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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Protest and Political Incorporation: Vietnamese American Protests, 1975-2001


Protest, now ubiquitous in advanced industrialized societies, has become a useful window for examining all sorts of broader political phenomena. Using event data from newspaper reports, we trace protest by Vietnamese Americans over the past 26 years as a means to assess political incorporation. By looking at the issues, tactics, and development of protest within the Vietnamese American community, we get a sense of the development and incorporation of that community. We find that protest, particularly in the form of demonstrations, is a common form of making claims among Vietnamese-Americans, and that the issues expressed are primarily about foreign policy, directed toward the old homeland, rather than domestic political concerns. It is not clear whether mobilization on homeland issues provides a foundation for subsequent political mobilization on domestic issues, or whether it serves as a distraction from it.

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