Buddha Is Hiding: Refugees, Citizenship, the New America by Aihwa Ong

By Aihwa Ong

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Additional info for Buddha Is Hiding: Refugees, Citizenship, the New America (Public Anthropology, 5)

Sample text

Wealthy and skilled Asian immigrants are government and citizenship 21 welcome for their capacity to undertake high levels of risk-taking in the Silicon Valley and beyond. The stark contrast between the positioning of Southeast Asian refugees and that of the new Asian professionals is a dramatic illustration of how globalizing forces are producing new forms of American citizenship. The employment of unprotected migrant workers combined with managerial strategies that exploit the ambiguity of borders etch new latitudes of citizenship that reach beyond the United States.

37 As immigration has expanded the diversity of subjects who can be assigned to American ethno-racial categories, the rationality of such racial classification increasingly intersects with the logic of the mobile homo economicus. Sovereign power in this country is diffused through a network of welfare offices, vocational training schools, hospitals, and the workplace, where bureaucrats and their minions mobilize a variety of knowledge that can be used to shape the conduct of subjects, in order to maximize certain capabilities and minimize certain risks.

There was only one position allowed” women in sex, he insisted; but men had the right to seek sexual variety outside marriage. He continued that before Pol Pot time, men could have secondary wives, but their first wives had the option of prohibiting it. In many cases, he knew, men who were traveling without their urban families disguised their married status and, if they were posted in the countryside, took another wife. Peasant girls were often tricked this way because of their strong desire to marry rich men or men who drew a regular salary, such as teachers and soldiers.

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