By Edited by Andrew P. Davidson Edited by Khun Eng Kuah-Pearce
This e-book explores how thoughts are used to re-establish a feeling of belonging, studying the relationships among migrants' adjustment, assimilation and re-membering domestic. It considers thoughts as social expressions in addition to the tensions and conflicts in representing and renegotiating stories in literature and cinema.
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Additional resources for At Home in the Chinese Diaspora: Memories, Identities and Belongings
Both ‘home’ and ‘belonging’ represent imaginings that are at once both spatially expressed and emotively realized. Home traditionally has been located as the lived experience of locality, the place (home) where one usually lives and typically inferred consanguine relations (Rapport and Dawson 1998). To the contrary, the concept ‘home’ must be opened up in explorations of space in terms of social relations (Massey 1994) such that identities are then constructed through a complex of social relations within overlapping spaces and places (Ryan 2003).
More importantly, hooks situates the politicization of memory, going from an indulgence in nostalgia or longing for what once was to a purposeful act of remembering that 28 At Home in the Chinese Diaspora serves to illuminate the past to transform the present. It is here where Chineseness assumes importance as the migrants take pride in China’s achievements. Eun-Ha married a (‘white’) Australian and had a son. She later divorced. She has sent her young son to study in Shanghai, not only to become fluent in Chinese, but she believes ‘education there is better now than here’.
Remembering marks an awareness of the past in the present, creating a new ‘narrative ordering of dispersed, disparate and perhaps unrelated events and personages to form a coherent, authoritative story’ (Yelvington 2002, p. 235). It stretches while it redefines the boundaries of home. Similarly, Li Ping commented that all of her friends were Chinese or at least Asian as ‘[“white”] Australians don’t understand us. ’ But while a sense of ethnic identity may recentre the migrant, it can also act as a straightjacket delimiting the range of possibilities (see, for example, Ang 2001).