The resilient Chinese in Australia: Ethniicity, identity and 'Chineseness'

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Abstract

This review essay discusses the multigenerational ethnicity of Chinese people in Australia, particularly those who are long settled and Australian-born. The recent book by Ngan and Chan, The Chinese Face in Australia: Multi-generational Ethnicity among Australian-born Chinese provides an exploration of those Australian-born Chinese (ABCs) who having been long settled in Australia, still retain their own unique Chinese ethnicity. In comparison, the article by Tung and Chung explores the way in which a diaspora can contribute to the economic operations of both the country of origin and the diasporic host country, and further explores the changes in the views of the Chinese in Australia with the changes they experienced over the course of Australian history. This essay begins with an historical account of Chinese settlement in Australia, identifying the ways in which 'Chineseness' is perceived and performed in the social context, within the home, within the ethnic community and comparatively within the global Chinese diaspora. The review further delves into discrimination of the basis of ethnicity and considers the ways in which Chinese have coped with racism, utilizing ethnic and cultural coping, building their resilience to continue forward. Finally, the review probes the life course theory to determine its relevance to long settled ABCs and their ethnicity as well as the impact of linkages on this ethnicity and attempts to answer the question: Is hybridism, the process that sees members of a diaspora forming hybrid identities within the host society, a way out?
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)388-395
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Sociology
Volume29
Issue number5
Early online dateAug 2014
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2014

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