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Body CountsThe Vietnam War and Militarized Refuge(es)$
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Yen Le Espiritu

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780520277700

Published to California Scholarship Online: September 2016

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520277700.001.0001

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Critical Refuge(e) Studies

Critical Refuge(e) Studies

(p.1) 1 Critical Refuge(e) Studies
Body Counts

Yến Lê Espiritu

University of California Press

This chapter posits a critical “refuge(e)” study in investigating the ways in which the United States had wrestled with the “difficult memory” of the Vietnam War. Having been deployed to “rescue” the Vietnam War for Americans, Vietnamese refugees constitute a solution, rather than a problem, for the United States. The conjoined term “refuge(es)” is meant to encapsulate this symbiotic relationship: that refuge and refugees are co-constitutive, and that both are the (by)product of U.S. militarism—herein termed as “militarized refuge(es).” This chapter thus charts an interdisciplinary field of critical refugee study, which conceptualizes “the refugee” not as an object of investigation but rather as a paradigm whose function is to establish and make intelligible a wider set of problems.

Keywords:   Vietnam War, Vietnamese refugees, militarized refugee, international relations, refugee studies

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