By Pamela Thoma
A quantity within the American Literatures Initiative.
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Additional info for Asian American Women's Popular Literature: Feminizing Genres and Neoliberal Belonging
While the destabilization of citizenship under neoliberalism has had exclusionary effects for Asian American women, it has also paradoxically enabled a new level of visibility for belonging because it requires public “evidence” of Asian American women’s adherence to the market fundamentalism of neoliberalism that has pervaded social life and thought and come to define Americanness. 45 Reading Neoliberalism in Asian American Women’s Popular Literature Asian American Women’s Popular Literature is indebted to a critical tradition in the study of Asian American women’s literature and Asian American feminism that cautiously employs “Asian American women,” deploying it as a mediated category of identity.
54 With the understanding that popular culture is a fundamental site of struggle and a primary site for the production of citizen-subjects and citizenship discourses in the United States, I situate textual analyses within contemporary social life in the United States, identifying how the specific mandates of “good citizenship” as defined by neoliberal marketplace values may be manifest and to what extent popular genres may be characteristically neoliberal. Reading less for character development, psychological interiority, and unlimited rereading than for the denotative and connotative meanings of the language of the marketplace, this study maps the symbolic and semiotic representation of neoliberalism.
Recontextualizing Asian American mother-daughter narratives within the constraints of neoliberal belonging, this chapter’s analysis of 40â•‡ /â•‡ asian american mother-daughter narrative Patti Kim’s A Cab Called Reliable (1997) and Lan Cao’s Monkey Bridge (1997) starts with the premise that to claim full citizenship in the United States, female subjects, and especially women of color who are distanced from power, are compelled to participate in bourgeois motherhood. As importantly, women must publically display their cultural alignment with neoliberal values through producing and/or consuming transformation narratives about bourgeois motherhood, or updated fantasies of the American Dream, such as Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother.
Asian American Women's Popular Literature: Feminizing Genres and Neoliberal Belonging by Pamela Thoma