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Creating Curricula: Examples from other Transnational, Diasporic, and Area Studies

Freedman, Amy L.

The Politics of the Chinese Diaspora. My main point will be that political institutions, rules, and norms, will shape both how an immigrant community will access politics and in what ways they will be able to assert or protect their rights as well as having an impact on shaping a community’s very identity. (This thesis is dramatically different from Gabriel Sheffer's argument that culture is an important independent variable, my point is closer to instrumentalist and constructivist view that Sheffer critiques.) For Example: What kinds of organizations (religious, cultural, political, or economic) the community forms and what activities they are able to engage in are directly impacted by legal structures (example of court cases Fong Yue-ting v. US; and Ozawa v. US) ; and identity itself can be "created" by legal categories and labels in various countries. For example: the US census categories, "Asian" verses "multiracial" vs. "Chinese"; and in Indonesia under Suharto ethnic Chinese knew that their identity cards were coded to reflect their ethnicity, despite assimilationist policies that required ethnic Chinese to take Indonesian family names, and in Malaysia ethnic Chinese can NEVER be "Malay" as defined in the Constitution…

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