Chapter

Refugee Love as Feminist Compassion

Aihwa Ong

in Buddha Is Hiding

Published by University of California Press

Published in print April 2003 | ISBN: 9780520229983
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520937161 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/california/9780520229983.003.0007
Refugee Love as Feminist Compassion

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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

Chapter.  12036 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Migration Studies

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