By Aihwa Ong
Fleeing the murderous Pol Pot regime, Cambodian refugees arrive in the US as instantaneously the sufferers and the heroes of America's misadventures in Southeast Asia; and their encounters with American citizenship are contradictory to boot. carrier services, bureaucrats, and employers exhort them to be self-reliant, individualistic, and loose, while the approach and the tradition constrain them inside phrases of ethnicity, race, and sophistication. Buddha Is Hiding tells the tale of Cambodian americans experiencing American citizenship from the bottom-up. according to vast fieldwork in Oakland and San Francisco, the research places a human face on how American institutions--of future health, welfare, legislation, police, church, and industry--affect minority electorate as they negotiate American tradition and re-interpret the yankee dream.
In her past booklet, Flexible Citizenship, anthropologist Aihwa Ong wrote of elite Asians shuttling around the Pacific. This parallel learn tells the very various tale of "the different Asians" whose course takes them from refugee camps to California's inner-city and high-tech enclaves. In Buddha Is Hiding we see those refugees changing into new citizen-subjects via a twin technique of being-made and self-making, balancing spiritual salvation and entrepreneurial values as they undergo and undermine, take up and deflect conflicting classes approximately welfare, paintings, drugs, gender, parenting, and mass tradition. attempting to carry directly to the values of family members and residential tradition, Cambodian americans still usually believe that "Buddha is hiding." Tracing the entangled paths of negative and wealthy Asians within the American kingdom, Ong increases new questions about the shape and which means of citizenship in an period of globalization.
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Extra resources for Buddha Is Hiding: Refugees, Citizenship, the New America (California Series in Public Anthropology)
Loud sounds tended to set the older refugees shaking, as they ﬂashed back to some war trauma. The old, inﬁrm, and shell-shocked seldom ventured beyond their doors for fear of becoming disoriented or of being mugged. Their fears were not entirely imaginary: just before my research began, a small child playing in the courtyard had been accidentally run over by a truck, and street predators quickly identiﬁed these newcomers as easy marks. In many households, surviving family members and their friends had managed to patch together a family of sorts, clinging to one another and counting on welfare checks to help them navigate the storm-tossed world of inner-city America.
Chapter 2 follows war survivors to border camps, where they encountered Western modes for deﬁning, saving, and governing refugees. Encounters with aid agencies and immigration authorities shaped understandings about the superiority of Americans as ﬁrst-class citizens and about the importance of patronage systems in gaining access to resources. Part II explores the everyday strategies and techniques of citizen-making by following Cambodian refugees through various institutions in Northern California.
Over the years, as ordinary Cambodians were forced to cope with these demands, with traumatic economic and social changes, and with intensifying, often random violence, they were also expected to raise their families, produce crops for sale and export, become wiser with age, and provide cannon fodder for one regime after another. They were seen as servants (in Khmer, neaq bonmrao,“those who are commanded”) of those in power. david p. chandler, The Tragedy of Cambodian History Chapter 1 Land of No More Hope When the Vietnamese invaded, she was alone, wandering around looking for her family.
Buddha Is Hiding: Refugees, Citizenship, the New America (California Series in Public Anthropology) by Aihwa Ong