The American Dream in Vietnamese

The American Dream in Vietnamese

by Nhi T. Lieu
     
 

In her research on popular culture of the Vietnamese diaspora, Nhi T. Lieu explores how people displaced by war reconstruct cultural identity in the aftermath of migration. Embracing American democratic ideals and consumer capitalism prior to arriving in the United States, postwar Vietnamese refugees endeavored to assimilate and live the American Dream. In The

Overview

In her research on popular culture of the Vietnamese diaspora, Nhi T. Lieu explores how people displaced by war reconstruct cultural identity in the aftermath of migration. Embracing American democratic ideals and consumer capitalism prior to arriving in the United States, postwar Vietnamese refugees endeavored to assimilate and live the American Dream. In The American Dream in Vietnamese, she claims that nowhere are these fantasies played out more vividly than in the Vietnamese American entertainment industry.

Lieu examines how live music variety shows and videos, beauty pageants, and Web sites created by and for Vietnamese Americans contributed to the shaping of their cultural identity. She shows how popular culture forms repositories for conflicting expectations of assimilation, cultural preservation, and invention, alongside gendered and classed dimensions of ethnic and diasporic identity.

The American Dream in Vietnamese demonstrates how the circulation of images manufactured by both Americans and Vietnamese immigrants serves to produce these immigrants’ paradoxical desires. Within these desires and their representations, Lieu finds the dramatization of the community’s struggle to define itself against the legacy of the refugee label, a classification that continues to pathologize their experiences in American society.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"Nhi T. Lieu insightfully demonstrates how important popular culture is to the self-fasionioning of Vietnamese Americans. Her groundbreaking book validates what many Vietnamese Americans demonstrate in their everyday lives: that the pursuit of leisure and the rituals of entertainment are as crucial to community formation as political advancement and economic empowerment." —Viet Thanh Nguyen, author of Race and Resistance: Literature and Politics in Asian America

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780816665709
Publisher:
University of Minnesota Press
Publication date:
03/22/2011
Pages:
256
Product dimensions:
5.40(w) x 8.40(h) x 0.70(d)

Meet the Author

Nhi T. Lieu is assistant professor of American studies, Asian American studies, and women’s and gender studies at the University of Texas at Austin.

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