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cwa297 at cwa297 at
Sun May 27 19:22:00 UTC 2001

Thank you so much to all who responded to my query about literature relevant to
the experience of the Thai-Filipina American student who grew up learning
little of her parents' background/first languages.  I received a great set of
responses - email lists can be such a wonderful resource!  Below is a summary
of responses.

Christina Wasson

From: Kerim Friedman
There is a nice, if complex, short book (probably from a lecture) by Derrida
called "The Monolingualism of the Other." I enjoyed this piece very much and I
hope your student will as well.

From: Cynthia Dunn
This may not be exactly what Christina is looking for, but there is a study
by Rubin 1992 ("Nonlanguage factors affecting undergraduates' judgments of
nonnative English-speaking teaching assistants."  Research in Higher
Education 33: 511-31).  Undergrads were played a tape recorded lecture and
shown a picture of either a White woman or an Asian woman.  Some percentage
of those who saw the Asian picture reported that the speaker had a foreign
accent-- there was no such perception among students who heard the same tape
with the White picture.  The really scary thing is that not only did
students who saw the picture of the Asian perceive the speaker as having an
accent-- but they also did worse on a comprehension test of the lecture
material.  Perceived foreigness of the instructor made them learn less

From: "k. terumi shorb"
one book which is a very "non-academic" look at multiple identity, etc is
"half & half" edited by claudine chiawei o'hearn. although the main focus
of this book is on biracial people, some of the essays (the one by le thi
diem thuy, for instance) speaks to the language issue and the other social
issues surrounding that.

From: "Bridget Hayden"
Twine, France W. 1996 Brown Skinned White Girls: Class, Culture and the
Construction of White Identity in Suburban Communities. Gender, Place and
Culture 3(2):205-4.
She might find some of the anthologies that think through the experience of
race, class, ethnicity and gender useful.  For example: Names We Call Home
(Thompson and Tyagi, eds.), Race, Class, and Gender (Anderson, Hill Collins
eds.), Making Face, Making Soul (Anzaldua, ed.)

From: "John J. Attinasi"
i've used the following with interesting comments from Asian students of many
differenct experiences.
Kim, U. and Choi, S. (1994). Individualism, Collectivism, and Child
Development: A Korean Perspective. In Greenfield, P. and Cocking, R. (Eds.).
Cross-Cultural Roots of Minority Child Development. Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.

From: Jennifer Ho
This past semester I taught a course at Mount Holyoke
College on Asian American coming-of-age narratives in
which the seminar members discussed issues of identity
formation, both in the text and in their personal
lives (3/4 of the students were from Asian Ameirican
backgrounds--many were mixed, either inter-ethnically
like your student or inter-racially).  The syllabus
for my class can be found on my course website: -- I have found that one
way for students to address these questions can be
found in Asian American literature, where often their
experiences become mirrored in the stories of the
protagonists.  Also, I have two pages with Asian
American resources, textual and internet based, that
may provide your student with additional readings
related to Asian American identity.

From: Elaine Chun
Mary Bucholtz's interesting article on passing comes to mind, though it may
not be entirely relevant to your student's situation.  She discusses how
ethnically ambiguous (ethnically "mixed") women actively construct their
identities through their language choices despite identity ascriptions that
others may impose.  Here's the citation:
Bucholtz, Mary.  1994.  From Mulatta to Mestiza: Passing and the linguistic
reshaping of ethnic identity.  In Kira Hall and Mary Bucholtz (eds.).
pp.351-373. Gender Articulated: Language and the socially constructed self.
New York: Routledge.

From: Maria-Luisa Achino-Loeb
A similar situation is described by Ronald Takaki in the first few pages of
his book A Different Mirror [a good read re: these issues].  In fact he uses
a cab driver's surprise at Takaki's not having an accent as springboard for
this book on the "racialization" of difference.

From: "Joe Montano"
Here is a book which might be helpful for the student who grew up in the US w/
Thai & Filipina parents.
Coming Full Circle: The Process of Decolonization among Post-1965 Filipino
Americans, by Leny Mendoza Strobel.  A Giraffe Book.  Quezon City, Philippines.
You may acquire it from Arkipelago Books on 953 Mission St (at Mint Mall) in
San Francisco. For more information, call 415/371-8150 or email at
miromero at

>From: Rajini Srikanth
>I don't know about sociological or psychological material, but Richard
>Rodriguez's Hunger of Memory speaks precisely to the issue described in the
>email. He was discouraged from speaking Spanish so that he could become more
>fully "assimilated," and he talks about the effects of that severance from
>Spanish with great eloquence. David Mura's Turning Japanese may also be
>relevant. Meena Alexander's Fault Lines also addresses how English forced
>Malayalam out of her consciousness.

>From: Shilpa Dave
>There's also two very good essays in MAKING MORE WAVES entitled "The
>Presence of Lite Spam" and "Hambun, Hambun."  The first one talks about
>U.S. cultural imperialism in Hawaii including a segment on standard
>English and the second is in regards to the census and how one checks
>which box for identity.

From: lucy burns
i'm not exactly sure what kind of lit you're looking for but you might suggest
Her Wild American Self to your student, as well as Brown River White Ocean.

From: Janice Motoike
There are multiple issues that potentially impact such an individual
related to identity development: Stereotypes, racial identity
development, ethnic identity, and multiracial identity development.
Maria Root probably is the most widely read researcher on multiracial
individuals in America.  Jean Phinney has done a lot of research in the
area of ethnic identity, esp. w/Latinos.  Racial identity development
originated with African American psychologists, but Kohatsu et al (2000)
may have something on racial identity development in Asian Americans.
Sorry this is so vague.  Root & Phinney both have a body of research that
you can probably get from PsycInfo.

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