destari

Abstract

Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt (2015) is an American sitcom that explores the Asian-American immigrant Dong as he seeks acceptance of his masculine identity in the society. While many studies have discussed the stereotypic perceptions of Asian-American men in television series, they scarcely analyze how the individuals attempt to reaffirm their own masculinity. Toward this end, this article aims to analyze how Dong as an Asian-American man expresses and reconstructs his masculinities. It examines Dong‟s character, his interracial relationship with a white woman, and his interracial competition with a white man by using Iwamoto and Liu‟s framework of Asianized and transgressive attributions. The analysis found that Dong embodies a multidimensional masculinity that is different from hegemonic white masculinity. As an Asian-American man, Dong appears to be creating a new, more flexible masculinity, one that is linked with certain feminine characteristics.

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