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Flexible Citizenship

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Xiaodi Zhou

on 14 April 2014

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Transcript of Flexible Citizenship

Book Review of
Flexible Citizenship

Flexible Citizenship: The Cultural Logics of Transnationality
Written by Aihwa Ong

Cultural knowledge


Key Quotes
Author: Aihwa Ong

Ch 5
: Family Romance of Mandarin Capital- position of the transnational Chinese identity in SE Asia
Ch 6
: The Struggle for Global Visibility- rise of Chinese middle class has expanded global visibility
Ch 7
: Saying No to the West-
globalization pitting Asia & West as adversaries, so "no" to Western democracy/capitalism too (less neoliberal/more welfare)
Ch 8
: Zones of New Sovereignty- religion & capitalism as saviors/preservers of SE Asian splendor.
Key Quotes

But by taking in a defensive posture in being ‘real’ Americans, they unwittingly reinforce the public perception of Asian Americans as ‘foreigners within’” (p.180)
“modernization and economic development neither require nor produce cultural westernization (but) a renewed commitment to, indigenous cultures” (p.192)
Southeastern Asia settings
Author's multiple Perspectives
Interweaving Dialectic of Concepts
Closing Comments
Flexible Citizenship: Practice of “refugees and business migrants who work in one location while their families lodged in ‘safe havens’ elsewhere” (p.214)
Asian Liberalism: more welfare sys of “caring-society” (p.196): stability through bureaucratic benevolence.
What is the global place for SE Asia in this era of transnationalism?

SE Asia is fraught with ethnic, racial, and socioeconomic tensions as a meltingpot of languages and cultures. It is an interesting setting and contact zone to study immigration, and the impact of globalization. (Skerrett, 2012)
Professor of anthropology at UC Berkeley (1984-present)
Chair of US National Committee for Pacific Science Association (2009-2011)
Special research interest:
Sociocultural anthropology
Modernity & Globalization
Transnationalism, Citizenship, & Immigration
Southeast Asia, China, contemporary U.S.
LLED 8045 Book Review Project
Xiaodi Zhou & Ying Cui
Aihwa Ong
Born in Penang, Malaysia to a Straits Chinese family (Aihwa=Ai Hua)
Attended Barnard College, where she received her B.A in anthropology (honors, 1974).
Dr. Aihwa Ong at the UBC Center for Cross Faculty Inquiry

Worlding Cities: Pied-A-Terre Subjects
African expats find success in China
Research perhaps outdated (1999)
External validity problems
: arguments against three models that attempt to theorize “migrations, diasporas, and other transnational flows” (p.8)

: the discursive production of “a distinctive Chinese modernity linked to overseas Chinese” (36).

Ch 3-4
: An analysis of the economic and cultural strategies of the huaqiao (flexible citizenship, the overseas Chinese business elite)
Overseas Chinese have same language and same ancestral stock; they are like the married-out-daughter who still has feelings for home. (p.65)
Feng Shui
Recent arrivals from non-Western countries are expected to enter at the bottom of the socioeconomic ladder and wait their proper turn to reach middle-class status. (p. 100)
Chocolate City in Guangzhou
Graduate with a PhD in anthropology from Columbia University in 1982.
Full transcript