Asian American: historical crossings of a racial frontier

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Berkeley and London: University of California Press. Bowlby, R. Just looking: Consumer culture in Dreiser, Gissing and Zola. New York: Methuen.

Asian/American : Historical Crossings of a Racial Frontier -

Cagan, E. Chan, J. Chang, G. Disposable domestics: Immigrant women workers in the global economy. Cambridge: South End Press. Clark, D. Commodity lesbianism. Humez Eds.

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Racial Ambiguity in Asian American Culture: Jennifer Ho

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Jeffreys, S. Globalizing sexual exploitation: Sex tourism and the traffic in women. Leisure Studies , 18 , — Kang, L. The desiring of Asian female bodies: Interracial romance and cinematic subjection. Visual Anthropology Review , 9 , 5— After the passage of the last piece of anti-Asian legislation in the 's, the United States found it had to grapple with both the presence of Asians already in America and the imperative to develop its neocolonial interests in East Asia.

The author argues that, under these double imperatives, a great wall between "Asian" and "American" is constructed precisely when the two threatened to merge. Yet the very incompleteness of American identity has allowed specific and contingent fusion of "Asian" and "American" at particular historical junctures. From the importation of Asian labor in the mid-nineteenth century, the territorialization of Hawaii and the Philippines in the late-nineteenth century, through wars with Japan, Korea, and Vietnam and the Cold War with China, to today's Asian Pacific Economic Cooperation group, the United States in the modern age has seen its national identity as strongly attached to the Pacific.

As this has taken place, so has the formation of a variety of Asian American identities. Each contains a specific notion of America and reveals a particular conception of "Asian" and "American. Modernity Asia America. Projection Introjection.

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Asian Australian students dominate selective schools and feature prominently in annual honour rolls of high school leavers. Asian American students outperform others in test after test, year after year. That is how Asians are seen in the popular imagination in immigrant countries across the Western world.

Their success is viewed as a testament to their own entrepreneurialism, and of course, the opportunity-rich, meritocratic societies they choose to call home. Their cultures were viewed as so absolutely foreign to American culture as to be unsalvageably incompatible. As Wu explains p. Remarkably, given the very different experiences of these two groups during the Second World War, they ultimately came to share the same journey of acceptance by mainstream America.

Wu recounts:. Towards the end of the war they were coercively dispersed across the United States, in an attempt to prevent the formation of ethnic enclaves. In the postwar period, the rehabilitation of Japanese Americans was a gradual and painful process, as questions of loyalty and citizenship continued to plague both internal community relations as well as relations with the broader society.

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Some Japanese community leaders had promoted cooperation with the federal government during the war, and in its aftermath, were determined to paint a portrait of Nikkei as unquestioningly patriotic p. In contrast, the status of Chinese Americans was dramatically boosted by the war, because of the US partnership with China in the Pacific War.

Wu argues that global geo-politics played a crucial role in the transformation of Chinese Americans into the model minority. Racial democracy was a prerequisite for the United States to assume leadership of the free world. Subsequently, the geo-politics of the Cold War bolstered the inclusion of Asian Americans into the national fold.