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Thinking Orientals: Migration, Contact, and Exoticism in Modern America

Condition: BRAND NEW
ISBN: 9780195151275
Author(s): Henry Yu
Format: Paperback
Year: 2002
Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
Dimensions: 163 x 225 x 18 (w x l x h)
Pages: 288

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What is the difference between an 'Oriental' and an 'Asian American'? In this fascinating study, Henry Yu explains how Chinese Americans and Japanese Americans came to be lumped together as 'Orientals' in the United States, and how this eventually led to their understanding of themselves as Asian Americans. Yu tells the story of how white American intellectuals from the University of Chicago sought out Americans of Chinese and Japanese ancestry. Detailing how they together constructed theories about an exotic Orient completely opposite from American culture, Yu describes the history of American Orientalism and shows how it helped to produce modern notions of race and culture. The ideas that arose from studying Orientals, connected by social scientists with theories about African Americans and white European immigrants, inform the way we understand the race in America today. Yu uses poignant vignettes to illustrate the difficult and often ironic positions of intellectuals of colour, providing a glimpse into what W.E.B. Dubois called the 'double consciousness' of racial minorities in the United States.
He goes on to discuss how cultural theory has become confused with anti-racism, and how a colourblind denial of race has failed to free us from racism. His book is one of the first to describe how crucial Asian Americans have been in the shaping of theories of race and culture, helping to move u Please click here to ask a question
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