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Southeast Asian Refugees and Immigrants in the Mill City
Changing Families, Communities, Institutions — Thirty Years Afterward
Tuyet-Lan Pho, ed.; Jeffrey N. Gerson, ed.; Sylvia Cowan, ed.

2008 • 250 pp. 14 ht, 2 ls 6 x 9"
Immigration / Asian-American Studies

$50.00 Hardcover, 978-1-58465-662-3

Southeast Asian Refugees and Immigrants in the Mill City offers a welcome addition to a growing multidisciplinary literature on new immigrants to New England. The volume . . . offers an extremely valuable... [continued in Reviews below]”—New England Quarterly

Original, interdisciplinary essays highlight the pain, struggles, and victories of Southeast Asian refugees and immigrants in a mid-sized New England city

This timely volume examines the influx immigrants from Southeast Asia to Lowell, Massachusetts, over the past thirty or so years. Numbering about 20,000 people—a very significant one-fifth of the city’s population—these are primarily refugees and their offspring who fled genocide, war, and oppression in Cambodia, Laos, and Vietnam in the late 1970s and resettled in the United States. The Lowell experience is representative of a truly national phenomenon: communities in Long Beach, Orange County, and San Diego, California; Seattle, Washington; Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota; Houston and Dallas, Texas; New Orleans, Louisiana; Northern Virginia; and Southern Florida have experienced similar population growth.

The historical and contemporary essays chronicle the formidable efforts of Lowell’s Southeast Asian community to recreate itself and its identity amid poverty, discrimination, and pressures to assimilate.
They also examine the transformation that has occurred of both newcomers and the community at large.
This process provides opportunities for growth but also challenges past practices in the city and state. In this volume, contributors approach the subject from points of view rooted in anthropology, political science, economics, sociology, education, and community psychology. Their work contributes to a broader understanding of U.S. refugee policy, migration, identity and group formation, political adaptation, social acculturation, and community conflict—major issues today in New England and the nation.

Click here for TABLE OF CONTENTS

Reviews / Endorsements

"Southeast Asian Refugees and Immigrants in the Mill City offers a welcome addition to a growing multidisciplinary literature on new immigrants to New England. The volume . . . offers an extremely valuable . . . attempt to document the growth and experiences of Lowell's newest immigrants, and as such, it opens the door to what one can only hope will be an outpouring of new studies . . . " New England Quarterly

"Researchers, policymakers, and students should find these readings helpful for learning about an understudied and underserved population. These chapters would be a welcoming surprise to the great majority of Americans that do not yet recognize the different histories and circumstances of Southeast Asians living in the United States. As a teaching tool, this volume is valuable reading for courses in ethnic studies, education, anthropology, and sociology. For scholars, I hope that this volume incites future work in the dynamic field of Southeast Asian American studies.
Though these chapters represent a diverse range of topics and disciplinary perspectives, the underlying theme of this collection has been how Southeast Asian families negotiate their hopes and concerns in pursuit of their American dream."
Journal of Southeast Asian American Education & Advancement

"This work is among the first to assess the experience of late twentieth century Southeast Asian immigration. It approaches the topic from a variety of disciplines, in a variety of styles. Some chapters are theoretical with only loose ties to the Lowell theme, while others are specific to the city. Some deal with Asian Americans; others deal with Khmer, Lao, or specific ethnicities within the catchall "Asian American" category. Each chapter, however, adds a unique perspective to our overall understanding of the impact of the city on the immigrants and the immigrants on the city. The collection is well done and deserves a wide audience, lay and scholarly alike."—Historical Journal of Massachusetts

“The story of the Southeast Asians of Lowell, Massachusetts, which includes the second-largest Cambodian community in the United States, is fraught with pain, complexity, conflicts, and, at times, triumphs. This ambitious volume through interdisciplinary lenses advances our understanding of not only this New England mill city and its Asian residents, but also touches upon universal themes—the search for identity and community, the meaning of home, the persistence of racism and nativism, and the perseverance of a proud people in the face of daunting adversities.”—Paul Watanabe, Director, Institute for Asian American Studies, and Professor, Political Science, University of Massachusetts Boston

"Putting Lowell’s Southeast Asian American community under the microscope, this multidisciplinary volume brings together a fascinatingly rich and diverse set of scholarship and perspectives only concerned and well-connected insiders can offer. Filled with little known specifics such as civic engagement opportunities in a Buddhist temple, contrasting ideas on the value of education and economic development, and the complex relationships among homeland politics, power relations, and religion, the book provides not only a uniquely long and systematic examination of the adaptation and transformation experiences of refugee immigrants but also honest assessments and practical options for policy makers."—Pei-te Lien Associate Professor of Political Science and Ethnic Studies Program, University of Utah

TUYET-LAN PHO is Director Emerita of the Center for Diversity and Pluralism at the University of Massachusetts, Lowell. She studies the experiences of Southeast Asians in the United States and has written extensively on Southeast Asian youth and education. JEFFREY N. GERSON is Associate Professor of Political Science at the University of Massachusetts, Lowell. His most recent book (co-edited) is Latino Politics in Massachusetts (2002). SYLVIA R. COWAN is Associate Professor and Program Director for the Intercultural Relations Program in the Graduate School of Arts and Social Science at Lesley University. She is researching the experiences of expatriate Cambodians who have returned to their homeland.

Mon, 18 Jun 2018 11:55:36 -0500