Download E-books Buddha Is Hiding: Refugees, Citizenship, the New America (California Series in Public Anthropology) PDF

By Aihwa Ong

Fleeing the murderous Pol Pot regime, Cambodian refugees arrive in the US as instantaneously the sufferers and the heroes of America's misadventures in Southeast Asia; and their encounters with American citizenship are contradictory besides. carrier companies, bureaucrats, and employers exhort them to be self-reliant, individualistic, and loose, at the same time the method and the tradition constrain them inside of phrases of ethnicity, race, and sophistication. Buddha Is Hiding tells the tale of Cambodian americans experiencing American citizenship from the bottom-up. in response to vast fieldwork in Oakland and San Francisco, the research places a human face on how American institutions—of healthiness, welfare, legislation, police, church, and industry—affect minority electorate as they negotiate American tradition and re-interpret the yank dream.

In her previous ebook, Flexible Citizenship, anthropologist Aihwa Ong wrote of elite Asians shuttling around the Pacific. This parallel examine tells the very diversified tale of "the different Asians" whose direction takes them from refugee camps to California's inner-city and high-tech enclaves. In Buddha Is Hiding we see those refugees changing into new citizen-subjects via a twin technique of being-made and self-making, balancing spiritual salvation and entrepreneurial values as they suffer and undermine, soak up and deflect conflicting classes approximately welfare, paintings, drugs, gender, parenting, and mass tradition. attempting to carry directly to the values of kinfolk and residential tradition, Cambodian americans still usually consider that "Buddha is hiding." Tracing the entangled paths of negative and wealthy Asians within the American kingdom, Ong increases new questions on the shape and that means of citizenship in an period of globalization.

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Yet as soon as women dropped out to have infants and continue to exist welfare, many started to lose the motivation to get a task or plan for school in a while. within the housing complicated the place I did learn, nearly all of Cambodian teenage ladies weren't pregnant moms, yet enrolled in highschool. So this technique of getting prolonged AFDC benefits via early being pregnant and unreported marriage used to be no longer a basic perform, however it was once probably universal adequate to attract the eye of social employees continually looking for what they considered as a standard mode of variation through younger women throughout all ethnic strains. It additionally happened to me that the vigilance of social employees in stigmatizing teenage being pregnant as deviant may have lent it higher prominence than it is going to in a different way have had. Such prejudices racialize teenage girl our bodies, depicting them as unruly and unsafe, and should rather well prove selling the very welfare dependency via precocious sexuality and being pregnant that's decried. maybe it used to be extra permissible for social employees to tolerate the inability of medical health insurance for kids, no matter if born in or out of wedlock, than to allow yet another pregnant teen to reside her personal lifestyles. it truly is precious to recollect that up until eventually the Sixties, the us had the top price of juvenile moms on this planet, and it used to be thought of a standard factor within the center classification. yet for many years now, americans have had an unreasonable worry of unmarried teenage moms, who're made out within the media to be “monster mothers”;24 those fears hyperlink to a bunch of baseless claims keeping the home from burning down 141 that “illegitimate” youngsters do much less good in class or are vulnerable to turning into criminals. This demonization of teenybopper moms keeps aspect via part with attractiveness of, or perhaps a model for, well-off unmarried moms expending large quantities of clinical and social assets to have kids. In welfare phrases, teenage moms are taken care of as contributors of faulty households with out male prone, therefore contributing to identical to lady recipients as “the not worthy poor,” or “clients of the kingdom. ” 25 you may in simple terms surmise that the supervision of woman our bodies and different elements of welfare-dependent households are an outgrowth of the welfare brokers’ personal self-surveillance and fight to internalize modern norms and types of the middle-class excellent. . . . In precis, then, for the immigrant who didn’t communicate English or had few abilities, the welfare office with its myriad contradictory guidelines was once a disciplining maze by which refugees needed to move with the intention to achieve access into the broader society. The welfare method gave much-needed funds in addition to a prod to develop into self-reliant citizen-subjects; it inspired employment and but penalized those that sought to extend kinfolk source of revenue; and it turned a simple resource of lady energy at domestic, and additional marginalized males. Welfare brokers either supported and suspected welfare moms. those contradictory pressures are in step with the way in which American welfare rules and officials have traditionally assisted in shaping a class of economically precarious city humans, despite their nationwide or cultural aspect of starting place.

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