Lesson 4: Portrayal of Desis in the Media

Master of None - casting calls

The learning outcomes of this class include:

  1. Recognizing the different kinds of stereotypes portrayed in the media about South Asian Americans.
  2. Understanding the impact of these stereotypes on the perception of South Asian Americans.
  3. Recognizing who (gender, ethnicity, religion) is represented as South Asian.
  4. How has Youtube changed the dialogue around South Asians in North America.

Show pictures and clips in class portraying Desis or Indians in the media. Have a discussion about what these portrayals might means. The clips shown can include:

  • Appu – The Simpson
  • Rajesh “Raj” Koothrappali – The Big Bang Theory
  • Kelly Kapoor – The Office
  • Priyanka Chopra – Quantico
  • JusReign or iiSuperwomanii via Youtube

The discussion should touch on the model minority myth, the portrayal of Indians as all of South Asians, the stereotypes associated with the hindu religion, turbans and headscarfs, and also the nerdy personality.


Watch episode 4 of Master of None titled “Indians on TV” and write a 500 word critique.

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