This study reviews developments in the ethnic and national identity of the descendants of migrants, taking ethnic Chinese as a case study. Our core question is why, in spite of debates worldwide about identity, exclusion and rights, do minority communities continue to suffer discrimination and attacks? This question is asked in view of the growing incidence in recent years of ‘racial’ conflicts between majority and minority communities and among minorities, in both developed and developing countries. The study examines national identity from the perspective of migrants’ descendants, whose national identity may be more rooted than is often thought. Concepts such as ‘new ethnicities’, ‘cultural fluidity’, and ‘new’ and ‘multiple’ identities feature in this examination. These concepts highlight identity changes across generations and the need to challenge and reinterpret the meaning of ‘nation’ and to review problems with policy initiatives designed to promote nation-building in multi-ethnic societies.
This book was originally published as a special issue of Ethnic and Racial Studies.
Table of Contents
1. Belonging to the nation: generational change, identity and the Chinese diaspora Gregor Benton and Edmund Terence Gomez
2. Segmented assimilation and socio-economic integration of Chinese immigrant children in the USA Min Zhou
3. Beyond Chinese groupism: Chinese Australians between assimilation, multiculturalism and diaspora Ien Ang
4. Contesting the ‘model minority’: racialization, youth culture and ‘British Chinese’/‘Oriental’ nights Diana Yeh
5. ‘After the break’: re-conceptualizing ethnicity, national identity and ‘Malaysian-Chinese’ identities Sharmani Patricia Gabriel
6. Beyond co-ethnicity: the politics of differentiating and integrating new immigrants in Singapore Liu Hong
7. Chinese descendants in Italy: emergence, role and uncertain identity Anna Marsden
8. Training for transnationalism: Chinese children in Hungary Pál Nyiri
Edmund Terence Gomez is Professor of Political Economy at the University of Malaya, Malaysia. He has also held appointments at the University of Leeds, UK, University of Michigan, US, Murdoch University, Australia and Kobe University, Japan and served as Research Coordinator at the United Nations Research Institute for Social Development (UNRISD).
Gregor Benton is Visiting Professor in the History Programme at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore. He has also worked at the Universities of Leeds, UK, Amsterdam, the Netherlands, Cardiff, UK, and Malaya, Malaysia, and at the Autonomous University of Barcelona in Spain.