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University of Southern California

1. Ninh, Thien-Huong T. Religion of a different color: Vietnamese Catholic and Caodai U.S.-Cambodia ties in comparative perspective.

Degree: PhD, Sociology, 2013, University of Southern California

This dissertation examines Vietnamese transnational religious communities in the two countries – the United States and Cambodia – which have the largest populations of overseas Vietnamese. It focuses on the second and third largest religions in Vietnam – Catholicism and Caodaism, one of them brought by European missionaries, the other, a syncretic, modernist fusion religion born in the 1920s. It shows how immigrant experience in each of these countries has been racialized and represented through female deities (the Virgin Mary and the Caodai Mother Goddess). As a religion of the West, Catholicism in the U.S. and Cambodia has continued to racialize ethnic Vietnamese as unrepresentative of the religion. Meanwhile, Caodaism has been conflated with Vietnamese ethnicity by these host societies because of its status as a minority religion from Vietnam. ❧ Unfulfilled promises of religious universalism and inclusive belonging have pushed Vietnamese Catholics and Tay Ninh Caodaists in the U.S. and Cambodia to strategically valorize ethnicity in order to facilitate the exchanges of resources and support. In the 1990s, when diplomatic ties among the U.S., Cambodia, and Vietnam were established, they mobilized and expanded these ethnic bonds across borders. Vietnamese Catholics have grounded these ties in the shared sense of religious persecution and ethical responsibility to help each other. ❧ Unlike their co-ethnic Catholic counterparts in the U.S. and Cambodia, Vietnamese Tay Ninh Caodaists have divergent transnational orientations. As those in the U.S. have been more concerned with elevating and preserving their status as ""God’s chosen people"" they have increasingly opposed the ecclesiastical hierarchy in Vietnam. Meanwhile, Vietnamese Tay Ninh Caodaists in Cambodia have continued to evoke and uphold their religious roots in the Tay Ninh Holy See in Vietnam. This has been their strategy to leverage political protection from the religious center and the Vietnamese communist government. The relations with Vietnam have in turn restricted all channels for ethnic Vietnamese Tay Ninh Caodaists in Cambodia to build ties with ethnic co-religionists in the U.S. Advisors/Committee Members: Hoskins, Janet A. (Committee Chair), Saito, Leland T. (Committee Member), Nguyen, Viet Thanh (Committee Member), Gomez-Barris, Macarena (Committee Member), Gómez-Barris, Macarena (Committee Member).

Subjects/Keywords: transnationalism; diaspora; race; immigration; ethnicity; religion; Vietnamese Americans; Asian Americans; Asia; Caodai; Catholic; Cambodia; U.S.; Vietnam

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APA · Chicago · MLA · Vancouver · CSE | Export to Zotero / EndNote / Reference Manager

APA (6th Edition):

Ninh, T. T. (2013). Religion of a different color: Vietnamese Catholic and Caodai U.S.-Cambodia ties in comparative perspective. (Doctoral Dissertation). University of Southern California. Retrieved from http://digitallibrary.usc.edu/cdm/compoundobject/collection/p15799coll3/id/310051/rec/5525

Chicago Manual of Style (16th Edition):

Ninh, Thien-Huong T. “Religion of a different color: Vietnamese Catholic and Caodai U.S.-Cambodia ties in comparative perspective.” 2013. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Southern California. Accessed October 30, 2020. http://digitallibrary.usc.edu/cdm/compoundobject/collection/p15799coll3/id/310051/rec/5525.

MLA Handbook (7th Edition):

Ninh, Thien-Huong T. “Religion of a different color: Vietnamese Catholic and Caodai U.S.-Cambodia ties in comparative perspective.” 2013. Web. 30 Oct 2020.

Vancouver:

Ninh TT. Religion of a different color: Vietnamese Catholic and Caodai U.S.-Cambodia ties in comparative perspective. [Internet] [Doctoral dissertation]. University of Southern California; 2013. [cited 2020 Oct 30]. Available from: http://digitallibrary.usc.edu/cdm/compoundobject/collection/p15799coll3/id/310051/rec/5525.

Council of Science Editors:

Ninh TT. Religion of a different color: Vietnamese Catholic and Caodai U.S.-Cambodia ties in comparative perspective. [Doctoral Dissertation]. University of Southern California; 2013. Available from: http://digitallibrary.usc.edu/cdm/compoundobject/collection/p15799coll3/id/310051/rec/5525

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