Model Minority Discourse and Asian American Jouis-Sense

Model Minority Discourse and Asian American Jouis-Sense d i f f e r e n c e s choice. The student of Chinese American literature is fortunate that Edith made the choice to tell the truth. (65) Wong’s “truth” is, to quote Slavoj Zizek, “a traumatic, senseless injunction.” Zizek’s analysis of how ideology makes its subjects for its own autonomous purposes illuminates how a central discourse in Asian American cultural criticism is dedicated to the production of Asian American ethnicity as a sublime and socially futile object. This object initiates a discourse, a model minority discourse, that animates Asian American cultural criticism, despite its belief that it resists “mainstream” cultural ideology. One of the central flaws of the “good” versus “bad” sister discourse about the Eaton sisters is the inability of the ethnic nationalist criticism that is invested in it to confront the capitalism of its own logic. This logic emerges in yearnings such as Wong’s for an ethnic singularity that can provide a bounded sense of coherence and “truth” to the discipline. When this quest for ideal and singular ethnic capital encounters the Eaton sisters, the result is the distortion of their complex, hybrid lives as Canadian-raised “Eurasians of mixed ancestry.” By what standard http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png differences: A Journal of Feminist Cultural Studies Duke University Press

Model Minority Discourse and Asian American Jouis-Sense

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Publisher
Duke University Press
Copyright
Copyright 1999 by Brown University and differences: A Journal of Feminist Cultural Studies
ISSN
1040-7391
eISSN
1527-1986
DOI
10.1215/10407391-11-2-228
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

d i f f e r e n c e s choice. The student of Chinese American literature is fortunate that Edith made the choice to tell the truth. (65) Wong’s “truth” is, to quote Slavoj Zizek, “a traumatic, senseless injunction.” Zizek’s analysis of how ideology makes its subjects for its own autonomous purposes illuminates how a central discourse in Asian American cultural criticism is dedicated to the production of Asian American ethnicity as a sublime and socially futile object. This object initiates a discourse, a model minority discourse, that animates Asian American cultural criticism, despite its belief that it resists “mainstream” cultural ideology. One of the central flaws of the “good” versus “bad” sister discourse about the Eaton sisters is the inability of the ethnic nationalist criticism that is invested in it to confront the capitalism of its own logic. This logic emerges in yearnings such as Wong’s for an ethnic singularity that can provide a bounded sense of coherence and “truth” to the discipline. When this quest for ideal and singular ethnic capital encounters the Eaton sisters, the result is the distortion of their complex, hybrid lives as Canadian-raised “Eurasians of mixed ancestry.” By what standard

Journal

differences: A Journal of Feminist Cultural StudiesDuke University Press

Published: Jan 1, 1999

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