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date: 29 October 2020

Abstract and Keywords

The study of Asian-American folklore and folklife focuses on the diverse peoples of Asia as they navigate their lives in America. Sharing the historical framework of Asian American Studies, Asian American folklore and folklife studies are informed by, and respond to, a legacy in the United States of racial discrimination, and stereotypes of the Asian “model minority” and “forever foreigner.” More specifically, these studies challenge Eurocentric ethnic folklore theory and method by emphasizing the distinctive ways in which diverse groups within the Asian American rubric create and sustain folkloric identities and raising the question of whether there is an emerging pan-Asian American or transnational identity evident in music and other folk forms. This chapter presents as examples approaches to, and interpretations of, in folkloristic studies of religious observance, artistic expressions, and food cultures in everyday practice of various groups in the United States with backgrounds in China, Japan, India, Pakistan, Vietnam, and Korea. Folklore and folklife scholarship on Asian America should foster a multidimensional perspective approach that counters the image of Asian homogeneity.

Keywords: Asia, Chinese Americans, ethnicity, folklife, folklore, identity, immigration, race

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