Crazy Rich Asians: Exploring Discourses of Orientalism, Neoliberal Feminism, Privilege and Inequality
In this review of Crazy Rich Asians (2018), I examine elements of orientalism, neoliberal feminism, privilege and inequality that layer the film. Specifically, I interrogate the film’s American inflection of orientalism, surfacing a constant duel between essentialized Asian and American values, where what is American eventually wins out. Independent, entrepreneurial women are integral to this narrative of global capitalist accumulation. Yet, as the East meets the West in the globalized consumptive spaces of the super-rich, inequalities in the United States and Singapore are either repackaged under the myth of meritocracy, or conveniently erased. While the film demarcates a new Hollywood genre with greater Asian-American presence, whether it disrupts or amplifies hegemonic representations remains problematic.
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"Crazy Rich Asians: Exploring Discourses of Orientalism, Neoliberal Feminism, Privilege and Inequality,"
Markets, Globalization & Development Review:
3, Article 4.
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Devi Vijay is an Associate Professor at the Indian Institute of Management Calcutta. Her research spans questions of inequality, institutions, and social movements, with a specific focus on the healthcare sector. She has co-edited “Alternative Organizations in India: Undoing Boundaries” (Cambridge University Press, 2017), and has published in journals including Public Management Review, Marketing Theory, and Journal of Marketing Management. Devi was awarded the Fulbright-Nehru Research Fellowship (2016) in the area of public health.