Interpreting the Chinese Diaspora : Identity, Socialisation, and Resilience According to Pierre Bourdieu book cover
1st Edition

Interpreting the Chinese Diaspora
Identity, Socialisation, and Resilience According to Pierre Bourdieu

ISBN 9780815360216
Published March 17, 2019 by Routledge
178 Pages

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Book Description

Globalisation and migration have created a vibrant yet dysphoric world fraught with different, and sometimes competing, practices and discourses. The emergent properties of the modern world inevitably complicate the being, doing, and thinking of Chinese diasporic populations living in predominantly white, English-speaking societies. This raises questions of what 'Chineseness' is. The gradual transfer of power from the West to the East shuffles the relative cultural weights within these societies. How do the global power shifts and local cultural vibrancies come to shape the social dispositions and positions of the Chinese diaspora, and how does the Chinese diaspora respond to these changes? How does primary pedagogic work through family upbringing and secondary pedagogic work through educational socialisation complicate, obfuscate, and enrich Chineseness?

Drawing on Pierre Bourdieu’s reflexive sociology on relative and relational sociocultural positions, Mu and Pang assess how historical, contemporary, and ongoing changes across social spaces of family, school, and community come to shape the intergenerational educational, cultural, and social reproduction of Chinese diasporic populations. The two authors engage in an in-depth analysis of the identity work, educational socialisation, and resilience building of young Chinese Australians and Chinese Canadians in the ever-changing lived world. The authors look particularly at the tensions and dynamics around the participants’ life and educational choices; the meaning making out of their Chinese bodies in relation to gender, race, and language; and the sociological process of resilience that enculturates them into a system of dispositions and positions required to bounce back from structural constraints.

Table of Contents


1. Chapter One: Approaching Chinese diaspora and Pierre Bourdieu
2. Chapter Two: Looking Chinese and learning Chinese as a Heritage Language: Habitus realisation within racialised social fields
3. Chapter Three: Young Chinese girls’ aspirations in sport: Gendered practices within Chinese families
4. Chapter Four: Understanding the public pedagogies on Chinese gendered and racialised bodies
5. Chapter Five: Reconciling the different logic of practice between Chinese students and parents in a transnational era
6. Chapter Six: Coming into a cultural inheritance: Building resilience through primary socialisation
7. Chapter Seven: Resilience to racial discrimination within the field of secondary socialisation: The role of school staff support
8. Chapter Eight: Does Chineseness equate with mathematics competence? Resilience to racialised stereotype
9. Chapter Nine: Recapitulating Chinese diaspora and sociologising diasporic self


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Guanglun Michael Mu is Senior Research Fellow in the Faculty of Education at Queensland University of Technology, Australia. His work in this book was supported by the Vice-Chancellor’s Research Fellowship at Queensland University of Technology and the Australian Research Council grant DE180100107 (Resilience, Culture, and Class: A Sociological Study of Australian Students).

Bonnie Pang is Marie Skłodowska-Curie Fellow and Senior Research Fellow at Leeds Beckett University, United Kingdom (2019–2020), Senior Lecturer and a school-based member of the Institute for Culture and Society at Western Sydney University, Australia.