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Chapter 1 establishes the book’s foundational claim that the economism of Asian racialization arises from a temporal alignment of Chinese bodies with abstract labor, which has implications for what constitutes socially necessary labor time. Analyzing Richard Fung’s Dirty Laundry: A History of Heroes alongside Maxine Hong Kingston’s China Men, two works about Chinese labor on the transcontinental railroad, the chapter explores the interchangeability of Chinese labor, time, and money. Focusing on the range of gender and sexual substitutions represented in these texts, the chapter argues that these works demonstrate how the abstract racialization of Asian alien labor is established...

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