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Part of the Critical America series.


  • Dilemma.
  • Asian Americans, Law, and the Nation-State?
  • F Is For Phony: Fake Documentary And TruthS Undoing (Visible Evidence)!

Does "Asian American" denote an ethnic or racial identification? What does it mean to refer to first generation Hmong refugees and fifth generation Chinese Americans both as Asian American?

Robert S. Chang, Disoriented: Asian Americans, Law

Asian Americans, Law, and the Nation State , Robert Chang examines the current discourse on race and law and the implications of postmodern theory and affirmative action-all of which have largely excluded Asian Americans-in order to develop a theory of critical Asian American legal studies. Demonstrating that the ongoing debate surrounding multiculturalism and immigration in the U.


  • Sociocultural Contexts of Language and Literacy.
  • Disoriented: Asian Americans, Law, and the Nation-State?
  • Disoriented.
  • Library Menu?
  • The Marble Faun;
  • THE SCRIPTURE DOCTRINE OF PARTICULAR REDEMPTION, STATED AND VINDICATED: IN FOUR SERMONS.

New York University Press is proud to make many of our titles available in eBook editions. Chang succeeds admirably with both these audiences.

Robert S. Chang, Disoriented: Asian Americans, Law

Chang's presentation is divided into three sections, each with several chapters. The first section, "A Meditation on Borders," engages two themes: Chang re-situates these themes within legal as well as cultural studies. In recent years, important contributions to Asian American studies by authors like Lisa Lowe, Sucheng Chan, and others have re-interpreted statutes and court cases which affected Asian Americans. Chang reverses the direction in his book, using cultural studies in his legal analysis. He first notes that the Supreme Court decisions of Ozawa and Thind established the juridical racial construction of Asians.

He then turns to popular culture, examining two films, Birth of a Nation and The Cheat to describe racial-sexual policing of boundaries within the American national family. He concludes this opening chapter by returning to a legal case, the murder of Vincent Chin. This trajectory challenges traditional legal understandings of acceptable materials for legal deliberations. He explains that unlike the traditional juridical treatment of the border-an imagined line-in-the-sand-there is an important cultural construction of the border within the law.

And the boundaries of this legal-cultural border are not limited to geographical constructions.

See a Problem?

He describes the resistance to efforts to open traditional legal studies to Asian American and critical perspectives, and then presents a legal, narrative account of Asian America. This account is best understood as divided between his two audiences. But within the legal academy, this is an account that is notable in its absence. In recent years there have been published in law reviews some accounts of the treatment of Asian Americans.

Additional Information

Chang himself notes in his introduction that a simple response would be to include narratives of the excluded. Instead of accommodation, however, the response of the legal academy has been resistance. Chapter 4, with the understated title, "Narrative Space," is Chang's response to this steadfast refusal to allow use of narrative in anything other than forms already recognized. That traditional legal discourse is inculcated in American law schools, practiced in American courts, and staunchly defended by the legal academy.

Asian-American Contributions to the United States: Authors & Film Producers - Iris Chang (1999)

Chang then goes on to use legal materials as the skeletal framework for his narrative account of Asian America. Chang avoids use of the term Asian American history. His goal is not to present historical narrative, but to disrupt standard legal discourse.