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

Spring 2004

WGS 340 • Asian American Issues: Family Politics

Unique Days Time Location Instructor
44480 MW
3:00 PM-4:30 PM
UTC 3.102

Course Description

This upper division Asian American course will cover various topics of concern to Asian Americans—immigration, labor, education, and other such issues. Keeping the topic title broad will allow us to address problems of contemporary significance to Asian Americans, whether it is comparative ethnic politics, pan-ethnicity, or family politics. The workplace and the home— corresponding to the public and the private— remain clearly separated in most societies. Such a dichotomy is far more pronounced for immigrants. Non-white immigrants, such as Asian Americans, speak of feeling compelled to "act white" in public so that they too can be accepted in a world where we see an increasing backlash against immigration. Given the negative racialized meanings attached to their immigrant bodies, Asian Americans strive hard to re-produce themselves in the public sphere as model minorities. On the other hand, in complete contradiction to their public performances, in the privacy of their homes immigrants attempt to cultivate their Asian-ness self-consciously. However, the ways in which we make families are not sheltered from immigration laws, labor/ work issues, class matters, notions of culture, and inherited ideals of femininity, masculinity, and sexuality. I intend this course to be a sociological reflection on the intersections of families and race, with a specific focus on Asian Americans.

Grading Policy

Take home mid-term exam Take home final exam Short paper— (10 pages; critical reflections/ personal narratives on their families).


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