Publication Date

Spring 2006

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Journalism and Mass Communications


Stover, Diana

Subject Areas

Minority and ethnic groups; Sociology; Mass media; Motion pictures


The purpose of this study was to examine 20 major Hollywood films, two per decade between 1910 and 2005, to determine how Chinese characters have been portrayed and how their portrayals have changed over time. The researcher examined the nature and purpose of stereotypes as well as interracial interactions and relationships depicted between Chinese and Caucasian characters to provide insights into the balance of power depicted in the films.

Previous studies on Chinese portrayals in Hollywood films were badly out of date, since films produced after 1970 have not been included in the analyses. The present study filled the gap in the literature since the analysis included more recently produced major Hollywood films as well as older ones. The most important finding of the study was that stereotypical characterizations have decreased over time to a point that, during the past decade, they have largely disappeared.