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 ofAmerican culture and beginners in this field. The former can find amultitude of quite recent applications of approaches they arealready familiar with; the latter may wonder at the dizzyingvarieties of American experience, as well as look with disbelief atthe multitude."

"Lee Baker has pulled together and provided an extremely usefulconceptual frame for some of the best social analysis on currenttrends in the cultural practices of identity and identification inUS society. This collection is a ‘must read’ for anyoneinterested in demystifying identity politics and understanding thecomplexities, pluralities, and common ground of culturalcitizenship in the USA as it is changing in the new millennium."Faye V. Harrison, University of Tennessee

"American higher education’s longstanding myths aboutcultural assimilation and equal access for all have given way to anew scholarly literature, which rigorously critiques the structuresof identity, inequality, and power. In this timely and provocativereader, brilliant anthropologist Lee Baker has selected anoutstanding collection of essays about the complex politics ofcultural diversity. Life in America provides an insightfulexploration into the major contemporary debates and issues thatdefine studies of race, gender, sexuality, and class in Americansociety." Manning Marable, Columbia University

"Life in America is a user’s guide to everyday lifeand all its contradictory complexity, an indispensable inventory ofpractices and patterns in US society that produce both creativeconnections and corrosive conflicts, stimulating similarities anddisturbing differences." George Lipsitz, University ofCalifornia, 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, andTechnologies.

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

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

3. Dousing the Fire or Fanning the Flames: The Role of HumanRelations Practitioners in Intergroup Conflicts (JudithGoode).

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

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

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

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

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

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

8. Cultural Citizenship as Subject-Making: Immigrants Negotiateracial and Cultural Boundaries in the United States (AihwaOng).

Part IV: The Politics and Perils of Assimilation.

9. More than "Model Minorities' or "Delinquents': A Look atHmong 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 LeEspiritu).

11. College and Notions of "Asian American": Second-GenerationChinese and Korean Americans Negotiate Race and Identity (NazliKibria).

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

12. Sexual Minorities and the New Urban Poverty (JeffMaskovsky).

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 IdentityTourism (Alyssa Cymene How).

Part VI: Policing Blackness, Authenticity, and the SoulPatrol.

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

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

17. Black Like This: Race, Generation, and Rock in thePost-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 Youthand the Construction of "Cultureless' Identities (PamelaPerry).

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

Part VIII: Language, History, and Specificity.

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

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

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


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