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On Not Learning Chinese: Multiple Chineseness of the Chinese Schools in the Philippines

Chien, Ker-wei (2018) On Not Learning Chinese: Multiple Chineseness of the Chinese Schools in the Philippines. PhD thesis, University of Essex.

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In light of the ‘methodological cosmopolitanism’ of Ulrich Beck and Natan Sznaider (2006), this thesis aims to investigate the multiplicity of Chineseness produced in the Chinese schools in the Philippines. The study draws on participant observation based on my one-year teaching in a Philippine-Chinese school, on-site interviews with students, parents, administrators, educationalists and officials, and archival and documentary research. The major findings of the study reveal that: (i) viewed from different perspectives, three versions of Chineseness generated in Chinese school emerge: Huaqiao Chineseness with the nationalistic view of China as the motherland embodied by the traditional teaching approach involved in ‘teaching Mandarin as a national language’; Huaren Chineseness which proposes to seek a balance between the younger generations’ Mandarin learning and Filipino outlook; ‘communal Chineseness for integration’ by which the younger generations are provided with community-based resources to enter the upper-middle class in the social stratification of the Philippine mainstream society; (ii) Mandarin education practised in Chinese schools is predominated by the view of Huaqiao Chineseness which not only has a devastating effect on the effectiveness of its teaching but also impedes the educational reform launched by the supporters of Huaren Chineseness from promoting the teaching approach fit for Chinese-Filipino identity of the younger generations by means of teaching Mandarin as a second language; (iii) As the current Mandarin education fails to be adapted to the local environment, it is ‘communal Chineseness for integration’ that plays a role in their integration into the mainstream and in helping them enter upper-middle class positioning in the Philippine social stratification; by contrast, Mandarin education has become increasingly irrelevant to their everyday life and career development. These findings have implications for further researches that (1) the eye of methodological cosmopolitanism can help explore the extent of cosmopolitanisation in an overseas Chineseness community’s Chineseness in general and Chinese education in specific; (2) the extent of cosmopolitanisation of an overseas Chinese education in constructing and projecting Chineseness can affect its cultural preservation in the destination country and forge a unique path of integration into the mainstream society for an overseas Chinese community. Keywords: Cosmopolitanisation; Chineseness; Chinese education, the Chinese in the Philippines

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
Divisions: Faculty of Social Sciences > Sociology, Department of
Depositing User: Kerwei Chien
Date Deposited: 15 Oct 2018 11:03
Last Modified: 15 Oct 2018 11:03

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