The article below by Dr Hongwei Bao explored how racism and ant-racism activism arising from the Covid-19 pandemic have brought together South Asians, East Asians and Southeast Asians communities into solidarity. The article considered how the newly formed pan-Asian identity can be further forged into stronger solidarities, whilst acknowledging that ethnic communities would want to retain their identities.
"Identity categories matter. We rely on categories such as Asian or ESEA (East and Southeast Asians) to understand the complex world and to live out our everyday life; sociologists use categories to map the social world and to conduct critical analysis. It is important not to view these categories as fixed and inherent, but as dynamic processes where meanings are constantly generated and contested. Identity categories are not neutral; they can be mobilised to gain domination or to fight hegemony; they can divide communities or bring people together. The shifting meanings of ‘Asian’ at a time of anti-Asian racism and ‘Stop Asian Hate’ demonstrate the productivity of thinking about social categories in an open, flexible and dynamic way."
This article was originally published as: Bao, H. (2021, September 7). ‘Envisioning and Enacting a Pan-Asian Political Identity: The Cultural Politics of the First ‘Stop Asian Hate UK’ Protests [Online].’ The Sociological Review. https://doi.org/10.51428/tsr.crwi5533