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Forgotten Men and Fallen WomenThe Cultural Politics of New Deal Narratives$
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Holly Allen

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780801453571

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: August 2016

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9780801453571.001.0001

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The Citizen-Soldier and the Citizen-Internee

The Citizen-Soldier and the Citizen-Internee

Fraternity, Race, and American Nationhood, 1942–46

Chapter:
(p.169) Chapter 6 The Citizen-Soldier and the Citizen-Internee
Source:
Forgotten Men and Fallen Women
Author(s):

Holly Allen

Publisher:
Cornell University Press
DOI:10.7591/cornell/9780801453571.003.0007

This chapter examines the theme of hoodlumism as it relates to the rhetoric and practice of Japanese American internment. In the months leading up to internment, the American-born second generation (Nisei), and specifically men of that generation, captured the popular imagination. Racism and nativism were at the heart of anti-Nisei sentiment during World War II, but anti-Nisei rhetoric also had important gender and generational dimensions. This chapter considers how Japanese Americans were compelled to prove their loyalty in other, intensely punitive ways after they were denied opportunities to participate in popular civilian defense activities. It shows that many internees who refused to embrace the racially specific criteria for civic membership imposed by the War Department and War Relocation Authority (WRA) left themselves open to allegations of hoodlumism, juvenile delinquency, and other behaviors “antithetical to familialism.” It also discusses the ways that the WRA helped to construct the image of the Kibei troublemaker, along with the complex interrelationships among race, gender, military fraternity, and nationhood.

Keywords:   hoodlumism, internment, Nisei, Japanese Americans, War Relocation Authority, Kibei, race, gender, military fraternity, nationhood

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