This essay, using multi-sited ethnographic methods, discusses the motivations for the en masse longer-term migration of 1.5 and second generation Vietnamese American professionals to their parents’ ancestral homeland during the 2000s. Social class dynamics, gender, racial, and national identity in the United States and migrant selectivity inform their decisions to migrate to the ancestral homeland for personal growth and to help develop the country. The interviewees’ framing of return experiences reflects the social ambivalence of returning as “in between” subjects in pursuit of a liberal capitalist American Dream abroad.

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