The Sum of Our Parts: Mixed-heritage Asian Americans

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Teresa Williams-León, Cynthia L. Nakashima
Temple University Press, 2001 - Social Science - 279 pages
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Largely as a result of multiracial activism, the U.S. Census for 2000 offers people the unprecedented opportunity to officially identify themselves with more than one racial group. Among Asian-heritage people in this country and elsewhere, racial and ethnic mixing has a long but unacknowledged history. According to the last US Census, nearly one-third of all interracial marriages included an Asian-descent spouse, and intermarriage rates are accelerating. This unique collection of essays focuses on the construction of identity among people of Asian descent who claim multiple heritages.

In the U.S., discussions of race generally center on matters of black and white; Asian Americans usually figure in conversations about race as an undifferentiated ethnic group or as exotic Eurasians. The contributors to this book disrupt the standard discussions by considering people of mixed Asian ethnicities. They also pay particular attention to non-white multiracial identities to decenter whiteness and reflect the experience of individuals or communities who are considered a minority within a minority. With an entire section devoted to the Asian diaspora, The Sum of Our Parts suggests that questions of multiracial and multiethnic identity are surfacing around the globe. This timely and provocative collection articulates them for social scientists and students.


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Multiracial Gays Lesbians
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About the author (2001)

Williams-Leon is an Assistant Professor of Asian American Studies at California State University, Northridge.

Nakashima is a Ph.D. candidate in Comparative Ethnic Studies at University of California, Berkeley.

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