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Transnationalizing Viet Nam

Community, Culture, and Politics in the Diaspora

Kieu-Linh Caroline Valverde

Publication Year: 2012

Vietnamese diasporic relations affect—and are directly affected by—events in Viet Nam. In Transnationalizing Viet Nam, Kieu-Linh Caroline Valverde explores these connections, providing a nuanced understanding of this globalized community. Valverde draws on 250 interviews and almost two decades of research to show the complex relationship between Vietnamese in the diaspora and those back at the homeland.

Arguing that Vietnamese immigrant lives are inherently transnational, she shows how their acts form virtual communities via the Internet, organize social movements, exchange music and create art, find political representation, and even dissent. Valverde also exposes how generational, gender, class, and political tensions threaten to divide the ethnic community. 

Transnationalizing Viet Nam paints a vivid picture of the complex political and personal allegiances that exist within Vietnamese America and shape the relations between this heterogeneous community and its country of origin. 

In the series Asian American History and Culture, edited by Sucheng Chan, David Palumbo-Liu, Michael Omi, K. Scott Wong, and Linda Trinh Võ

Published by: Temple University Press


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Title Page, Copyright

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pp. v-vi

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pp. vii-x

Transnationalizing Viet Nam offers an in-depth look at the dynamic and long-standing connections between Viet Nam and its diaspora in the United States. These links are especially astounding considering the many decidedly antidiasporic elements in not only the home and host countries but also the ethnic community itself. ...

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pp. xi-xii

I am grateful to the many people who helped this book come to life. First and foremost, I am indebted to the participants in my study, whose voices permeate every page of this text. They graciously and openly shared with me their deeply touching experiences, in the belief that alternative voices in our community should finally be heard. ...

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1. Transnationalizing Viet Nam

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pp. 1-28

A middle-aged Vietnamese American lawyer and self-proclaimed “low techie” composes an important e-mail from his home in Virginia. He feverishly details the reasons that overseas Vietnamese should be given citizenship in communist-controlled Viet Nam. ...

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2. Popular Music: Sounds of Home Resistance and Change

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pp. 29-64

In 1992, Be, a young Vietnamese American woman from California, visits her eldest sister, Lisa, and youngest sister, Nina, in Atlanta, Georgia. Excitedly, the host brings out the latest installment of the Paris by Night (PBN) video series. PBN produces videos of Vietnamese diasporic variety shows. ...

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3. Social Transformations from Virtual Communities

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pp. 65-89

I ride my bicycle briskly along the gray streets of Ha Noi toward its town center. A young Vietnamese American graduate student in my second session of long-term field work in Viet Nam, I head first, as usual, to the Center for Southeast Asian Studies. ...

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4. Defying and Redefining Vietnamese Diasporic Art and Mediaas Seen through Chau Huynh’s Creations

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pp. 90-112

In January 2009 an art exhibit of Vietnamese American works with the theme of diverse perspectives as expressed freely in art, F.O.B. II: Art Speaks, appeared in Santa Ana, in Southern California. A multigenerational group consisting of artists, scholars, students, and community activists organized F.O.B. II: Art Speaks, ...

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5. Whose Community Is It Anyway? Overseas Vietnamese Negotiating Their Cultural and Political Identity: The Case of Vice-Mayor Madison Nguyen

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pp. 113-144

On an uncharacteristically sunny and warm early winter day in February 2008, council member Madison Nguyen calls a press conference at her campaign headquarters in her recall election. Easily spotted in the crowded room, Madison wears an impeccably tailored, stylish, and formfitting gray suit as she scurries about with a huge grin. ...

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6. Vietnamese Diaspora Revisited

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pp. 145-150

On September 3, 2009, Phương Hồ, a twenty-year-old Vietnamese international student studying math at San Jose State University, California, was brutally beaten by four San Jose police officers. Apparently, one of Phương’s roommates, Jeremy Suftin, had slopped soap onto Phương’s steak. ...


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pp. 151-162


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pp. 163-176


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pp. 177-185

About the Author

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E-ISBN-13: 9781439906811
Print-ISBN-13: 9781439906804

Page Count: 190
Publication Year: 2012

OCLC Number: 815390356
MUSE Marc Record: Download for Transnationalizing Viet Nam

Research Areas


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Subject Headings

  • Vietnamese Americans -- Social life and customs.
  • Vietnamese Americans -- Ethnic identity.
  • United States -- Relations -- Vietnam.
  • Vietnam -- Relations -- United States.
  • Vietnamese diaspora.
  • Transnationalism.
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