cover of book

Cultural Compass
by Martin Manalansan
Temple University Press, 2000
Cloth: 978-1-56639-772-8 | Paper: 978-1-56639-773-5
Library of Congress Classification E184.O6C85 2000
Dewey Decimal Classification 305.895073

Cultural Compass re-writes the space of Asian Americans. Through innovative studies of community politics, gender, family and sexual relations, cultural events, and other sites central to the formation of ethnic and citizen identity, contributors reconfigure ethnography according to Asian American experiences in the United States. In these eleven essays, scholars in anthropology, sociology, ethnic studies, and Asian American studies reconsider traditional models for ethnographic research.

Drawing upon recent theoretical discussions and methodological innovations, the contributors explore the construction and displacement of self, community, and  home integral to Asian American cultural journeys in the late twentieth century. Some discuss the  unique situation of doing ethnographic work "at home" -- that is researching one's own ethnic group or another group with Asian America. Others draw on rich and diverse field experiences. Whether they are doing homework or fieldwork, contributors reflect on the ways that particular matters of identity -- gender, class, sexuality, ethnicity, age -- play out between researchers and informants. Individual essays and the book as a whole challenge the notion of a monolithic, spatially bounded Asian American community, pointing the way to multiple sites of political struggle, cultural critique, and social change.
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