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Buddha Is Hiding: Refugees, Citizenship, the New America
Fleeing the murderous Pol Pot regime, Cambodian refugees arrive in America as at once the victims and the heroes of America's misadventures in Southeast Asia; and their encounters with American citizenship are contradictory as well. Service providers, bureaucrats, and employers exhort them to be self-reliant, individualistic, and free, even as the system and the culture co ...more
Paperback, 352 pages
Published September 4th 2003 by University of California Press
(first published January 1st 2003)
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Ong’s look at Cambodian refugees in California contributes an important critique to our understanding of migration studies—centrally, that the systems of aid and placement present in American society do little to mitigate the challenges facing refugees, and actually add to the pressure to assimilate in order to secure the basics of survival in the American workforce and culture. This is centrally a book about cultural citizenship—what are the parameters of securing it, of “figuring out the rules ...more
Nov 10, 2007 Kevin Karpiak rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Seekers of that which hides
Say what you want about Ong, but she has the uncanny ability to take a concept--such as "governmentality"--that in the hands of most writers turns into utter opacity and explain it so that even 17 year old university freshman with no background in social science can begin to use it to understand their own lives and see the world around them in a new way.
Aihwa Ong is Professor of Anthropology at the University of California, Berkeley. She is the author of Neoliberalism as Exception: Mutations in Citizenship and Sovereignty and Flexible Citizenship: The Cultural Logics of Transnationality.
“The recovery of ethics under neoliberalism requires a multiplicity of factors- not just governments- who can create overlapping spheres of justice to achieve a complex equality for the laboring power in America and elsewhere. The question remains whether the political sphere continues to be a vital force in the struggle for democratic rights beyond the human needs of hidden, exploited refugee and immigrant workers.”More quotes…