In this Book

Building Diaspora heralds an important development in cultural studies, ethnic studies, the sociology of media, and globalization. Emily Ignacio brings an extended, incisive empirical investigation that is still quite rare in the theory-heavy yet data-light field of cyberspace cultural studies. She carefully crafts a framework in which to showcase the itinerant ideas and desires of Filipinos talking to each other from various geographical locations."—Martin Manalansan IV, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

The dramatic growth of the Internet in recent years has provided opportunities for a host of relationships and communities—forged across great distances and even time—that would have seemed unimaginable only a short while ago.

In Building Diaspora, Emily Noelle Ignacio explores how Filipinos have used these subtle, cyber, but very real social connections to construct and reinforce a sense of national, ethnic, and racial identity with distant others. Through an extensive analysis of newsgroup debates, listserves, and website postings, she illustrates the significant ways that computer-mediated communication has contributed to solidifying what can credibly be called a Filipino diaspora. Lively cyber-discussions on topics including Eurocentrism, Orientalism, patriarchy, gender issues, language, and "mail-order-brides" have helped Filipinos better understand and articulate their postcolonial situation as well as their relationship with other national and ethnic communities around the world. Significant attention is given to the complicated history of Philippine-American relations, including the ways Filipinos are racialized as a result of their political and economic subjugation to U.S. interests.

As Filipinos and many other ethnic groups continue to migrate globally, Building Diaspora makes an important contribution to our changing understanding of "homeland." The author makes the powerful argument that while home is being further removed from geographic place, it is being increasingly territorialized in space.

Table of Contents

  1. Title Page, Copyright
  2. pp. 1-6
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  1. Contents
  2. pp. vii-8
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  1. Acknowledgments
  2. pp. ix-xvi
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  1. Preface: Why Filipinos?
  2. pp. xvii-xxiii
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  1. 1. Introduction. Filipino Community Formation on the Internet
  2. pp. 1-27
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  1. 2. Problematizing Diaspora: If Nation, Culture, and Homeland Are Constructed, Why Bother with Diasporic Identity?
  2. pp. 28-52
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  1. 3. Selling Out One’s Culture: The Imagined Homeland and Authenticity
  2. pp. 53-77
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  1. 4. “Ain’t I a Filipino (Woman)?” Filipina as Gender Marker
  2. pp. 78-112
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  1. 5. Laughter in the Rain: Jokes as Membership and Resistance
  2. pp. 113-133
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  1. 6. E Pluribus or E Pluribus Unum? Can There Be Unity in Diversity?
  2. pp. 134-147
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  1. Appendix A: Studying the Definition of “Filipino”
  2. pp. 149-175
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  1. Appendix B: You May Be Married to a Filipina If
  2. pp. 150-151
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  1. Appendix C: Are You Really Filipino?
  2. pp. 152-156
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  1. Notes
  2. pp. 157-161
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  1. References
  2. pp. 163-170
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  1. Index
  2. pp. 171-176
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  1. About the Author
  2. pp. 177-204
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