Research Mentor(s): Melissa Borja, Assistant Professor
Research Mentor School/College/Department: American Culture, College of Literature, Science, and the Arts
Presentation Date: Thursday, April 22, 2021
Session: Session 3 (1pm-1:50pm)
Breakout Room: Room 5
As incidents of anti-Asian American hate have spiked since the beginning of the global coronavirus pandemic, leaders, advocates, and members of the Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) community feel there is not enough media attention given to this rise in racially-charged harassment (Marston). This project investigates the qualitative properties of the most frequently reported harassment incidents (FRHI). FRHIs are defined by appearing in American media at least ten times throughout 2020. FRHIs were compiled after analyzing a database composed of 2020 Newsbank and Proquest articles surrounding the issue of anti-AAPI hate. Each FRHI was divided into its qualitative properties (e.g., victim age, incident location, perpetrator ethnicity, etc.) The percentage of each qualitative property was then calculated using the property’s count within the sum of FRHIs. The same process was repeated for the entire 2020 data set. Comparison of the statistics revealed that incidents involving female victims, spoken, avoidance, or verbal harassment were significantly underreported, or their percentage in FRHIs was at least 5% lower than their overall percentage. Male victims, senior victims, ethnic Hmong victims, physical assault, business downturn, and incidents taking place in the urban context, however, were overreported, or their percentage in FRHIs was at least 5% greater than their overall percentage. These results are significant because they point to the qualities that make an incident gain media traction. Their importance lies not with the qualities most commonly present in the FRHIs but those that are overlooked. Identifying how and why certain victim demographics and other incident characteristics are ignored can help prevent future marginalization in media, community awareness, and societal discourse.