By Lavina Dhingra Shankar, Rajini Srikanth
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Extra resources for A part, yet apart: South Asians in Asian America
In a sense, the activists of the late 1960s were pioneers who began the process of reversing gross errors of terminology and belief by establishing the term "Asian American" and bequeathing to it a specific legacy. To seize the essentializing terminology of the majority culture as applied to one's minority group, and to transform it into a label of power involves at least two stages: first, replacing the pejorative or incorrect label with a self-chosen name (as happened when "Negro" and worse names were replaced by "black," and then by "African American"), and second, Page 4 assuming that self-articulated label as a badge of pride, describing the group's historical and cultural foundations and asserting its unique identity.
04914 subject : South Asian Americans. 48-1984 Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data A part, yet apart : South Asians in Asian America / edited by Lavina Dhingra Shankar and Rajini Srikanth, p. cm. (Asian American history and culture) Includes bibliographical references. paper). Series. 04914dc21 97-38354 CIP Page v CONTENTS Acknowledgments vii Foreword: South Asian Identity in Asian America Rajiv Shankar ix Introduction: Closing the Gap? South Asians Challenge Asian American Studies Lavina Dhingra Shankar and Rajini Srikanth 1 I.
It includes two essays dealing with the problematic aspects of names and "identitarian" labels. Deepika Bahri, in her essay "With Kaleidoscope Eyes: The (Potential) Dangers of Identitarian Coalitions," discusses the role of history and memory in the formation of names and identities. She investigates the term "Asia" itself before scrutinizing the term ''Asian American," and reminds us of the differences among Asians in Asia as well as among Asians in America. She insists that coalitions cannot be haphazardly formed, however well-intentioned their aims, and cautions against collective memories that erase "cracks and fissures" and simplistically close gaps between disparate groups.
A part, yet apart: South Asians in Asian America by Lavina Dhingra Shankar, Rajini Srikanth