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Consuming Citizenship: Children of Asian Immigrant Entrepreneurs (Asian America)by Lisa Sun Hee Park
Synopses & Reviews
Consuming Citizenship investigates how Korean American and Chinese American children of entrepreneurial immigrants demonstrate their social citizenship as Americans through conspicuous consumption.
The American immigrant entrepreneur has played a central role in projecting the American ideology of meritocracy and equality. The children of these immigrants are seen as evidence of an open society. While it appears that these children have readily adapted to American culture, questions remain as to why second-generation Asian Americans feel compelled to convince others of their legitimacy and the way they go about asserting their citizenship status.
Extending our understanding of such children beyond the traditional emphasis on assimilation, the author argues that their consumptive behavior is a significant expression of their paradoxical position as citizens who straddle the boundaries of social inclusion and exclusion.
Book News Annotation:
Adding to the significant and growing body of work in immigration studies, Park (ethnic studies and urban studies and planning, U. of California, San Diego) describes the experiences and attitudes of Korean American and Chinese American children of entrepreneurial immigrants. She finds that many construct their identities and seek legitimacy in American culture by becoming the most conspicuous of consumers. Park examines a number of issues that apply, including the nature of adaptation, the attainment of full citizenship status, the primacy of consumption as an indicator of "Americanism" and of social relationships, and the ways in which second-generation Korean Americans and Chinese Americans perceive themselves in terms of their families, their communities, and their place in what often appears to be a society that thinks of itself as diverse but presents itself as homogeneous.
Annotation ©2005 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
Consuming Citizenship investigates how Korean American and Chinese American children of entrepreneurial immigrants demonstrate their social citizenship and belonging as Americans through conspicuous consumption.
“Lisa Parks fascinating foray into the lives of Asian immigrant entrepreneurs children is at once illuminating and inspiring. Based upon extensive interviews and careful research, Consuming Citizenship challenges superficial stereotypes and provides nuanced portraits. Written with verve, it is an indispensable text for understanding the new generation of Asian Americans.” —John Lie,University of California, Berkeley
About the Author
Lisa Sun-Hee Park is Assistant Professor in the Ethnic Studies Department and the Urban Studies and Planning Program at the University of California, San Diego. She is co-author of The Silicon Valley of Dreams: Environmental Injustice, Immigrant Workers, and the High-tech Global Economy (2002).
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