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Home Bound

Filipino American Lives across Cultures, Communities, and Countries

Yen Le Espiritu (Author)

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Filipino Americans, who experience life in the United States as immigrants, colonized nationals, and racial minorities, have been little studied, though they are one of our largest immigrant groups. Based on her in-depth interviews with more than one hundred Filipinos in San Diego, California, Yen Le Espiritu investigates how Filipino women and men are transformed through the experience of migration, and how they in turn remake the social world around them. Her sensitive analysis reveals that Filipino Americans confront U.S. domestic racism and global power structures by living transnational lives that are shaped as much by literal and symbolic ties to the Philippines as they are by social, economic, and political realities in the United States.

Espiritu deftly weaves vivid first-person narratives with larger social and historical contexts as she discovers the meaning of home, community, gender, and intergenerational relations among Filipinos. Among other topics, she explores the ways that female sexuality is defined in contradistinction to American mores and shows how this process becomes a way of opposing racial subjugation in this country. She also examines how Filipinos have integrated themselves into the American workplace and looks closely at the effects of colonialism.

1. Home Making
2. Leaving Home: Filipino Migration/Return to the United States
3. "Positively No Filipinos Allowed": Differential Inclusion and Homelessness
4. Mobile Homes: Lives across Borders
5. Making Home: Building Communities in a Navy Town
6. Home, Sweet Home: Work and Changing Family Relations
7. "We Don’t Sleep Around Like White Girls Do": The Politics of Home and Location
8. "What of the Children?": Emerging Homes and Identities
9. Homes, Borders, and Possibilities

Yen Le Espiritu is Professor of Ethnic Studies at the University of California, San Diego. She is the author of, most recently, Asian American Women and Men: Labor, Laws, and Love (1997).
“Espiritu has captured the poignancy of those immigrants who came looking for opportunity to fulfill their dreams, only to be denied at every level of society.”—M. P. Onorato, Emeritus, California State University - Fullerton Choice: Current Reviews For Academic Libraries
“Discusses Filipino immigrants in San Diego and how they use their memories of their country to construct a new home in the United States.”—Chronicle Of Higher Education
"Home Bound is the very sort of theoretically innovative and empirically grounded work that scholars . . . come to expect from Yen Le Espiritu. Clearly a book that will have a substantial and lasting effect in various social science and interdisciplinary fields . . . and the insightful concepts she develops."—Jonathan Y. Okamira Journal Of Intl Migration & Integration
“Both poignant and provocative, theoretical and textual. More than a history of Filipino American migrations and experiences, rather it attempts to chart a new course of the scholarly study of immigration.”—James A. Tyner Southern California Qtly
“Well researched and lucidly written.”—Judy Yung Western Historical Qtly
"In this highly original and inspired book, Espiritu bursts the binaries and shows us how the tensions of race, gender, nation, and colonial legacies situate contemporary transnationalism. Conceptually rich and empirically grounded, Home Bound blurs the borders of sociology and cultural studies like no other book I know. Kudos to Espiritu for this boundary-breaking tour de force!"—Pierrette Hondagneu-Sotelo, author of Domestica: Cleaning and Caring in the Shadows of Affluence

"A singular achievement. Not only does it cast light on the deep historical entanglements of immigration and imperialism, citizenship and race, and gender and subjectivity in the United States, but by highlighting the varied voices of Filipino Americans, it also calls attention to their creative potential to make a home under some of the most inhospitable conditions. Theoretically rich, empirically grounded, and lucidly written, this book marks a major advance in our attempts to understand the 'specter of migration' haunting the world today."—Vicente L. Rafael, author of White Love and Other Events in Filipino History

"Home Bound combines excellent ethnography of the Filipino experience in the U.S. with a brilliant and devastating critique of traditional scholarship on immigration. Espiritu's analysis of how the vectors of identity articulate with one another is particularly cutting-edge."—Sarah J. Mahler, author of American Dreaming: Immigrant Life on the Margins

"Using a critical transnational, feminist, and historical perspective, Espiritu insightfully and sensitively analyzes the meaning of home, community, friendship, love, and family for Filipino Americans. In the process, she unveils what these immigrants can tell us about gender, race, politics, economics, and culture in the United States today."—Diane L. Wolf, author of Factory Daughters: Gender, Household Dynamics, and Rural Industrialization in Java

"Espiritu makes an outstanding contribution to our appreciation of the dynamics of immigrant cultures within the political economy of transnationalism."—Lisa Lowe, author of Immigrant Acts: On Asian American Cultural Politics

Thomas and Znaniecki Disntinguished Book Award, American Sociological Association

AAAS Book Award, Association for Asian American Studies

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