Monday, May 6, 2013

Eddie Truong - Week 5

In Transnationalizing Viet Nam: Community, Culture, and Politics in the Diaspora by Caroline Kieu-Linh Valverde, Valverde discusses the political controversy of the business district renaming process that led to the recall election of Councilmember Madison Nguyen. One of the theories that Valverde brings up is the idea of the ownership of Madison's gender collectively shared by the Vietnamese American community, the basic idea that the female gender is owned by the patriarch. Valverde reveals how the Vietnamese American community feels that her body and gender is collectively owned by all, as the "child of the community".

This discussion of gender politics brings up an interesting point that I have also observed in the Vietnamese American community. Valverde brings up the point that this sense of familial and gender ownership is brought up by Confucian ideals, that children are to submit to their parents. I have also seen how this idea is also translated into male children submitting to the elders of the community, young men who are set to become future leaders of the community are subjected to this sense of collective ownership of the person. In my own experience, I have also been subjected to this form of social control and I am seeing this in action once again in Valverde's chapter.

Discussion Question: What are some forms of community social control that you are aware of or have observed?

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