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Contemporary Asian American Communities: Intersections And Divergences

Rick Linda Trinh; Bonus Vo

Publication Year: 2002

Once thought of in terms of geographically bounded spaces, Asian America has undergone profound changes as a result of post-1965 immigration as well as the growth and reshaping of established communities. This collection of original essays demonstrates that conventional notions of community, of ethnic enclaves determined by exclusion and ghettoization, now have limited use in explaining the dynamic processes of contemporary community formation.Writing from a variety of perspectives, these contributors expand the concept of community to include sites not necessarily bounded by space; formations around gender, class, sexuality, and generation reveal new processes as well as the demographic diversity of today's Asian American population. The case studies gathered here speak to the fluidity of these communities and to the need for new analytic approaches to account for the similarities and differences between them. Taken together, these essays forcefully argue that it is time to replace the outworn concept of a monolithic Asian America.

Published by: Temple University Press


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pp. vii-viii

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pp. ix-x

Our collaboration on this book has been a journey. One of us was born in Vietnam, the other in the Philippines. Our working as co-editors of this collection with these personal beginnings speaks to the dynamic and growing field of Asian American studies. Our migrations eventually brought us to the University of California...

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INTRODUCTION: On Intersections and Divergences

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pp. 1-24

During a recent conference of the Association for Asian American Studies, we attended a dinner banquet at a restaurant in the Chinatown section of Philadelphia. Whenour server came, he gave chopsticks to all but one person, who is half Japanese, a quarter Danish, and a quarter Czech, and has reddish hair and freckles. To...

Part I Communities in Transition: Spaces and Practices

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1. Asian and Latino Immigration and the Revitalization of Sunset Park, Brooklyn

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pp. 27-44

A consequence of the most recent period of immigration from the Caribbean, Latin America, and Asia is the rise in multi-racial and multi-ethnic neighborhoods.1 The transformation of local neighborhoods presents a critical opportunity to examine the endUring and new ways in which race, ethnicity, and nativity shape the spatial and...

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2. The Politics and Poetics of a Taiwanese Chinese American Identity

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pp. 45-59

In the fall of 1997, Taiwan's major news and media organizations made a shocking announcement: "Chiang Ching-kuo is not Chiang Kai-shek's son." "Lard, wild dog sterilized President Chiang," the media reported. "We must rewrite history." The story told the nation that the revered Chiang Kai-shek and his first son, Chiang Chingkuo...

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3. Southeast Asians in the House: Multiple Layers of Identity

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pp. 60-74

One hot summer afternoon in East Oakland, I stopped by 2-7, a known hangout for the Oaktown Junior Crips. The name "2-7" stands for 27th Avenue, the street where the house was located. I sat on the front steps with Sharon, a young mom on welfare who was feeding her baby. Nearby, tattooed teenagers dressed in blue stood around...

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4. Gay Asian Men in Los Angeles Before the 1980s

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pp. 75-88

Gay bars were once the major site of community formation for gay men in metropolitan American cities. When most gay men had to keep a watchful eye in their own neighborhoods and workplaces, they could not very well form communities where they lived and worked. Bars, many of them lifeless and inconspicuous in broad daylight, became safe (or, at least, safer) havens for men who reserved expressions of their...

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5. Pilipino ka ba? Internet Discussions in the Filipino Community

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pp. 89-102

Internet communities are particularly exciting sites to study because they are formed in transnational places and potentially consist of thousands of people located around the world. Many scholars have shown that the organizing principles of cyberspace communities differ from communities based on physical proximity (see, for example...

Part II Communities in Transformation: Identities and Generations

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6. Pacific Islander Americans and Asian American Identity

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pp. 105-119

These items all point toward ambivalence in Asian American communities and in Asian American studies circles about the relationship between Asian Americans and Pacific Islander Americans. One often sees the term "Asian Pacific Islander" or an analogue in...

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7. "Eligible" to Be Japanese American: Multiraciality in Basketball Leagues and Beauty Pageants

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pp. 120-133

In the year 2000, when the Office of Management and Budget changed the way that race was enumerated in the U.S. Census to allow people to self-report more than one race, many Asian American communities came face to face with the fact that their demographics are shifting to include an increasing number of multiracial members. In general...

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8. Young Asian American Professionals in Los Angeles: A Community in Transition

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pp. 134-146

In the urban sprawl of Los Angeles, young Asian American professionals use social networks to mobilize their individual and collective efforts strategically to secure and perpetuate middle-class ascendancy. Yet this community of young professionals is in transition, professionally and spatially. In their mid-twenties to...

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9. Internalized Stereotypes and Shame: The Struggles of l.5-Generation Korean Americans in Hawai'i

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pp. 147-160

In the early 1970s, Charles Kim, a reporter for Koreatown, the English edition of the Korean Times/Hankook Ilbo, wrote an article describing people like himself who were neither first- nor second-generation Korean Americans as the "1.5" generation, or...

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10. Asian Immigrant Entrepreneurial Children

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pp. 161-175

This chapter examines the community experiences of Korean and Chinese American adolescents and young adults who grew up in small family businesses.2 Departing from other immigrant entrepreneurial stories, this study focuses on the children...

Part III Communities of Alternatives: Representations and Politics

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11. Imagining Panethnic Community and Performing Identity in Maxine Hong Kingston's Tripmaster Monkey: His Fake Book

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pp. 177-190

In Maxine Hong Kingston's 1989 novel Tripmaster Monkey: His Fake Book, the streamof- consciousness narrative of the protagonist Wittman Ah Sing's random thoughts and actions is not a meandering journey to self-identity but a journey that is driven by a...

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12. Addressing Domestic Violence and the South Asian Community in the United States

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pp. 191-201

I have been working in the area of domestic violence in the South Asian American community for more than a decade. My entree was as a researcher, but, like many other South Asian women, I became a part of a small but growing movement in the 1990s that addresses a spectrum of issues confronting South Asians in the United...

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13. Asian Pacific Americans and Urban Politics

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pp. 202-215

As we reflect on the transformative impact of Asian Pacific Americans (APAs) on American society, urban politics emerges as one of the most prominent sites of change and struggle. Since the passage of the Immigration Act of 1965, the rapid growth of ...

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14. The Political and Philanthropic Contexts for Incorporating Asian American Communities

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pp. 216-228

On the surface, the difference between the Asian American communities in San Francisco and Cleveland is simply demographic. We would naturally expect the larger and older populations of California to possess a more developed community infrastructure...

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15. How Public-Policy Reforms Shape, and Reveal the Shape of, Asian America

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pp. 229-248

The 1990 U.S. Census shows that the foreign-born proportion of the total Asian U.S. population was gauged at 64 percent. Projections indicate that by 2020, the foreign-born proportion will still be between 54 percent and 56 percent (Ong and Hee 1993)...

About the Contributors

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pp. 249-250


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pp. 251

E-ISBN-13: 9781439901243

Publication Year: 2002