How do people handle contrasting self-conceptions? Do they necessarily compartmentalize personal lives from professional lives? Do minority and immigrant groups, in particular, act "ethnic" at home, "American" at work, "racial" in pan-ethnic spaces? Managing Multicultural Lives moves past this common assumption and demonstrates how minorities actually bring together contrasting identities.
Using the words and experiences of Indian American and Korean American professionals themselves, Pawan Dhingra eloquently shows how people break down the popular "margins vs. mainstream" conception of group identity and construct a "lived hybridity." He offers new insight into minorities' experiences at work, home, and leisure and in civil society. These Asian Americans' ability to handle group boundaries fluidly leads them to both resist and support stratified social patterns. It also indicates new, more nuanced understandings of immigrant adaptation, multiculturalism, and identity management that pertain to multiple types of immigrant groups.
About the Author: Pawan Dhingra is Assistant Professor of Sociology and Comparative American Studies at Oberlin College
Pawan Dhingra is Associate Professor of Sociology at Oberlin College and Museum Curator (2011-2012) at the Smithsonian Institution.
Table of Contents
Acknowledgments ix Introduction: Opening Up the Margins in the Mainstream 1 Uncovering Asian Americans: Examining Korean Americans and Indian Americans in Texas 16 Growing Up Takes (Identity) Work: Developing Ethnic Identities 44 Model Americans and Minorities: Racial Identities and Responses to Racism 84 Multiculturalism on the Job: The Work Domain 124 Aspiring to Authenticity: The Home Domain 157 Becoming Cultural Citizens: The Leisure and Civil Society Domains 189 Conclusion: Reconciling Identities, Recognizing Constraints 226 Questions 253 Notes 259 Bibliography 285 Index 309