Why Do Asian Americans Love "Bizarre Love Triangle"?

Why can't we be ourselves like we were yesterday?

Asian Americans, we have an anthem. If you are Asian American of a certain age, there is a song that can immediately pull us into circle formation on the dance floor like synth siren's song. I am, of course, talking about "Bizarre Love Triangle" by New Order. If you know, you know. But why? What is about this specific track that has resonated so strongly with a generation of Asian Americans?

Our friend, sociology professor, DJ and music scholar Oliver Wang is formally asking the questions about "Bizarre Love Triangle" and doing some important work for the culture. Through a research study entitled "Bizarre Love Theories," he intends to get to the bottom of why New Order's 1986 dance chart hit has been embraced as an unofficial anthem of Asian America. And he needs your help. Check it:

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Back in 2011, myself and Patrick "DJ Phatrick" Huang were invited to spin at a party celebrating the 10th anniversary of Angry Asian Man. It's one of my favorite DJing experiences of all time, not the least of which is because as energized as the crowd was for much of the evening, I knew there’d be one song that would bring the house down whenever we decided to play it. Some of you can already guess what that song would be: "Bizarre Love Triangle" by New Order.

Why does this song have such resonance amongst Asian Americans of a certain generation? This is what I’m exploring in a small research study I’m calling "Bizarre Love Theories" and I plan on presenting some of the preliminary results in late April at the annual Pop Conference.

Here's where I need your help, dear reader: if you have any kind of relationship to the song, please fill out this short survey:


It's anonymous -- though I am also looking for volunteers who’d be willing to chat with me via phone/Zoom -- and some of the results may end up in a future 'zine dedicated to this topic (in addition to my conference paper and possible journal article down the road).

My sincere thanks in advance.

Oliver Wang
Professor of Sociology (and erstwhile DJ)
CSU Long Beach

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