Nisei Sansei: Shifting Japanese American Identities and Politics (Used, Paperback)
Author: Jere Takahashi
Publisher: Temple University Press
Condition: Used Good
To talk about political style is to acknowledge a dynamic and somewhat improvisational approach to politics; it is to acknowledge the need to work within the limits presented by tradition, resources, and social context. To speak of political style in relation to a particular ethnic group is to recognize their agency in shaping their history. In Nisei/Sansei: Shifting Japanese American Identities and Politics, Jere Takahashi challenges studies that describe the Japanese American community's essentially linear process toward assimilation into U.S. society. As he develops a complex and nuanced account of Japanese American life, he shows that a diversity of opinion and debate about effective political strategy characterized each generation of Japanese Americans. As he investigates the ways in which each generation attempted to advance its interests and concerns, he uncovers the struggles over key issues and introduces the community activists whose voices have been muffled by assimilation narratives. Takahashi's approach to political style includes the ways that Japanese Americans mustered and managed political resources, but also encompasses their on-going efforts at self-definition. His focus, then, is on personal and social action; on individual activists, power, and ideological shifts within the community, and generational change. In telling the story of the community's complex and dynamic relationship to the larger society, he highlights individuals who contributed to the struggles and debates that paved the way for the emergence of a distinct Japanese American identity. Author note: Jere Takahashi teaches Asian American Studies at the University of California, Berkeley.