ethns final - Phillip Chong ETHNS 1B A92063638 M...

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Phillip Chong ETHNS 1B A92063638 M 3-4pm(Tracy) Place-Taking vs. Space Making Politics: "Instead of playing by the rules of liberal democratic participation, space makers craft a politic that can respond to the invisible, underground, and silenced realities of their constituencies” (Das Gupta 108). Das Gupta is distinguishing the differences between the two terms she has coined as place-taking politics versus space-making politics. Both politics deal with immigrant minorities and their racial identity. While place-taking politics much like its name, is the notion of immigrants’ taking-the-place of already created roles, space-making politics is the notion of immigrants’ practice of making new independent roles that challenge social norms—making-new-space. The quote above refers to the core nature of space-making politics, while as place-taking is the exact opposite in that it plays “by the rules” (Das Gupta 23). “At the same time, the immigrants themselves embraced the ambiguous terms of racial identity. They did so because those terms were compatible with their desire for full citizenship with its promise of a universal subjectivity, which would renaturalize their sense of leadership and excellence. A liberal discourse on citizenship, then, facilitated place-taking politics that operated within the dominant terms of belonging. These terms demand evasion of gendered and racialized difference” (Das Gupta 23). Asian immigrants were shaped by a racial classification system as the grey race—directly in the middle neither black nor white. They had no sense of identity; yet, Das Gupta goes on to say this did not bother them because they were willing to submit to the social roles and stereotypes as long as following-the-rules were a means of attaining full citizenship and assimilation. These rules were not simply matters that pertained to social politics such as
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discrimination but embedded in economic and immigration politics. Many other immigrants were predisposed with roles such as domestic workers or low-wage workers based on gender, race, and sexual orientation. However, Das Gupta critiques the place-taking politics and the place-takers. She argues that place-taking politics are self-fulfilling prophecies in that it sets up negative
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This note was uploaded on 11/16/2010 for the course ETHN 1B ETHN 1B taught by Professor V during the Winter '10 term at UCSD.

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ethns final - Phillip Chong ETHNS 1B A92063638 M...

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