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Transnationalism, Cosmopolitanism, Diaspora: How China Is Changing U.S. Cultural Theory

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Authors
Min, Eun Kyung
Issue Date
2008
Publisher
서울대학교 미국학연구소
Citation
미국학, Vol.31 No.1, pp. 207-227
Keywords
transnationalismcosmopolitanismdiasporaChinacultural theoryglobalizationcitizenship
Abstract
As America becomes less "multicultural" and more "diasporic," its connection to the lands of former migrants becomes both more significant and fraught. The Chinese diaspora in America is a strong case in point. This paper attempts to show that the recent rise of three concepts of globality-namely, transnational ism, cosmopolitanism and diaspora-is intimately tied to the effort of diasporic Chinese intellectuals to theorize a "Chineseness" that is distinct from the Chinese nation state. The paper reviews the cultural theory of Aihwa Ong, len Ang and Pheng Cheah, three critics whose work is arguably changing the contours of U.S. cultural theory. Aihwa Ong's analysis of a new class of Chinese migrants offers a strong challenge to metropolitan theories of postcoloniality as well as coreperiphery models of economic development. Ong characterizes the transnational practices of this group of overseas Chinese as resistant to national, statesponsored culture, deeply strategic and pragmatic, aggressively capitalistic, disciplinary and patriarchal in familial practice, and flexible in choice of political citizenship. If Ong attends to a Chinese transnational ism that is politically and culturally ambiguous, Ang and Cheah are more interested in theorizing Chinese forms of "minor transnational ism" that are resistant to the centralizing ambitions of the Chinese diaspora and attuned to interventionist politics. Both Ang and Cheah adopt a cautionary attitude toward celebratory models of Chinese transnationalism and diaspora. What is certain is that the new Chinese diasporas of our moment complicate the traditional associations of diaspora with forced exile, while also retaining a distance from the celebratory notion of diaspora as sheer diversity and multiplicity.
ISSN
1229-4381
Language
English
URI
http://hdl.handle.net/10371/88619
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Researcher Institutes (연구소)American Studies Institute (미국학연구소)미국학미국학 Volume 31 Number 1/2 (2008)
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