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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.
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.
With a subtle yet penetrating understanding of the intricate interplay of gender, race, and class, Sheba George examines an unusual immigration pattern to analyze what happens when women who migrate before men become the breadwinners in the family. Focusing on a group of female nurses who moved from India to the United States before their husbands, she shows that this story of economic mobility and professional achievement conceals underlying conditions of upheaval not only in the families and immigrant community but also in the sending community in India. This richly textured and impeccably researched study deftly illustrates the complex reconfigurations of gender and class relations concealed behind a quintessential American success story. When Women Come First explains how men who lost social status in the immigration process attempted to reclaim ground by creating new roles for themselves in their church. Ironically, they were stigmatized by other upper class immigrants as men who needed to "play in the church" because the "nurses were the bosses" in their homes. At the same time, the nurses were stigmatized as lower class, sexually loose women with too much independence. George's absorbing story of how these women and men negotiate this complicated network provides a groundbreaking perspective on the shifting interactions of two nations and two cultures.

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