The Tyranny of Appearance : Chinese Australian Identities and the Politics of Difference

Tan, Carole A. (2006) The Tyranny of Appearance : Chinese Australian Identities and the Politics of Difference. Journal of Intercultural Studies, 27(1/2), pp. 65-82.

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Abstract

This essay uses cultural studies approaches to interrogate issues of ‘race’ and identity facing the descendants of early Chinese migrants to Australia, who are second, third and fourth generation Chinese Australians. Drawing on close analysis of oral history interviews and personal narratives, it investigates how Chinese Australians negotiate their identities in response to encounters of ‘difference’ and ‘Otherness’ within mainstream Australian society. In so doing, it seeks to draw attention to exclusionary mechanisms operating within mainstream Australian society that continue to obstruct the complete acceptance of Chinese Australians as Australians despite rights of birth and citizenship, generational longevity and strong national and cultural identities grounded in Australia. At the same time, it demonstrates how ‘Chinese’ (and ‘Asian’) identities become externally imposed on Chinese Australians, whether they like it or not, despite their attempts to fashion collective and individual identities that resonate personally for them.

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8 citations in Scopus
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ID Code: 6755
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Additional Information: The author-version of this article will be available 18 months after publication. This journal is available online- see link
DOI: 10.1080/07256860600607660
ISSN: 1469-9540
Divisions: Past > QUT Faculties & Divisions > QUT Carseldine - Humanities & Human Services
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2006 Taylor & Francis
Copyright Statement: First published in: Journal of Intercultural Studies.
Deposited On: 28 Mar 2007 00:00
Last Modified: 09 Jun 2010 12:38

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