Saturday, June 2, 2012

Week 9 Reflection: Transnationalism

Linda Phan
ASA 150E
Week 9 Reflection
Week 9 Refection: Transnationalism
       The presentation this week was on transnationalism. Trieu’s presentation was about Chinese and Vietnamese relations, my presentation was about Vietnamese variety shows, Justin’s presentation was about queer Vietnamese men, and Melissa’s was about Confucianism.
       Trieu’s presentation was surprising since I would have expected his presentation be more about the United States rather than about China and Vietnam. While I understand that his presentation still related to transnationalism, I felt that it was a bit out of the scope of our class since we are mainly focusing on Southeast Asian Americans. He gave mainly historical background and did not really go into depth about his research project. I felt that if he had talked more about his actual research project, the class could have provided better feedback to help him write his paper.  I was confused as to why he chose this particular topic to present/research on since he did not explain his personal connection to it. To improve on his presentation, I would suggest that Trieu focus more on his research project.
       My presentation was about family relations in the context of Vietnamese Variety shows. I explained what the topic was, my personal connection to it that spurred me to do my research, methodology, results, and discussion/conclusion. I am biased since I am personally connected to my research but I can understand that all of my stats that I put on the powerpoint could be considered as overwhelming and a bit dry and confusing. The most confusing aspect about my presentation would be the answers by two respondents of my survey who gave conflicting answers. Had I anticipated the potential for confusion, I would have dealt with them in a manner that would clarify more. Overall, I think I did a pretty decent job at presenting since there were few questions about my research.
       Justin’s presentation was about a Vietnamese movie that dealt with sexual preferences. His presentation was relatively clear to me since I had already seen the movie beforehand and could understand the context of his conclusions. Justin had a lot of say and it was pretty overwhelming to hear so many ideas at once without having time to digest it. It was pretty interesting since I did not actually analyze the movie in depth when I watched it. I agree with Professor Valverde that Justin has a lot of ideas that could easily be expanded so he should pick his favorite topic and really go indepth about it in his paper. I did find that his background information at the beginning of his presentation about Cuoi and the female prostitute was pretty irrelevant to his overall presentation because it was not mentioned again and not essential.
       Melissa’s presentation was about Confucian values between Vietnamese Nationals and Vietnamese Americans. This topic is very relevant in the lives of Vietnamese women and girls today because in a dynamic society, values either must adapt to the changing times or become more and more irrelevant. Since many Confucian values conflict with a more liberal American one, Vietnamese women who are raised in the United States have a hard time adhering to them when they are so exposed to conflicting values. I though the example about Hanoi where girls are growing more sexually active before marriage and found that interesting since Vietnam has been “opening” itself to the West over the past 50 years or so and has subsequently felt American culture; in the U.S., adolescents exhibit more sexual behavior.


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  2. Unfortunately Trieu did not talk about his real topic which actually was about Vietnamese American attitudes about China. He simply spent too much time on the historical background even though I suggested against it. As mentioned in class, you should also survey about how close the respondents feel they are to their family from 1-10. You can then ask do you think the time you spent with your family watching variety shows brought you closer to your parents, from 1-10. You can even ask how much do they think their understanding of Vietnamese culture comes from variety shows from 1-10. -Prof. Valverde 4/4