Forget Chineseness : On the Geopolitics of Cultural Identification
What does it mean to be American, English, German, or Japanese? This book is part of a growing literature that is examining how people, and groups, develop and shape identity so that we can answer that question. This magisterial book examines what it means to be Chinese from the perspective of people living in places like Singapore, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and the diaspora. Allen Chun takes a close look at each location and at how over the 20th century they’ve developed what they believed to be a true Chinese identity and how all places were affected by what the country of China was doing. But he also examines closely how as a group we build identity and argues that it is not developed in a vacuum. It is a constantly changing process that never stands still but is affected by movies, television, and literature. Through the book’s separate sections, we can see how different areas of the world worked toward developing a common Chinese identity, both on their own and in concert with other areas. While it is a bit of a technical book for the average reader, for those that do get a chance to read it, they will gain a better understanding of how Chinese identity has been developed.