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A Feeling of Belonging: Asian American Women's Public Culture, 1930-1960 (American History and Culture) Hardcover – December 1, 2005

ISBN-13: 978-0814751930 ISBN-10: 0814751938

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Editorial Reviews


"In this book, Shirley Jennifer Lim argues that scholars too foten conflate "agency" with overt--or at least convert--oppostition to the status quo. Lim seeks to demostrate a more nuanced application of the terms, one in which Asian American women do not merely mimic their majority counterparts in an effort to gain acceptance but rather adapt their behavioral patterns and institutions in ways that make sense within an Asian American context."
-George Anthony Peffer,American Historical Review

A Feeling of Belonging yields fresh insights into Asian American women's participation in U.S. popular culture. Drawing on a rich array of sources, Shirley Lim illuminates young women's efforts to claim citizenship and gain access to social and economic opportunities, whether in the 1930s film industry or ethnic beauty pageants of the Cold War era. Her study highlights both the emergence of Asian American women as significant symbolic representatives of their communities and the complexities they faced in fulfilling this role.”
-Valerie Matsumoto,UCLA

“Offering imaginative interpretations, Lim’s work brings to the fore the everyday acts Asian American women used to claim cultural citizenship, and it paves way for more cultural histories of Asian Americans informed by gender and race, as well as by class and sexuality, as categories of analysis.”
-The Journal of American History


A Feeling of Belonging breaks new ground in examining the cultural practices of Asian American women in U.S. popular culture. By uncovering their activities in sororities, the movies, beauty contests and magazines, it considers how these women negotiated places for themselves as ethnic Americans in an era dominated by race and Cold War politics. In the process, it expands the study of race, gender, culture, and citizenship.”
-Shirley Hune,editor of Asian/Pacific Islander American Women: A Historical Anthology

About the Author

Shirley Jennifer Lim is Assistant Professor of History at the State University of New York at Stony Brook.

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