Monday, May 14, 2012

Week 4 politics reflection

Overall the presentation was ok. I think it was a little confusing but I believe that the group did try to give us a good reiteration of the articles that they presented. The first article that was discussed was The Amerasian Problem: Blood, Duty, and Race by Sue-Je Lee Gage. I think that a lot of the historical facts or facts presented the article were discussed in the presentation, but a lot of the deeper aspects were not really brought up. I did like how the presenter brought up each and every portion of how the Immigration Act of 1982 through to 1987 was written and passed and amended multiple times. Maybe instead of hard facts though, he could have mentioned the exclusion of the Japanese, Taiwanese, and the Philipino Amerasian offspring and how maybe that it was a politically charged decision. I think if the that particular presentation had been more analytical in terms of explaining the consequences of those particular situations then it might have been easier to absorb since it almost felt like a bunch of facts were being picked out and read for the class. It was in a sense more informational rather than interpretive. There was a section in the article that mentioned that a U.S. spokesperson in Manila stated that the US distinguished Philipino Amerasians from others because they didn’t actually suffer discrimination which is untrue. An article in the Time Magazine even stated that Amerasians in Japan and the Philippines have obtained some sort of positive benefits even from their hybrid beauty. This suggests that we as the United States don’t really have to help these people because they are doing even better than just fine. However, that is not the case as those children do in fact face discrimination because of their mixed race.
In the article, Contemporary Vietnam: Political Opportunities, Conservative Formal Politics, and Patterns of Radical Change, the presenter did not really have much to say about the article. His presentation was very short and I believe, three sentences? I in fact as well have attempted several times to read it and honestly, have not gleaned much from it other than the fact that I didn’t really understand it. I know that it’s about villages and Communism and such and their voting practices and how they don’t really want to change or are resistant to change even though they have to.
In the article, China and Vietnam: Managing an Asymmetric Relationship in the Era of Economic Uncertainty the presenter I believe did the best job out of the three presentation-wise. He was able to explain very well about the issues that Vietnam was having from being too entirely dependent on China for imports while barely exporting much of their own goods and therefore building an overall debt. He discussed how delicate the situation was and how China does not really even care about Vietnam and is basically just using them right now. I think his presentation was very coherent and I felt like I was able to understand the overall point of his article without feeling confused. I also like how he tied everything in to politics rather than it just being an article on a topic. Overall the presentations were decent, but the one I felt that I took away most from was the 3rd presentation. 

Melissa Cheng  

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