Racial Politics In An Era Of Transnational Citizenship

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The Asian American activist and political communities viewed 1996 as a watershed year, in which the Democratic Party took seriously its Asian American constituency—until the "Asian Donorgate" campaign finance controversy complicated that representation. In the ensuing public discourse Chinese Americans, and by proxy all Asian Americans, were depicted as foreigners subversively attempting to buy influence with U.S. politicians. While neither disputing nor confirming the guilt of the individuals charged in this episode with raising illegal foreign campaign money, Racial Politics in an Era of Transnational Citizenship highlights the conflation of Asian transnational capital and government interests with Asian Americans and the resulting racialization, foreignization, and even criminalization of this large community. Scholar Michael Chang asks, Will the perception of the Asian American as the "perpetual foreigner" continue to reproduce itself uncritically, heightening during times of media-supported nationalism? This incisive work contributes greatly to current debates on civil rights and on the meaning of "citizenship" and "belonging" among a transnational community and in a globalized world.

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Editorial Reviews

Wendy Tam Cho
As Asians Americans increase their level of political activity, scholarly analyses of how they play the game are essential. Chang provides a refreshing set of observations on a timely topic. This book simply has no match.
Leland Saito
This is a key text for understanding the importance of racial exclusion in the construction of citizenship in the United States. With lively writing and insightful analysis, Chang explains how images of Asian Americans are manipulated in this process, resulting in the marginalization of Asian Americans.
Ian Haney López
Chang provides a compelling analysis using race, nation, class, and capitalism to explain the contemporary predicament of Asians in the United States, and that predicament to illuminate the world now being refashioned by globalization. No one is safe.
Frank H. Wu
The 1996 campaign finance controversy, centering on the political donations of Asian nationals and Asian immigrants as well as Asian Americans, led to the most recent reforms to our electoral process. This book presents a comprehensive discussion of the scandal, ranging from the facts of the various cases against the fundraisers involved to the racial stereotypes of even native-born Asian Americans as perpetual foreigners. Anyone interested in the influence of money on our diverse democracy, along with the complications created by ethnic prejudices, would benefit from the information provided here. In this work, detailed investigation forms the basis for astute analysis. It is highly recommended.
Ronald Takaki
In the 1996 'Asian Donorgate' scandal, Asian Americans found themselves viewed and treated as Asian rather than American. Michael Chang deftly illuminates how and why we again became 'perpetual foreigners.'
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780739108222
  • Publisher: Lexington Books
  • Publication date: 7/6/2004
  • Pages: 234
  • Product dimensions: 0.53 (w) x 6.00 (h) x 9.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Michael Chang received his Ph.D. in Ethnic Studies from the University of California—Berkeley and is currently completing his J.D. at the University of California—Los Angeles.

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Table of Contents

1 Transnational Asian America : race, class, nation, and citizenship 1
2 Race : a shifting discourse : from campaign finance reform to national security 33
3 Nation : the coming conflict : American Orientalism and U.S.-China relations 73
4 Citizenship : citizenship and discipline : Asian Americans as Homo economicus 99
5 Class : transforming and negotiating the public sphere : Asian Americans respond to "Asian donorgate" 139
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