Justine Van Meter
After the Vietnam War ended in 1975, over 800,000 people emigrated from Vietnam between 1975 and 1995, with more than half resettling their uprooted lives in the United States. People move to America in hopes that it will live up to its reputation of being a melting pot, but the multitude of immigrants struggling to establish an identity and assimilate into Western culture prove that America’s melting pot still has unresolved issues. Because of this struggle, many Vietnamese immigrants lack a sense of belonging, even after moving away from Vietnam and attempting to establish a life in America for many years. Post-colonial scholar Homi K. Bhabha explains in his theory of hybridity that it is a place where neither the one nor the Other exist, but where a new, third space is created for the displaced to figure out their identity. Although Vietnamese people immigrated to the United States over forty years ago, literary work by Vietnamese American writers, Andrew Xuan Pham, le thi diem thuy [sic], and Hieu Minh Nguyen, convey through poignant language and evocative experiences that many Vietnamese Americans are still struggling in this third space with their hybrid identities.
Nguyen, Julie Linh, "Occupying the Third Space: Vietnamese American Hybridity and the Struggle for Identity" (2016). Student Research Day Abstracts and Posters. 216.