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Filipino Americans, who experience life in the United States as immigrants, colonized nationals, and racial minorities, have been little studied, though they are one of our largest immigrant groups. Based on her in-depth interviews with more than one hundred Filipinos in San Diego, California, Yen Le Espiritu investigates how Filipino women and men are transformed through the experience of migration, and how they in turn remake the social world around them. Her sensitive analysis reveals that Filipino Americans confront U.S. domestic racism and global power structures by living transnational lives that are shaped as much by literal and symbolic ties to the Philippines as they are by social, economic, and political realities in the United States. Espiritu deftly weaves vivid first-person narratives with larger social and historical contexts as she discovers the meaning of home, community, gender, and intergenerational relations among Filipinos. Among other topics, she explores the ways that female sexuality is defined in contradistinction to American mores and shows how this process becomes a way of opposing racial subjugation in this country. She also examines how Filipinos have integrated themselves into the American workplace and looks closely at the effects of colonialism.
"In this highly original and inspired book, Espiritu bursts the binaries and shows us how the tensions of race, gender, nation, and colonial legacies situate contemporary transnationalism. Conceptually rich and empirically grounded, Home Bound blurs the borders of sociology and cultural studies like no other book I know. Kudos to Espiritu for this boundary-breaking tour de force!"—Pierrette Hondagneu-Sotelo, author of Domestica: Cleaning and Caring in the Shadows of Affluence "A singular achievement. Not only does it cast light on the deep historical entanglements of immigration and imperialism, citizenship and race, and gender and subjectivity in the United States, but by highlighting the varied voices of Filipino Americans, it also calls attention to their creative potential to make a home under some of the most inhospitable conditions. Theoretically rich, empirically grounded, and lucidly written, this book marks a major advance in our attempts to understand the 'specter of migration' haunting the world today."—Vicente L. Rafael, author of White Love and Other Events in Filipino History "Home Bound combines excellent ethnography of the Filipino experience in the U.S. with a brilliant and devastating critique of traditional scholarship on immigration. Espiritu's analysis of how the vectors of identity articulate with one another is particularly cutting-edge."—Sarah J. Mahler, author of American Dreaming: Immigrant Life on the Margins "Using a critical transnational, feminist, and historical perspective, Espiritu insightfully and sensitively analyzes the meaning of home, community, friendship, love, and family for Filipino Americans. In the process, she unveils what these immigrants can tell us about gender, race, politics, economics, and culture in the United States today."—Diane L. Wolf, author of Factory Daughters: Gender, Household Dynamics, and Rural Industrialization in Java "Espiritu makes an outstanding contribution to our appreciation of the dynamics of immigrant cultures within the political economy of transnationalism."—Lisa Lowe, author of Immigrant Acts: On Asian American Cultural Politics
First person narratives by Filipino Americans reveal the range of their experiences-before and after immigration.
When Asian Americans are discussed in the media the reference is often to people of Chinese or Japanese descent. However, the largest Asian American ethnic group is Filipino, a group of which little is known or written despite its long-standing history with the United States. This interdisciplinary analysis rectifies this dearth of information by addressing ethnic identity, the impact of different colonizations on ethnic identity, personal and family relationships, mental health, race, and racism. In addition, the sociopolitical context is examined in each chapter, making the volume useful as a foundational tool for hypothesis generation, empirical research, policy analysis and planning, and literature review.
Body Counts: The Vietnam War and Militarized Refuge(es) examines how the Vietnam War has continued to serve as a stage for the shoring up of American imperialist adventure and for the (re)production of American and Vietnamese American identities. Focusing on the politics of war memory and commemoration, this book retheorizes the connections among history, memory, and power and refashions the fields of American studies, Asian American studies, and refugee studies not around the narratives of American exceptionalism, immigration, and transnationalism but around the crucial issues of war, race, and violence—and the history and memories that are forged in the aftermath of war. At the same time, the book moves decisively away from the "damage-centered" approach that pathologizes loss and trauma by detailing how first- and second-generation Vietnamese have created alternative memories and epistemologies that challenge the established public narratives of the Vietnam War and Vietnamese people. Explicitly interdisciplinary, Body Counts moves between the humanities and social sciences, drawing on historical, ethnographic, cultural, and virtual evidence in order to illuminate the places where Vietnamese refugees have managed to conjure up social, public, and collective remembering.
Labor, laws, and love. Yen Le Espiritu explores how racist and gendered labor conditions and immigration laws have affected relations between and among Asian American women and men. Asian American Men and Women documents how the historical and contemporary oppression of Asians in the United States has (re)structured the balance of power between Asian American women and men and shaped their struggles to create and maintain social institutions and systems of meaning. Espiritu emphasizes how race, gender, and class, as categories of difference, do not parallel but instead intersect and confirm one other.
Filipino Americans are projected to become the largest Asian American population by 2010. As the second largest immigrant group in the country, there are approximately 3 million documented and undocumented Filipino Americans in the US. Filipino Americans are unique in many ways. They are descendants of the Philippines, a country that was colonized by Spain for over three centuries and by the US for almost 50 years. They are the only ethnic group that has been categorized as Asian American, Pacific Islander, Hispanic, and even as their own separate ethnicity. Because of diverse phenotypes, they are often perceived as being Asian, Latino, multiracial, and others. And contrary to the Model Minority Myth, Filipino Americans have experienced several health, psychological, and educational disparities, including lower college graduation rates and higher levels of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, obesity, teen pregnancy, HIV/AIDS, substance abuse, depression, and suicide. Despite these disparaging statistics, Filipino Americans have made significant contributions to the US, ever since their first arrivals in October 1587- from their involvement in the United Farmworkers Movement to their roles in hip-hop culture and their presence in medicine, education, and the arts. However, Filipino Americans have also been referred to as the "Forgotten Asian Americans" because of their invisibility in mainstream media, academia, and politics. Filipino American Psychology: A Collection of Personal Narratives offers an intimate look at the lives of Filipino Americans through stories involving ethnic identity, colonial mentality, cultural conflicts, and experiences with gender, sexual orientation, and multiraciality. Writers courageously address how they cope with mental health issues- including depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress, and suicide. Theories and concepts from the book's predecessor, Filipino American Psychology: A Handbook of Theory, Research, and Clinical Practice can be applied through the voices of a diverse collection of Filipino Americans.

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