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Journal of Asian American Studies 6.2 (2003) v-vi

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Editor's Preface

At least since the path-breaking publications of immigration historian Marcus Lee Hansen and Robert Park's Chicago School of sociologists, some of which are now nearly seventy years old, scholars have concerned themselves with the issues of generational relationships and degrees of assimilation among immigrant and refugee populations. Although we have long since exposed the cultural arrogance and myopia that plagued these earlier works, discarding their eurocentric terminology in the process, they raised fundamental concerns that remain important to the study of migration's social dynamics in general and to the Asian American experience in particular. The ways in which children and grandchildren of newcomers navigate the distance between the worldview of their parents and that of the host society; the efforts of these individuals to endure, challenge, and uproot bigotry; the interactions between diverse groups of minority peoples — all still inspire the analytical and creative skills of specialists in the array of disciplinary and interdisciplinary enterprises that make up the field of Asian American Studies.

The articles offered in this issue of JAAS shed new light on such foundational avenues of inquiry. Pawan Dhingra examines the cultural tools used by second-generation professionals in the Indian American and Korean American communities to identify their "place" in a society dominated by the black/white racial paradigm. Pensri Ho looks at the meaning and impact of success strategies employed by Chinese American and [End Page v] Korean American professionals from the 1.5 and second generations, who simultaneously have decried and exploited images of the model minority in seeking to advance their careers. Urmila Seshagiri postions Mira Nair's Mississippi Masala as the bedrock film from which she traces layers of social change reflected in the cinematic creations of South Asian American women, as they have foregrounded intergroup relationships in developing films for multiethnic commercial audiences. Together, these three authors redirect the legacies of Park and Hansen in a particularly stimulating manner that effectively represents a "new generation" of scholarship in Asian American Studies.

Tony Peffer
Lakeland College



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