Download E-books Buddha Is Hiding: Refugees, Citizenship, the New America (California Series in Public Anthropology) PDF

By Aihwa Ong

Fleeing the murderous Pol Pot regime, Cambodian refugees arrive in the USA as immediately the sufferers and the heroes of America's misadventures in Southeast Asia; and their encounters with American citizenship are contradictory besides. carrier prone, 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 american citizens experiencing American citizenship from the bottom-up. in line with vast fieldwork in Oakland and San Francisco, the learn places a human face on how American institutions—of wellbeing and fitness, welfare, legislations, police, church, and industry—affect minority voters as they negotiate American tradition and re-interpret the yankee dream.

In her past e-book, Flexible Citizenship, anthropologist Aihwa Ong wrote of elite Asians shuttling around the Pacific. This parallel research tells the very varied 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 turning 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 in and deflect conflicting classes approximately welfare, paintings, drugs, gender, parenting, and mass tradition. attempting to carry directly to the values of kin and residential tradition, Cambodian american citizens still frequently suppose that "Buddha is hiding." Tracing the entangled paths of terrible and wealthy Asians within the American kingdom, Ong increases new questions on the shape and that means of citizenship in an period of globalization.

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Possibly now not strangely, in American health center encounters, Cambodian ladies have been seen as a distinct type of “difficult” sufferers, perceived as being extra “traditional and superstitious” than males. in addition, health center staff characterised them as passive, silent, and terrified of experts. Even Asian American nurses may well seldom check with them in a this sort of method as to wreck via their silences. yet whereas the medical examiners observed Cambodian women’s passivity as easily an indication that they have been downtrodden and mired in outdated cultural mores, it may be learn in numerous ways—as a tactic to deflect keep an eye on whereas retaining a courting, or as an try and defend a susceptible self. In Cambodian tradition, authority figures shouldn't be puzzled or in a different way embarrassed, so either women and men are likely to demonstrate passive obedience prior to authority. sixty five This pose of passivity was once additional honed in the course of the Pol Pot years, whilst Cambodians’ silence kept away from disclosures and exposures which can bring about negative results to oneself and one’s family. In refugee camps and in American associations, Cambodians stumbled on that by way of being passive with strong authority figures, they can dissemble approximately what they desired to do and their purposes for doing so, whereas nonetheless keeping the patron–client dating. frequently, the known obedience used to be “compounded by means of worry and lack of understanding of our felony system,” as Cambodian sufferers nervous that via yielding up information regarding themselves to an American official, or by means of intentionally brushing off principles, they may be threatened with deportation. sixty six yet as survivors of conflict traumas, those girls could have been utilizing pas- refugee medication 113 sivity to masks suicidal developments or the lack of self-respect. for example, during my interviews with dozens of refugee ladies, many instructed me painful tales of flight and the affliction of kinfolk, and some implied within the so much indirect manner that they themselves have been abused. yet i may by no means make sure what percentage had truly been tortured of their flight from Cambodia or raped via Thai infantrymen “guarding” the refugee camps, or what types of compromises that they had made with a view to continue to exist and take care of their teenagers, or how deep used to be their experience of dishonor. A survey of 2 hundred Southeast Asian refugee ladies, together with Cambodians, discovered that fifty percentage were raped. The lethargy famous by means of clinicians could be attributed to the ladies having been raped, with the irreducible experience of dishonor it dropped at themselves and to their households. An relief employee of Cambodian history acknowledged, “Cambodian ladies face many difficulties, yet rape is the worst of enthusiastic about them. In Cambodia, women are in comparison to flowers that could wither at a hurtful contact, just like the rose and the jasmine. It’s various from the USA. Your girls discuss it. They take measures to guard themselves. ” yet fearing ostracization through their households, many Cambodian sufferers have been silent victims. sixty seven certainly, encounters with smooth wellbeing and fitness measures weren't constantly reassuring, and in reality may be quite unnerving.

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