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In Mary Paik Lee and Sucheng Chan’s book “Quiet Odyssey: A Pioneer Korean Woman in America,” Mary Paik Lee’s story of growing up a Korean female from a socioeconomically underprivileged class is recounted. Lee’s story is one of many that require one to reflect on…
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Download file to see previous pages Namely, another incident that was mentioned in Quiet Odyssey was the Russo-Japanese War. Coincidentally, many of the problems Lee faced as a young woman stemmed from the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7th, 1941.
As has been discussed in this course, obviously various aspects of history have affected and impacted how people react to others, not only in South Asia but in the United States. Of course, people cannot help but be influenced by their surroundings, however one must remember that this is not a carte-blanche excuse to remain uneducated about one’s circumstances and social location.
In this course, it has been seen how failing to analyze one’s one social location can have adverse effects on the Other (which is usually, but not necessarily always, a person of color). Socioeconomically disadvantaged peoples are more likely to be discriminated against, have harder times finding jobs, and in general must struggle more than people from more affluent backgrounds, and this is no less true of Ms. Lee, who rose from an impoverished background in Pyongyang, Korea.
Even if she had been Japanese, that by no means would excuse such rancorous behavior from people who didn’t even know a person’s particular circumstances or background. Secondarily, the fact that Ms. Lee was a woman made her a prime target because of the fact that women cannot defend themselves in ways that men can.
For example, it is considered very rude to be loud and obnoxious in Asian culture. In American culture, loudness and rudeness are allowed, and one might even venture to say such behavior is encouraged.
Another token of Asian culture is the concept of respect. This is absent in American culture—which tends to encourage forthrightness and the expression of one’s opinion, regardless of whether one is correct or not.
Then there are the immigrants like Ms. Lee and her family, who came to America in search of a better life where their family name ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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