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Buddha Is HidingRefugees, Citizenship, the New America$
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Aihwa Ong

Print publication date: 2003

Print ISBN-13: 9780520229983

Published to California Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520229983.001.0001

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Refugee Love as Feminist Compassion

Refugee Love as Feminist Compassion

(p.142) Chapter 6 Refugee Love as Feminist Compassion
Buddha Is Hiding

Aihwa Ong

University of California Press

This chapter discusses the effects of the gender and racial fracturing and introduces the concept of refugee love. This is an attitude and set of practices that can be traced to the paternalism of plantation owners toward their slaves, the “benevolent assimilation” of Pacific conquest, and the compassionate domination that is modeled by Christianity. The chapter shows that these practices were aimed at saving refugee women and their children from the patriarchy in Asia and these practices also were often found in feminism-inspired social workers. In the case of the Cambodian refugees however, these practices were partially undermined by their motivations. This chapter concludes that while refugee women did try to free themselves from certain aspects of domestic patriarchy, they accepted some of what was offered and rejected the rest.

Keywords:   gender fracturing, racial fracturing, refugee love, refugee women, domestic patriarchy

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