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Article

“Loving Couples and Families:” Assimilation as Honorary Whiteness and the Making of the Vietnamese Refugee Family

Department of American Ethnic Studies, University of Washington, Seattle, WA 98195-4380, USA
Academic Editors: Pawan H. Dhingra and Tanya Golash-Boza
Soc. Sci. 2021, 10(6), 209; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci10060209
Received: 16 March 2021 / Revised: 25 May 2021 / Accepted: 27 May 2021 / Published: 2 June 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Immigration and White Supremacy in the 21st Century)
Integration studies of Vietnamese refugees and their children begin with the problem of assimilation based on cultural and racial difference and ultimately lead these groups to achieve upward mobility against great odds. While scholars have offered alternatives to linear models of assimilation which assume a prescribed path to determine when migrants become integrated, the ideologies and norms which underlie the so-called problem of assimilation remain largely unexamined. Building from a feminist and Foucauldian analysis of power, this article examines state-sponsored knowledge production, such as semi-annual government surveys of Vietnamese refugees as representations which reproduce and reinforce logics of heteronormativity and white supremacy. I contextualize the production of these social science surveys as legibility projects in the geopolitical context of international (Cold War) and domestic (state attempts to dismantle black power movements through civil rights) maintenance of white supremacy. By examining self-sufficiency surveys of Vietnamese refugees conducted upon arrival to the US from the 1970s–1980s and 1990s studies of the second generation, I argue that the family is an instrumental yet overlooked dimension of the racialization of Vietnamese as new immigrants which is rooted in heteronormative, Orientalist, and anti-black notions of family. View Full-Text
Keywords: Vietnamese refugees; critique of integration; resettlement; assimilation; refugee racialization; racial family; sociological containment Vietnamese refugees; critique of integration; resettlement; assimilation; refugee racialization; racial family; sociological containment
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MDPI and ACS Style

Nguyễn, L.T. “Loving Couples and Families:” Assimilation as Honorary Whiteness and the Making of the Vietnamese Refugee Family. Soc. Sci. 2021, 10, 209. https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci10060209

AMA Style

Nguyễn LT. “Loving Couples and Families:” Assimilation as Honorary Whiteness and the Making of the Vietnamese Refugee Family. Social Sciences. 2021; 10(6):209. https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci10060209

Chicago/Turabian Style

Nguyễn, Linh T. 2021. "“Loving Couples and Families:” Assimilation as Honorary Whiteness and the Making of the Vietnamese Refugee Family" Social Sciences 10, no. 6: 209. https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci10060209

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