The Fortune Cookie Chronicles

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    Facialisation and racialisation…Fortune Cookie Chronicles’s Academic Cousins

    By Jennifer 8. Lee | March 23, 2008

    A reader just sent me a blog summary of an academic paper on Chinese takeaways in Great Britian.

    The title of the paper, by David Parker, is ‘The Chinese Takeaway and The Diasporic Habitus- Space, Time and Power Geometries” — which is just a fancier way of saying “The Fortune Cookie Chronicles” (kidding). It is  published in an academic volume called Un/settled Multiculturalisms: Diasporas, Entanglement, Transruptions, edited by Barnor Hese (Zed Books, 2001).

    No seriously, it seems to touch upon some of the similar ideas as I present, just in drier form. Here is a summary of the essay from the blog: “For Chinese people born in the UK or outside China and Hong Kong, the concept of being Chinese living and based within an indigenous culture, the diasporic habitus involves strategies and the structuring of Diasporas that highlight the reinvention of cultural forms, practices and emphasises transition on its part, such as the takeaway franchise.” And also “Parker’s insight into the takeaway counter makes for compelling reading: he sees that the positioning of the counter occupies a relationship between facialisation and racialisation.”

    You could read this, or read my book. Which is more fun? My hope actually is that my book gets picked up as a text in college courses (either Asian American studies or food and culture). It actually has extensive footnotes and a bibliography.

    Think the kids would find it a relief.

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