1st Edition

Multiculturalism, Chinese Identity, and Education Who Are We?

By Jason Cong Lin Copyright 2023

    In Chinese societies, Chinese identity is an important yet controversial topic. This book examines official understandings of Chinese identity in Mainland China and Hong Kong, exploring how the latest governments of Mainland China and Hong Kong conceptualize Chinese identity; how government-endorsed textbooks frame it in different subjects; and how a multicultural approach can enhance understanding of identity in both societies.

    Using content analysis to support his theoretical arguments, Lin offers an in-depth, updated, and detailed picture of how the governments of Mainland China and Hong Kong, and their endorsed textbooks, encourage people in these societies to respond to the question of "who are we?". He also elaborates on how the current approach to understanding Chinese identity can be harmful, and examines how a multicultural approach could better fit these Chinese contexts and enhance understanding of "who are we?". Given that the question of identity causes trouble everywhere, and many countries are debating approaches to understanding diverse identities in their own societies, this book provides valuable insights into the Chinese perspective, to allow readers to more fully understand global frameworks of identity.

    This book will interest researchers and students in the fields of multiculturalism, multicultural education, national identity, identity politics, and China and Hong Kong studies.

    1. Questioning Chinese Identity in a Multicultural World 2. Politics and Textbooks in Mainland China and Hong Kong 3. Ethnic Essentialism 4. Cultural Assimilation 5. Nationalistic History 6. Toward a Multicultural Approach 7. Final Remarks. References. Appendices. Index


    Jason Cong Lin is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Education at the Zhejiang University. He holds a PhD from the Faculty of Education at the University of Hong Kong. His research interests include philosophy of education, civic/moral/multicultural education, and identity.

    'Cong Lin describes why an inclusive and multicultural notion of Chinese identify should be taught in the schools because it has multiple dimensions, is evolving, heterogeneous, and contentious. This well-researched, visionary, and discerning book can help educational practitioners and policy makers to re-envision civic education and make it transformative and consistent with the complex and fluid identities that students need to function in a changing and complex multicultural world. This book is an essential and timely reference that deserves a wide audience.'

    James A. Banks, Kerry and Linda Killinger Endowed Chair in Diversity Studies Emeritus, University of Washington, Seattle


    'Jason Cong Lin’s intriguing analysis of Chinese identity in government discourses and textbooks in Mainland China and Hong Kong is an important contribution to the literature. The book’s critical stance makes it an essential reading for those who are interested in the areas including but not limited to identity and politics, ethnicity, multiculturalism, curriculum and textbook analysis, and China and Hong Kong Studies. The book will help further multicultural and intercultural development in China, Hong Kong and elsewhere.'

    Miron Bhowmik, Assistant Professor, Department of Education Policy and Leadership, The Education University of Hong Kong