This article analyzes a novel yet fleeting configuration of ethnicity, the ethnic platform. Through ethnographic fieldwork of a diasporic Vietnamese entrepreneurial organization, this article explains why this attempt to create economic potential through Vietnamese ethnicity eventually failed. The ethnic platform was organized around two regimes of futurity. On the one hand, the ethnic platform was founded on a hope for a transcendent Vietnamese ethnicity that organized future as potential and forward momentum. This future potential, however, stood at odds with the future present of a refugee subjectivity that shaped the ethnic formation of many of these diasporic entrepreneurs. Hence, the ethnic platform was situated at the disjuncture between incommensurate ethnic temporalities. Despite the ethnic platform’s short-lived existence, this article underscores the importance of failure as an ethno-temporal critique through which we come to see the struggles and limits of techno-capitalism.


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pp. 51-68
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
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