Imperial Citizens: Koreans and Race from Seoul to LA
Asians and Latinos comprise the vast majority of contemporary immigrants to the United States, and their growing presence has complicated America's prevailing White-Black race hierarchy. Imperial Citizens uses a global framework to investigate how Asians from U.S.-dominated homelands learn and understand their place along U.S. color lines. With interviews and ethnographic observations of Koreans, the book does what others rarely do: venture to the immigrants' home country and analyze racism there in relation to racial hierarchies in the United States.
Attentive to history, the book considers the origins, nature, and extent of racial ideas about Koreans/Asians in relation to White and Black Americans, investigating how immigrants engage these ideas before they depart for the United States, as well as after they arrive. The author shows that contemporary globalization involves not just the flow of capital, but also culture. Ideas about American color lines and citizenship lines have crossed oceans alongside U.S. commodities.
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