ETST 1111-Food Culture and AAPI Identity
Critical Paper #1 EXAMPLE
In the introduction of Eating Asian American the authors described how Food and the Asian American identities are tied together through the racialized bodies of Asian American. That is, Asian American food have been constructed historically in the United States, through “social, political, economic, and historical forces, as well as power inequalities, including discriminatory immigrations and law , have circumscribed Asians materially and symbolically in the alimentary realm –“(Ku and Ai, pg 1). Asian American is a racially termsin the United States and the books centers the study of culinary practices to theorized Asian Americanness. Each scholarship refused to celebrate and yield to the “superficial multiculturalism” (pg 3), that is celebrated in America.
In the What Do We Eat, we see a difference kind of narrative, in which the author wants to celebrate multiracialism through Food. Gabaccia in the introduction argues the balance between the power of food as “multi-ethnic” foodways towards solidarity versus “authenticity” of food in different regions. Gabaccia refers to Schlesinger as they suggest that “Americans are best united as a people when they lose their ties and loyalties to particularistic regional and cultural communities” (p. 227). That is Gabaccia wants to celebrate that as a nation we are a nation of multi-ethnics and that Food is a reflective of that.
The part in which I find most confusing or I questioned is whether Asian American Identity and and Food can exist in both realms at the same time. We talked about this in the class; whether Food brings people together or can be a used weapon against each people. Either way, the book and the conversations really shows me that Food is not simply just food but is closely tied to how Food and the Asian American identity is constructed as a whole in the United States.
My starter question is:
In which ways has the Asian American Pacific Islander community been effected by wars and imperialism on the racialized and often racist AAPI bodies in relation to the United States? How does food fit into this history? (Examples from the book and most importantly, for yourself/family/community)?
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