Georges Woke Up Laughing: Long-Distance Nationalism and the Search for Home

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Duke University Press, Nov 14, 2001 - Political Science - 324 pages
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DIVCombining history, autobiography, and ethnography, Georges Woke Up Laughing provides a portrait of the Haitian experience of migration to the United States that illuminates the phenomenon of long-distance nationalism, the voicelessness of certain citizens, and the impotency of government in an increasingly globalized world. By presenting lively ruminations on his life as a Haitian immigrant, Georges Eugene Fouron—along with Nina Glick Schiller, whose own family history stems from Poland and Russia—captures the daily struggles for survival that bind together those who emigrate and those who stay behind.
According to a long-standing myth, once emigrants leave their homelands—particularly if they emigrate to the United States—they sever old nationalistic ties, assimilate, and happily live the American dream. In fact, many migrants remain intimately and integrally tied to their ancestral homeland, sometimes even after they become legal citizens of another country. In Georges Woke Up Laughing the authors reveal the realities and dilemmas that underlie the efforts of long-distance nationalists to redefine citizenship, race, nationality, and political loyalty. Through discussions of the history and economics that link the United States with countries around the world, Glick Schiller and Fouron highlight the forces that shape emigrants’ experiences of government and citizenship and create a transborder citizenry. Arguing that governments of many countries today have almost no power to implement policies that will assist their citizens, the authors provide insights into the ongoing sociological, anthropological, and political effects of globalization.
Georges Woke up Laughing will entertain and inform those who are concerned about the rights of people and the power of their governments within the globalizing economy.

“In my dream I was young and in Haiti with my friends, laughing, joking, and having a wonderful time. I was walking down the main street of my hometown of Aux Cayes. The sun was shining, the streets were clean, and the port was bustling with ships. At first I was laughing because of the feeling of happiness that stayed with me, even after I woke up. I tried to explain my wonderful dream to my wife, Rolande. Then I laughed again but this time not from joy. I had been dreaming of a Haiti that never was.”—from Georges Woke Up Laughing
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Review: Georges Woke Up Laughing: Long-Distance Nationalism and the Search for Home

User Review  - Julia Hahn - Goodreads

It was interesting in the fact that through Georges life I discovered the familial ties that hold transmigrants to their homeland of Haiti. Read full review

Contents

At First I Was Laughing
1
LongDistance Nationalism Defined
17
Delivering the Commission The Return of the Native
36
Without Them I Would Not Be Here Transnational Kinship
58
The Blood Remains Haitian Race Nation and Belonging in the Transmigrant Experience
92
She Tried to Reclaim Me Gendered LongDistance Nationalism
130
The Generation of Identity The LongDistance Nationalism of the Second Generation
155
The Responsible State Dialogues of a Transborder Citizenry
178
The Apparent State Sovereignty and the State of USHaitian Relations
208
LongDistance Nationalism as a Debate Shared Symbols and Disparate Messages
238
The Other Side of the TwoWay Street LongDistance Nationalism as a Subaltern Agenda
258
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About the author (2001)

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Nina Glick Schiller is Associate Professor of Anthropology at the University of New Hampshire.

Georges Eugene Fouron is Associate Professor of Education at the State University of New York at Stony Brook.

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