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Race for CitizenshipBlack Orientalism and Asian Uplift from Pre-Emancipation to Neoliberal America$
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Helen Heran Jun

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780814742976

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9780814742976.001.0001

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Asian Americans in the Age of Neoliberalism

Asian Americans in the Age of Neoliberalism

Human Capital and Bad Choices in a.k.a. Don Bonus (1995) and Better Luck Tomorrow (2002)

(p.123) 6 Asian Americans in the Age of Neoliberalism
Race for Citizenship

Helen Heran Jun

NYU Press

This chapter engages discourses of Asian American racial difference in the post-civil rights period, by examining its relationship to the rise of neoliberalism as a hegemonic ideology since the mid-1960s. It argues that Asian American cultural production is uniquely situated to disclose various contradictions of violent neoliberal mandates of self-development and self-enterprise, by analyzing two Asian American films, Better Luck Tomorrow (2002) and a.k.a. Don Bonus (1995). Engaging with the terms of neoliberal discourse is critical to an adequate understanding of race in a post-civil rights era of multicultural inclusion. In this period, Asian uplift entails the production of Asian Americans as idealized subjects of a neoliberal world order, which not only pathologizes the racialized black poor but also reproduces a neoliberal episteme that has devastated the global South since decolonization.

Keywords:   Asian American racial difference, neoliberalism, Better Luck Tomorrow, a.k.a. Don Bonus, multicultural inclusion, racialized black poor

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