In Lisa Lowe’s “Heterogeneity, Hybridity, and Multiciplicy: Asian American Differences,” she talks about the problems that come with the idea of a homogeneous Asian American population. Instead of looking at Asian American populations as homogeneous, she wants to talk about the heterogeneity and hybridity of the population. In addition she wants to make it a point that Asian Americans should be viewed with multiplicity, or in different lights. She writes, describing Asian American homogeneity, “The articulation of an ‘Asian American identity’ as an organizing tool has provided a concept of political unity to understand unequal circumstances and histories as being related” (71). I think she is acknowledging that the unity of only one” Asian American identity” has perhaps have had some political benefits but goes on to critique this standpoint as wrong because it “implies Asians are ‘all alike’ and conform to ‘types’” (71). In addition, she writes “Rather, the assertion of ‘integral autonomy’ by ‘not unified’ classes suggests a coordination of distinct, yet allied, positions, practices, and movements – class-identified and not class-identified, in parties and not, race-based and gender-based – each on its own, not necessarily equivalent manner transforming, disrupting, and destructuring the apparatuses of a specific hegemony” (70). In other words, a one unified view of Asian Americans is erroneous because it ignores many of the differences between Asian Americans as well as reinforces the idea that there is one, specific, dominant hegemon, or in this case the White population.
In Anderson, Wanni W. and Robert G. Lee’s “Asian American Displacements,” they write about four types of displacement. They write “at beginning of the twenty-first century, we identify four existing forms of displacement as the lived experienced of the immigrant, the refugee, the exile, the expatriate, and the migrant: physical/spatial displacement, cultural displacement, psychological/affective displacement, and intellectual displacement” (11). I think of physical/spatial as the first type of displacement but with time, this type of displacement can lead to “cultural,” “psychological,” and “intellectual” displacement. I think that the latter of the three types of displacement are the most straining and the most offensive to new immigrants who are struggling to conform to new cultures, new ideas, and new ambiances. The term hypochondria comes to mind when I think of people who have trouble fitting in to the present place they are in because they are suffering from being away from home, from adjusting to the new time as voiced in many Asian American texts. In the end, they conclude “they (volumes) lead us through the Asian experience in the Americas across space and time and provide us a conceptual map with which we can engage the changing economic, cultural, and political landscapes” (17). The writers end on a hopeful path as they acknowledged earlier in the text that Asian American studies were conceived in the 1970’s after being empowered by the Civil Rights Movement in the 1960’s to fight the oppression that inhibited a racially divided America.
1) Is Lisa Lowe’s writing accurate of what is happening in today’s United Stated States? If so, what can we do to empower Asian Americans to fight for better representation?
2) Are Asian Americans being subjected to great “cultural,” “psychological” and “intellectual” strain because they are a minority and because they have been displaced from their home country? What can we do to alleviate some of the pressure?