Thinking orientals : migration, contact, and exoticism in modern America / Yu Henry.

By: Yu, Henry, 1967-Material type: TextTextPublisher: New York ; Oxford : Oxford University Press, 2002Description: 288 p. : ill., maps ; 24 cmISBN: 0195151275; 9780195151275Subject(s): Chinese Americans | Japanese Americans | Asian Americans | Race awareness -- United StatesLOC classification: E184.O6 | Y8 2002
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E184 .O6 Y8 2002 (Browse shelf) Available 0000001976323

Originally published: 2001.

Includes bibliographical references and index.

Reviews provided by Syndetics


Yu (history, UCLA) provocatively explores the construction of Orientalism in American thought and its contribution to the American discourse of race relations, demonstrating how "the Oriental problem" was defined by and shaped the scholarship of social scientists who sought to examine the cultural dimensions of racial difference during the 1920s. Sociologists including Robert Park, Emory Bogardus, Rose Hum Lee, and Robert Siu replicated in their own work assumptions of racial difference that already saturated American discourse about Asia, bringing their own experiences--whether as rural Midwesterners or as children of Japanese or Chinese immigrants--to bear on their surveys of the US's urban and ethnic landscape and the location of Orientals within these maps of ethnic and national identities. Yu explores how Japanese and Chinese American intellectuals, who participated in studies of Orientals as sociologists and subjects, understood their own Oriental selves within contemporary discussions about race, assimilation, and American-ness. This challenging and rewarding text is highly recommended for upper-division undergraduate and graduate courses on US intellectual history, Asian American studies, the history of race and ethnicity in the US, the development of American sociology, and the sociology of race. K. J. Leong Arizona State University

Author notes provided by Syndetics

Henry Yu is Assistant Professor of History at the University of California, Los Angeles.

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