The Taiwanese Americans
Despite the relatively short history of the Taiwanese in the United States, they have been a significant presence in America. Since 1965, immigration law changes have led to a dramatic increase in the Asian population in the United States. Taiwanese Americans, the immigrants from Taiwan and their descendants, are a prominent group in this increasing Asian population. This is the first book-length study about the Taiwanese American community in the United States. While most articles have discussed the economic impact of their immigration, this study focuses on their community organization, information networks, religious practices, cultural observances, and the growing second generation. Finally, it concludes with an assessment of the contributions of Taiwanese Americans to U.S. society. Biographical sketches of noted Taiwanese Americans complete the text.
The identity of the Taiwanese American community is complex and evolving, because it is partly determined by the politics between Taiwan and China. As relations between Taiwan and China change, so will the identity of Taiwanese Americans. Other variables affecting their identity include the relations between mainlanders and native Taiwanese in Taiwan, political liberalization within Taiwan, the role of U.S. policy towards Taiwan and China, and the nurturing of a Taiwanese consciousness. An increasingly important variable is the orientation of the second generation, American-born Taiwanese Americans. They have the options of being simultaneously Taiwanese American, Chinese American, Asian American and American. Taiwanese Americans are helping to reinvent America by transforming the economic and cultural landscape of the U.S. as have previous waves of immigrants.