By Eleanor Rose Ty, Donald C. Goellnicht
The 9 essays in Asian North American Identities discover how Asian North americans are not any longer stuck among worlds of the outdated and the hot, the east and the west, and the south and the north. relocating past nationwide and diasporic types of ethnic id to target the person emotions and reports of people who are no longer a part of a dominant white majority, the essays accumulated right here draw from quite a lot of resources, together with novels, paintings, images, poetry, cinema, theatre, and pop culture. The publication illustrates how Asian North american citizens are constructing new methods of seeing and brooding about themselves through eluding imposed identities and growing areas that supply substitute websites from which to talk and think. individuals are Jeanne Yu-Mei Chiu, Patricia Chu, Rocio G. Davis, Donald C. Goellnicht, Karlyn Koh, Josephine Lee, Leilani Nishime, Caroline Rody, Jeffrey J. Santa Ana, Malini Johar Schueller, and Eleanor Ty.
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Recall recent promotional images for Gap, Nike, United Colors of Benetton, Banana Republic, and Kenneth Cole, among others. Capitalizing on the Orientalist model-minority stereotype of Asians as entrepreneurial geniuses and diasporic computer experts, global technology frequently relies on models with hybrid Asian features to advertise products that promote the borderlessness of information technology. In an ad for Lucent Technologies, for example, a man with hybrid Asian features, smiling and bespectacled, displays the artifacts of ancestral memorials and heritage for sale in his shop.
Why? Why Affect-Identity 33 can’t they? Why don’t they even try? Because banks will not lend to them because they are black. Because these neighborhoods are troubled, high risk. Because if they did open stores, no one would insure them. And if they do not have the same strong community you enjoy, the one you brought with you from Korea, which can pool money and efforts for its members—it is because this community has been broken and dissolved through history. We Koreans know something of this tragedy.
Whether it’s the quasi-whiteness of New Face or the distinctly racialized features of models in advertisements, the effect is the same: the image of race in global consumer culture allows us to feel the euphoria of consuming multiraciality and social change. The stylized representation of multiraciality in the “New Economy” packages for consumers an innocuous postethnic future that sublimates the material histories of racial minority struggles, thereby rendering such histories abject. In our global era, when deterritorialized peoples cross borders in desperation to seek refuge or ¤nd work and a living wage, the commodi¤cation of human feeling offers a way to consume, contain, and pacify these migrants: to co-opt and reify the “unearthed, awful image of [their] otherness,” writes Palumbo-Liu, “making it safe for America” (Asian/American 114).