Buffalaxed superdiversity: representations of the other on YouTube

by Sirpa Leppänen and Ari Häkkinen (University of Jyväskylä)

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In this article, we investigate how the oriental Other – increasingly a diversifying being – is represented in the context of translocal YouTube culture. More specifically, we look at videos which through subtitling and editorial commentary entextualize and resemiotize the figure of the Other to western audiences. We will take a close look at three typical ‘buffalaxed’ videos and investigate how each of these constructs images of the Other that are both divergent from the image transmitted in the source video as well as quite ambiguous and multi-layered. On the basis of our analysis, we will argue that while the videos repeat and remodify aspects of the stereotypical and discriminatory Western heteronormative metanarratives of the Orient, they also depict the Other in ways in which his/her otherness is no longer the simple anti-thesis of ‘Us’ – the western subject – but, occasionally, aligned with or even very much like ‘Us’.

Suggested bibliographic reference for this article:
Leppänen, S., & Häkkinen, A. (2012). Buffalaxed superdiversity: representations of the other on YouTube. Diversities, 14(2), 17-33. Retrieved [todaysdate] from https://newdiversities.mmg.mpg.de/?page_id=1897
16-01_CoverDiversities • Volume 14, No. 2, 2012
Language and Superdiversities II
Guest Editors: Karel Arnaut, Jan Blommaert, Ben Rampton and Massimiliano Spotti
ISSN-Print 2199-8108
ISSN-Internet 2199-8116