"Family Ties": Operation Babylift, Transnational Adoption, and the Sentimentalism of US and Vietnam Relations (1967-2002)

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"Family Ties": Operation Babylift, Transnational Adoption, and the Sentimentalism of US and Vietnam Relations (1967-2002)

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Title: "Family Ties": Operation Babylift, Transnational Adoption, and the Sentimentalism of US and Vietnam Relations (1967-2002)
Author: Phan, Yen
Advisor: Smith, Paul Jacov; Friedman, Andrew
Department: Haverford College. Dept. of History
Type: Thesis (B.A.)
Issue Date: 2012
Abstract: On April 3rd, 1975, in light of the military situation in Vietnam, President Ford formally announced the evacuation of Vietnamese orphans lamenting, "We are seeing a great human tragedy as untold numbers of Vietnamese flee the North Vietnamese onslaught. The United States has been doing and will continue to do its utmost to assist these people." This assistance came with $2 million made available to fly 2,000 South Vietnamese orphans to the United States. These airlifts came to be called "Operation Babylift." When the babylift officially ended on May 1st, it transported 2,894 Vietnamese and Cambodian children to America to be adopted into white American homes. The process was described as a humanitarian mission despite the fact that it was under the control of the US Air Force. In my thesis, I aim to explore how Operation Babylift's sentimental language of rescue was established, dispersed, and perpetuated within the context of American and US imagined familial relationship. I argue that through the sentimental language of Operation Babylift, American obscures the systems of military, racial, and economic oppression.
Subject: Vietnam War, 1961-1975 -- Children
Subject: Vietnam War, 1961-1975 -- Refugees
Subject: Operation Babylift, 1975
Subject: Orphans -- Vietnam
Terms of Use: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/us/
Permanent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10066/9102

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Phan, Yen. ""Family Ties": Operation Babylift, Transnational Adoption, and the Sentimentalism of US and Vietnam Relations (1967-2002)". 2012. Available electronically from http://hdl.handle.net/10066/9102.

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