The American Dream in Vietnamese (Paperback)
Lieu examines how live music variety shows and videos, beauty pageants, and Web sites created by and for Vietnamese Americans contributed to the shaping of their cultural identity. She shows how popular culture forms repositories for conflicting expectations of assimilation, cultural preservation, and invention, alongside gendered and classed dimensions of ethnic and diasporic identity.
The American Dream in Vietnamese demonstrates how the circulation of images manufactured by both Americans and Vietnamese immigrants serves to produce these immigrants’ paradoxical desires. Within these desires and their representations, Lieu finds the dramatization of the community’s struggle to define itself against the legacy of the refugee label, a classification that continues to pathologize their experiences in American society.
"Nhi T. Lieu insightfully demonstrates how important popular culture is to the self-fasionioning of Vietnamese Americans. Her groundbreaking book validates what many Vietnamese Americans demonstrate in their everyday lives: that the pursuit of leisure and the rituals of entertainment are as crucial to community formation as political advancement and economic empowerment." —Viet Thanh Nguyen, author of Race and Resistance: Literature and Politics in Asian America