Movement

Although the keyword “movement” can bring to mind a variety of meanings—migration, transnationalism, and diaspora, to name a few—in the field of Asian American studies, “movement” is most often joined with “Asian American” to form a label for the political assemblage known as the “Asian American movement.” Fortuitously, the social movement connotation of “movement” also accords with the sense of the word that suggests flux rather than stasis, for the Asian American movement was constructed and evolved over time.

Politically active Asian Americans began to use the word “movement” even prior to the coining of the term “Asian American” in 1968. The multifaceted New Left social movement of the 1960s and 1970s incorporated students, supporters of the civil rights and Black Power movements, antiwar and antinuclear activists, feminists, antipoverty activists, gay liberation advocates, and others. Although they confronted a wide variety of issues, prioritized race, gender, class, and opposition to …

This essay may be found on page 165 of the printed volume.

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