Saffron robed monks and long haired gurus have become familiar characters on the american popular culture scene jane iwamura examines the contemporary fascination with eastern spirituality and provides a cultural history of the representation of asian religions in american mass media. Virtual orientalism asian religions and american popular culture jane iwamura provides a fascinating history of asian religiosity in american culture shows the significance of an under studied figure of asian background who became prominent in american culture the oriental monk. On an historical level the books argues that american mass awareness of asian religions coincides with the advent of visually oriented media magazines television and film and examines how technological transformations ushered in a new form of orientalism virtual orientalism prevalent since the late 1950s. Jane naomi iwamura addresses these questions in virtual orientalism asian religions and american popular culture iwamura employs edward saids concept of orientalism to construct a paradigm of virtual orientalism anchored in a critical racialization perspective. Virtual orientalism asian religions and american popular culture by jane naomi iwamura new york oxford university press 2011 240 pp 2495 paper isbn 978 0199738618 since at least the age of marco polo entangled layers of desires and fears often more so than lived realities have shaped
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