Community

“Community,” or “communities,” is an amorphous keyword in Asian American studies that has evolved along with societal transformations, and its meaning is highly contested. The Oxford English Dictionary defines “community” as a “body of people organized into a political, municipal, or social unity”; it can be characterized as those “who have certain circumstances of nativity, religion, or pursuit, common to them, but not shared by those among whom they live.” In Asian American studies, the term is most often associated with bounded, geographic localities that incorporate people, places, and institutions that have an affinity to one another or intricate connections. Additionally, communities are interpreted as non-territorial spaces, formed by individuals residing in various locations who share similar interests or objectives. They can be created as a result of people being excluded or treated interchangeably, thereby compelling them to come together, or they can be forged by internal notions of sameness, …

This essay may be found on page 31 of the printed volume.

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