Asian american studies

The pain and the suffering, the oppression, and the exclusion all describe the history of Asia America. When they arrived to the United States, they become labeled as Asians. These Asians come from Japan, China, Korea, Laos, Thailand, and many other diverse countries in the Eastern hemisphere. These people wanted to escape from their impoverished lives as the West continued to infiltrate their motherland. They saw America as the promise land filled with opportunity to succeed in life. Yet due to the discrimination placed from society and continual unfair treatment by the government, the history of Asian American was being defined and written every day they were in America, waiting to be deported because of the complexion of their skin. Striving everyday to conform and mix with society, the Asian American faced constant rejection and exclusion from the American way of life, defining the history of Asian America. The Asian Americans came to America with a common goal: to seek work and get a better life because mostly in their countries that they are living poorly, thus they moved to United States. In Japanese and Chinese Immigrant Activists, Josephine Fowler sets out to write a broad transnational history that meaningfully integrates leftist Japanese and Chinese migrants into fields from which they have been traditionally excluded, especially the histories of American Communism and Asian America. Working ” at the intersection of several interdisciplinary fields,” Fowler examines a broad range of topics, from questions of agency to both practical and theoretical inquiries about space, identity, race, gender, and nation. The author grounds her work in transnational approaches increasingly popular with historians of labor, immigration, and Asian Americans to write a detailed study focused on the role of Chinese and Japanese migrants in creating and sustaining networks that facilitated the flow of people and ideas across national boundaries in North America, Europe, and Asia. While Fowler acknowledges the continued power of the nation-state, she rightfully insists on a broader examination of activists, information, and ideology. Fowler begins with a broad overview of the relationship between the Comintern and Asia, pointing out the oversimplified views held by Soviet operatives about Asians and their homelands before quickly summarizing the racism and mistreatment encountered by Chinese and Japanese immigrants to the United States. Faced with disrespect and discrimination from both the Soviet Union and the United States, Fowler argues, radical migrants became active in left-wing and Communist organizations as part of a transpacific movement. However, language, race, organizational difficulties, and distance (among other factors) continually undermined what on the surface might appear to have been clear hierarchy and unquestioned unity. As a result, Fowler’s examination of the central institutions in Moscow and their relationships with immigrant activists suggests that, while Moscow certainly exerted significant power, the actual practice of advancing international communism, even when led by Communist functionaries, deviated from the model. Given those realities, Fowler concludes with an extended study of individual and collective activism on the part of Chinese and Japanese migrants, exploring how Communists interacted with global capitalism and each other. In presenting a complicated story that is not altogether new, Fowlers work would be better served by more detailed and analytical conclusions at the end of chapters and at the end of the book. The material is also occasionally awkwardly written, and its close detail can at times confuse instead of enlighten. Still, the authors global perspective is important, and her ability to investigate a broad range of multilingual sources results in a creative synthesis of primary and secondary sources that is useful to immigration and labor scholars, as well as others. While comparisons between Japanese and Chinese activists might be more searchingly drawn, Fowler is, in the end, more intent on making a methodological argument than a historical one. Her primary goal is to make the case for a transnational approach that stresses the importance of looking beyond national borders in writing history. In this regard, as she rescues what she describes as a ” lost” history, Fowler certainly demonstrates what might be achieved when historians ” internationalize their historical scholarship”. Chinese Americans have made many large strides in American society. Today, Chinese Americans engage in every facet of American life including the military, elected offices, media, academia, and sports. Over the years, many Chinese Americans have blended the American lifestyle with a more natively Chinese one. Perhaps the most common landmark of the Chinese impact in America are the prolific Chinese restaurants that have cropped up in every corner of the U. S. Along with these culinary traditions, Chinese heritage is celebrated not only by most Chinese American; the most prominent of these is the Chinese New Year celebration. Chinese American income and social status varies widely. Although many Chinese Americans in Chinatowns of large cities are often members of an impoverished working class, others are well-educated upper-class people living in affluent suburbs. The upper and lower-class Chinese are also widely separated by social status and class discrimination. In California’s San Gabriel Valley, for example, the cities of Monterey Park and San Marino are both Chinese American communities lying geographically close to each other but they are separated by a large socio-economic and income gap. In recent decades, many Chinese Americans have started pursuing careers in politics, and succeeded in getting elected and/or appointed into political office. Among the most prominent is Gary Locke who became the first Chinese American state governor in U. S. history, and current Secretary of Commerce. During the Cultural Revolution, Chinese Americans, like all overseas Chinese, generally speaking, were viewed as capitalist traitors by the People’s Republic of China government. This attitude changed completely in the late 1970s with the reforms of Deng Xiaoping. Increasingly, Chinese Americans were seen as sources of business and technical expertise and capital who could aid in China’s economic and other development. People from Japan began migrating to the U. S. in significant numbers following the political, cultural, and social changes stemming from the 1868 Meiji Restoration. Particularly after the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882, Japanese immigrants were sought by industrialists to replace the Chinese immigrants. In 1907, the ” Gentlemen’s Agreement” between the governments of Japan and the U. S. ended immigration of Japanese workers (i. e., men), but permitted the immigration of spouses of Japanese immigrants already in the U. S. The Immigration Act of 1924 banned the immigration of all but token few Japanese. The ban on immigration produced unusually well-defined generational groups within the Japanese American community. Initially, there was an immigrant generation, the Issei, and their U. S.-born children, the Nisei Japanese American. The Issei were exclusively those who had immigrated before 1924. Because no new immigrants were permitted, all Japanese Americans born after 1924 were–by definition–born in the U. S. This generation, the Nisei, became a distinct cohort from the Issei generation in terms of age, citizenship, and English language ability, in addition to the usual generational differences. Institutional and interpersonal racism led many of the Nisei to marry other Nisei, resulting in a third distinct generation of Japanese Americans, the Sansei. Significant Japanese immigration did not occur until the Immigration Act of 1965 ended 40 years of bans against immigration from Japan and other countries. The Naturalization Act of 1790 restricted naturalized U. S. citizenship to ” free white persons,” which excluded the Issei from citizenship. As a result, the Issei were unable to vote, and faced additional restrictions such as the inability to own land under many state laws. In recent years, immigration from Japan has been more like that from Western Europe: low and usually related to marriages between U. S. citizens and Japanese (usually Japanese women), with some via employment preferences. The number is on average 5 to 10 thousand per year, and is similar to the amount of immigration to the U. S. from Germany. This is in stark contrast to the rest of Asia, where family reunification is the primary impetus for immigration. Japanese Americans also have the oldest demographic structure of any non-white ethnic group in the U. S.; in addition, in the younger generations, due to intermarriage with whites, non-whites, and other Asian groups, part-Japanese are more common than full Japanese, and it appears as if this physical assimilation will continue at a rapid rate.