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The Color of SuccessAsian Americans and the Origins of the Model Minority$
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Ellen D. Wu

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780691157825

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691157825.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM PRINCETON SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.princeton.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Princeton University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in PRSO for personal use.date: 18 September 2021

How American Are We?

How American Are We?

(p.43) Chapter 2 How American Are We?
The Color of Success

Ellen D. Wu

Princeton University Press

This chapter illustrates how the experience of World War II was very different for Japanese and Chinese Americans. Configured as enemy aliens, Nikkei endured mass removal, internment, the effective nullification of their citizenship, and a coercive dispersal. Whereas the Chinese enjoyed sounder social footing as a result of their real and presumed ties to China, the United States' partner in the Pacific War against Japan. For all these disparities, however, war mobilization impacted Japanese and Chinese American lives in comparable ways. Most fundamentally for both groups, geopolitical forces opened up novel opportunities for national belonging. Encouraged by the outpouring of wartime racial liberal sentiment, Chinese Americans, especially the native-born cohorts just coming of age, asked new questions and desired new answers about life in the United States.

Keywords:   World War II, Chinese Americans, Japanese Americans, Nikkei, war mobilization, Pacific War, national belonging, racial liberal sentiment

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