In this Book

In her research on popular culture of the Vietnamese diaspora, Nhi T. Lieu explores how people displaced by war reconstruct cultural identity in the aftermath of migration. Embracing American democratic ideals and consumer capitalism prior to arriving in the United States, postwar Vietnamese refugees endeavored to assimilate and live the American Dream. In The American Dream in Vietnamese, she claims that nowhere are these fantasies played out more vividly than in the Vietnamese American entertainment industry.

Lieu examines how live music variety shows and videos, beauty pageants, and Web sites created by and for Vietnamese Americans contributed to the shaping of their cultural identity. She shows how popular culture forms repositories for conflicting expectations of assimilation, cultural preservation, and invention, alongside gendered and classed dimensions of ethnic and diasporic identity.

The American Dream in Vietnamese demonstrates how the circulation of images manufactured by both Americans and Vietnamese immigrants serves to produce these immigrants’ paradoxical desires. Within these desires and their representations, Lieu finds the dramatization of the community’s struggle to define itself against the legacy of the refugee label, a classification that continues to pathologize their experiences in American society.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
  2. pp. 1-7
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  1. Contents
  2. pp. vii-vii
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  1. INTRODUCTION: Private Desires on Public Display
  2. pp. ix-xxv
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  1. 1. Assimilation and Ambivalence: Legacies of U.S. Military Intervention
  2. pp. 1-26
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  1. 2. Vietnamese by Other Means: The Overlapping Diasporas of Little Saigon
  2. pp. 27-58
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  1. 3. Pageantry and Nostalgia: Beauty Contests and the Gendered Homeland
  2. pp. 59-77
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  1. 4. Consuming Transcendent Media: Videos, Variety Shows, and the New Middle Class
  2. pp. 79-114
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  1. Conclusion: Transnational Flows Between the Diaspora and the Homeland
  2. pp. 115-134
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  1. Acknowledgements
  2. pp. 135-140
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  1. Notes
  2. pp. 141-169
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  1. Index
  2. pp. 171-186
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Additional Information

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MARC Record
Launched on MUSE
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