Behind the Bamboo Hedge

The Impact of the Homeland Politics in the Parisian Vietnamese Community
Gisele L. Bousquet
Studies the critical role homeland politics plays in Vietnamese immigrants' assimilation into the host society


Since1975 one million refugees have left Vietnam and established communities all over the world. Although the Parisian Vietnamese community poses many questions of considerable interest to scholars, until now relatively little was known about its inner workings, and especially about the way in which its political activities affected Vietnamese refugees' sense of ethnic identity. Behind the Bamboo Hedge is a study of Vietnamese political organizations in Paris competing to gain power in the Vietnamese community and forming alliances with respective French political parties in order to influence French foreign policy toward Vietnam. Among its most valuable offerings are firsthand accounts of political and cultural events that define the belief systems of the different Vietnamese political factions, the delineation of the various political structures that support these groups---such as youth organizations, newspapers, language schools, and certain temples---and the demonstration of the extent to which "homeland patriotism," as the the author terms it, defines the cultural identity of the French Vietnamese. She suggests that this patriotism both factionalizes and unifies the Vietnamese as an expatriate group in France.

Behind the Bamboo Hedge is an important contribution to the growing literature on refugee studies. It enables us to see how the Vietnamese community in Paris can help redefine the place of Vietnam in the world community.

Praise / Awards

  • "Nobody else has had the ability to penetrate rival political networks, while keeping sufficient distance from them to write a balanced account of the subject. This is an original and unusual piece of research. It demonstrates quite effectively that politics, often ignored in our refugee studies, is a major factor affecting refugee adjustment."
    --- James M. Freeman, San Jose State University

Look Inside


1. Introduction     1
2. The Role of History in thye Shaping of a Political Identity     21
3. Politics among the Vietnamese Immigrants in Paris     45
4. Vietnamese Immigrants and Refugees as an Ethnic Minority in France     71
5. The Pro-Hanoi Faction     107
6. The Anticommunist Faction     139
7. Conclusion     169
Bibliography     179
Index     187

Product Details

  • 6 x 9.
  • 208pp.
Available for sale worldwide

  • Hardcover
  • 1991
  • Available
  • 978-0-472-10174-0

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  • $74.95 U.S.