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A feminist perspective on family in recent ethnic American literature


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Novak, Dajana. (2018). A feminist perspective on family in recent ethnic American literature. Diploma Thesis. Filozofski fakultet u Zagrebu, Department of English Language and Literature. [mentor Šesnić, Jelena].

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The last quarter of the 20th century and onwards has been marked by a massive immigration wave to the United States. Almost half of that immigrant population is comprised of women, which is the reason why the field of women’s immigration history in the U.S. plays a particularly important role. Accordingly, the increased attention to women has also given rise to women’s fiction writing dealing with the issues of immigration, family and gender roles. Because of the changes in U.S. politics which lead to the growing immigration of East and South Asians, Latin Americans and the immigrants from the Caribbean, the focus was now on the themes of transnationalism and gendered assimilation. Immigrant women played the most important role in establishing and maintaining immigrant communities, as well as passing on the culture. The United States served as a land of opportunity for most immigrant women who could profit from the second wave of feminism evolving since the last quarter of the 20th century, and which provided women with more rights and opportunities than in their homelands. Aside from scholarly interpretations, female ethnic novelists are crucial for understanding the situation of these women and their experiences. These narratives show greater fluidity of identity and hybridity within the second-generation of immigrants. Focused primarily on the matrilineal lines in the families, the authors write about the storytelling as a means of transferring tradition to children and keeping the history alive despite immigration, about the newly found freedom to express themselves (writing in particular) and the end of violent traditions and practices on women’s bodies, as well as about access to quality education. In order to analyze the intersection of these issues, the works of following writers have been used: Chinese American authors Maxine Hong Kingston (The Woman Warrior: Memoirs of a Girlhood Among Ghosts) and Fae Myenne Ng (Bone), as well as the Mexican American author Sandra Cisneros (The House on Mango Street), Cuban American author Cristina Garcia (Dreaming in Cuban), Haitian American author Edwidge Danticat (Breath, Eyes, Memory), and Syrian American author Mohja Kahf (The Girl in the Tangerine Scarf).

Item Type: Diploma Thesis
Uncontrolled Keywords: Immigrant women, the immigrant family, ethnic writing, minor literature, feminism
Subjects: English language and literature > American Studies
Departments: Department of English Language and Literature
Supervisor: Šesnić, Jelena
Date Deposited: 15 Jun 2018 06:26
Last Modified: 15 Jun 2018 06:26

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