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Dr. Susan Sage Heinzelman, Director 2505 University Avenue, A4900, Burdine Hall 536, Austin Texas 78712 • 512-471-5765

Fall 2006

WGS 340 • Asian American Issues: Family Politics

Unique Days Time Location Instructor
49590 TTh
11:00 AM-12:30 PM
BUR 224
Rudrappa, S

Course Description

In this course we will study the insertion of Asian Americans into the imagined American community. We will examine how the myths of family play out given the histories of Exclusion Acts, Alien Land Laws, and the Immigration Act of 1965. Not only does the nation-state imagine itself as a family, but also the kinds of laws and regulations it passes in consolidating its nationhood affects immigration patterns, and the ways in which immigrants and their descendants are inserted into the national polity, and the ways in which their labor is deployed. All these factor into how we as Asian Americans make our own familial arrangements. There is nothing "natural or innocent" in romance, love, and family; and though we may be agents of our own lives, we are to a large degree products of our cultural, political, and economic histories. I intend this course to be a sociological reflection on the intersections of race, class and gender, and the ways families get made, with a specific focus on Asian Americans.

Grading Policy

10%: Attendance and Participation: If you miss class, you lose points. You may miss up to three classes; if you miss up to 2 classes (without notification), your grade will drop by a letter grade. 30%: Short papers: 1.5-2 pages long (single spaced); you will turn in six essays over the course of the semester. These essays are basically summaries of your week's readings. These papers will help consolidate your ideas/ thoughts/ questions on readings we do, and ideas that will periodically arise. 30% each: Take home mid-term and Final exam


Barbara Ehrenreich and Arlie Russell Hochschild, editors. Global Woman: Nannies, Maids, and Sex Workers in the New Economy Aihwa Ong, Buddha is Hiding Lisa Sun-Hee Park, Consuming citizenship: Children of Asian Immigrant Entrepreneurs Sharmila Rudrappa, Ethnic Routes to Becoming American Ji-Yeon Yuh, Beyond the Shadow of Camptown: Korean Military Brides in America


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