Life in America: Identity and Everyday Experience / Edition 1

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Life in America: Identity and Everyday Experience is a fascinating collection of readings that explores how people negotiate identity in the United States today.

  • Brings together readings that provide a thoroughly engaging and fascinating look at central issues of identity and what it means to be American.
  • Explores the tension between identity and identification to help readers begin to understand how people creatively confront the perks and perils of identity in the United States.
  • Offers a look at a wide range of subjects including: violence and video games, queer pilgrimages to San Francisco, Filipina critiques of "sleeping around," and the significance of "lowriders" in Hispano/Chicano culture.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"This rich volume can be recommended to both advanced scholars of American culture and beginners in this field. The former can find a multitude of quite recent applications of approaches they are already familiar with; the latter may wonder at the dizzying varieties of American experience, as well as look with disbelief at the multitude."

"Lee Baker has pulled together and provided an extremely useful conceptual frame for some of the best social analysis on current trends in the cultural practices of identity and identification in US society. This collection is a ‘must read’ for anyone interested in demystifying identity politics and understanding the complexities, pluralities, and common ground of cultural citizenship in the USA as it is changing in the new millennium." Faye V. Harrison, University of Tennessee

"American higher education’s longstanding myths about cultural assimilation and equal access for all have given way to a new scholarly literature, which rigorously critiques the structures of identity, inequality, and power. In this timely and provocative reader, brilliant anthropologist Lee Baker has selected an outstanding collection of essays about the complex politics of cultural diversity. Life in America provides an insightful exploration into the major contemporary debates and issues that define studies of race, gender, sexuality, and class in American society." Manning Marable, Columbia University

"Life in America is a user’s guide to everyday life and all its contradictory complexity, an indispensable inventory of practices and patterns in US society that produce both creative connections and corrosive conflicts, stimulating similarities and disturbing differences." George Lipsitz, University of California, San Diego

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781405105644
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 9/8/2003
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 464
  • Product dimensions: 6.80 (w) x 9.70 (h) x 1.32 (d)

Meet the Author

Lee D. Baker is Associate Professor of Cultural Anthropology and African & African American Studies at Duke University. He is author of From Savage to Negro: Anthropology and the Construction of Race, 1896–1954 (1998). He is president elect of the Society for the Anthropology of North America.

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Table of Contents


Introduction: Identity and Everyday Lifè in America (Lee D. Baker).

Part I: Conditions of Identity, Violence, and Technologies.

1. Cyborg Violence: Bursting Borders and Bodies with Queer Machines (Anne Allison).

2. Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Assimilation but Were Afraid to Ask (Marcelo M. Suarez-Orozco).

3. Dousing the Fire or Fanning the Flames: The Role of Human Relations Practitioners in Intergroup Conflicts (Judith Goode).

Part II: Church, Family, and the Dynamics of Post-Civil Rights Migration.

4. What it Means to be Christian: The Role of Religion in the Construction of Ethnic Identity and Boundary among Second-Generation Korean Americans (Kelly H. Chong).

5. "The Normal American Family" as an Interpretive Structure of Family Life among Grown Children of Korean and Vietnamese Immigrants (Karen Pyke).

6. "I Really Do Feel I'm 1.5!": The Construction of Self and Community by Young Korean Americans (Kyeyoung Park).

Part III: Consumption, Class, and Traditions of Negotiation and Investment.

7. Challenging Traditional Marriage: Never Married Chinese American and Japanese American Women (Susan J. Ferguson).

8. Cultural Citizenship as Subject-Making: Immigrants Negotiate racial and Cultural Boundaries in the United States (Aihwa Ong).

Part IV: The Politics and Perils of Assimilation.

9. More than "Model Minorities' or "Delinquents': A Look at Hmong American High School Students (Stacey J. Lee).

10. "We Don't Sleep Around Like White Girls Do": Family, Culture, and Gender in Filipina American Lives (Yen Le Espiritu).

11. College and Notions of "Asian American": Second-Generation Chinese and Korean Americans Negotiate Race and Identity (Nazli Kibria).

Part V: More than Consumption: Experiencing Gender, Class, and Race.

12. Sexual Minorities and the New Urban Poverty (Jeff Maskovsky).

13. Institutional Violence in the Everyday Practices of School: The Narrative of a Young Lesbian (Kathryn Herr).

14. Queer Pilgrimage: The San Francisco Homeland and Identity Tourism (Alyssa Cymene How).

Part VI: Policing Blackness, Authenticity, and the Soul Patrol.

15. Birthdays, Basketball, and Braking Bread: Negotiating with Class in Contemporary Black America (John L. Jackson).

16. Nike's Reign (Mary Pattillo-McCoy).

17. Black Like This: Race, Generation, and Rock in the Post-Civil Rights Era (Maureen Mahon).

Part VII: Privilege, Power, and Anxiety of the Norm.

18. It Hurts To Be a Girl: Growing Up Poor, White and Female (Julia Hall).

19. White Means Never Having to Say You're Ethnic: White Youth and the Construction of "Cultureless' Identities (Pamela Perry).

20. "I Want To Be the Minority": The Politics of Youthful White Masculinities in Sport and Popular Culture in 1990s America (Kyle W. Kusz).

Part VIII: Language, History, and Specificity.

21. The Politics of Labeling: Latino/a Cultural Identities of Self and Others (Suzenne Oboler).

22. "Heart Like a Car": Hispano/; Chicano Culture in Northern New Mexico (Brenda Bright).

23. "Checkin' Up on My Guy": Chicanas, Social Capital and ten Culture of Romance (Angela Valenzuela).


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