Laotian Daughters

Working toward Community, Belonging, and Environmental Justice

Bindi Shah
Book Cover

PB: $31.95
EAN: 978-1-4399-0815-0
Publication: Dec 11

HC: $91.50
EAN: 978-1-4399-0813-6
Publication: Dec 11

Ebook: $31.95
EAN: 978-1-4399-0814-3
Publication: Dec 11

216 pages
6 x 9
1 tables

How environmental activism in youth shapes political engagement and citizenship for Laotian American women

Read an excerpt from Chapter 1 (pdf).


Laotian Daughters focuses on second-generation environmental justice activists in Richmond, California. Bindi Shah's pathbreaking book charts these young women's efforts to improve the degraded conditions in their community and explores the ways their activism and political practices resist the negative stereotypes of race, class, and gender associated with their ethnic group.

Using ethnographic observations, interviews, focus groups, and archival data on their participation in Asian Youth Advocates-a youth leadership development project—Shah analyzes the teenagers' mobilization for social rights, cross-race relations, and negotiations of gender and inter-generational relations. She also addresses issues of ethnic youth, and immigration and citizenship and how these shape national identities.

Shah ultimately finds that citizenship as a social practice is not just an adult experience, and that ethnicity is an ongoing force in the political and social identities of second-generation Laotians.

Table of Contents

1 “Where We Live, Where We Work, Where We Play, Where We Learn”: The Asian Pacific Environmental Network
2 From Agent Orange to Superfund Sites to Anti-immigrant Sentiments: Multiple Voyages, Ongoing Challenges
3 New Immigration and the American Nation: A Framework for Citizenship and Belonging
4 The Politics of Race: Political Identity and the Struggle for Social Rights
5 Negotiating Racial Hierarchies: Critical Incorporation, Immigrant Ideology, and Interminority Relations
6 Family, Culture, Gender: Narratives of Ethnic Reconstruction
7 Building Community, Crafting Belonging in Multiple Homes
8 Becoming “American”: Remaking American National Identity through Environmental Justice Activism
APPENDIX Socio-demographic Information on Second-Generation Laotians Who Participated in the Study

About the Author(s)

Bindi V. Shah is Lecturer in Sociology at the University of Southampton, United Kingdom.


In the Series

  • Asian American History and Culture edited by Cathy Schlund-Vials, Rick Bonus, and Shelley Sang-Hee Lee

    Founded by Sucheng Chan in 1991, the Asian American History and Culture series has sponsored innovative scholarship that has redefined, expanded, and advanced the field of Asian American studies while strengthening its links to related areas of scholarly inquiry and engaged critique. Like the field from which it emerged, the series remains rooted in the social sciences and humanities, encompassing multiple regions, formations, communities, and identities. Extending the vision of founding editor Sucheng Chan and emeriti editor Michael Omi, David Palumbo-Liu, K. Scott Wong and Linda Trinh Vú, series editors Cathy Schlund-Vials, Rick Bonus, and Shelley Sang-Hee Lee continue to develop a foundational collection that embodies a range of theoretical and methodological approaches to Asian American studies.