February 26, 2009
Written by C.N.
As part of this blog’s mission of making academic research more easily accessible, understandable, and applicable to a wider audience and to practical, everyday social issues, I will be mentioning new sociological books about Asian Americans and other racial/ethnic groups as I hear about them.
As always, please remember that I highlight them for informational purposes only and do not necessarily endorse their entire content or arguments. If you know of a recent book that I should mention, just let me know. With that in mind, here is the first such mention:
Once They Hear My Name: Korean Adoptees and Their Journeys Toward Identity, by Ellen Lee, Marilyn Lammert, and Mary Anne Hess (Tamarisk Press)
Once They Hear My Name is a step forward in our collective understanding of the cultural hurdles international adoptees tackle every day. In their own words, the nine Korean adoptees of Once They Hear My Name’ talk about how they became the adults they are today, speaking candidly about acceptance and rejection, about life struggles and successes, about experiences unique to each yet connected by common threads.
At their core these stories chronicle adoptees’ ongoing, and often difficult, quests to discover who they are. Growing up, they initially viewed themselves as typical American kids at home with baseball, pizza, playing with dolls and the rest. But often their peers – and sometimes members of their own families – saw them as strangers, good targets for ugly stereotypes.
Many of the nine adoptees chronicle their trips as adults back to Korea to find their roots and, in some cases, their birth families. These journeys yield mixed emotional results. The narratives illustrate the wide variety of ways all adoptees, not just those from Korea, and all Americans with cultural roots in Asia, wrestle with identity issues.
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Suggested reference: Le, C.N. . "New Book: Korean American Adoptees" Asian-Nation: The Landscape of Asian America. <http://www.asian-nation.org/headlines/2009/02/new-book-korean-american-adoptees/> ().
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