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Chineseness at the crossroads

Meerwald, A.M.L. (2000) Chineseness at the crossroads. In: 3rd International Crossroads in Cultural Studies Conference, 21 - 25 June 2000, Birmingham, U.K.


This paper interrogates the practices of Chineseness in the lives of women with Chinese backgrounds living in Australia. It suggests that these women are living in a third space of ethnic liminal limbo. With reference to Anzald'a, Bhabha and Trinh, it examines the experiences of women and explores how this third borderland space of blurred boundaries functions in the translation of diasporic ethnic subjectivities. It focuses on the processes of subjectification that produce ethnicities that are new but familiar, as the past interweaves with the present to create new but familiar versions of Chineseness. Within multicultural Australia, the production of hybrid ethnic subjectivities is in an increasing state of flux as the boundaries that segregate ethnicities become increasingly blurred, as experienced by many in postcolonial locations. This third space of liminal limbo acknowledges the conflictual encounters of diasporic subjects as they negotiate what it means for them to be women with Chinese backgrounds in Australia.

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