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.