본문 바로가기
  • Home

The Position of Asians in the Racial Order of the 21st Century: A Comparative Race Study in Claire Jean Kim's Asian-Americans in an Anti-Black World

  • Journal of Popular Narrative
  • 2024, 30(1), pp.309-335
  • DOI : 10.18856/jpn.2024.30.1.010
  • Publisher : The Association of Popular Narrative
  • Research Area : Interdisciplinary Studies > Interdisciplinary Research
  • Received : January 12, 2024
  • Accepted : February 15, 2024
  • Published : February 28, 2024

Yun-Jong Lee 1

1이화여자대학교 아시아여성학센터

Accredited

ABSTRACT

This article examines the position of East Asians in the racial order of the 21st century by scrutinizing Claire Jean Kim's 2023 book, Asian-Americans in Anti-Black World. Kim explores the positionality of Asians in the racial order of the United States as well as of the globe under the impact of escalating anti-Black racism, exacerbated in the United States both before and after the COVID-19 pandemic. Although there have been widespread news reports of a surge in hate crimes against Asians in the U.S. due to COVID-19, which originated from Wuhan, China, relatively few Asians have suffered to the extent to lose their lives. In stark contrast, anti-Black racism, rooted in slavery from the early seventeenth century and persisting into the 21st century, continues to infringe upon the human rights and claim the lives of many Black individuals. Kim thus contends that the comparative advantages enjoyed by Asian-Americans relative to Blacks have been constructed by Whites, and this positionality of Asian Americans needs to be examined vis-a-vis that of Whites and Blacks in comparative perspectives. In other words, the comparative advantages of Asian-Americans to Blacks, which are also comparable to White’s absolute advantages, stems from not being black-skinned. In her latest book, Kim accordingly undertakes extensive and exhaustive research on the immigration histories of Chinese, Japanese, and Korean Americans in comparisons with Whites and Blacks, particularly in criticizing anti-Black racism in the United States by comprehensively referencing theories, historical materials, court records, and textual sources of arts and culture. Closely reading Kim’s arguments and discussions made by that research, this study critically delves into how we can apply and engage with the arguments and discussions by connecting them to Korean and East Asian societies.

Citation status

* References for papers published after 2022 are currently being built.

This paper was written with support from the National Research Foundation of Korea.