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How Chinese Are You?Adopted Chinese Youth and their Families Negotiate Identity and Culture$
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Andrea Louie

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9781479890521

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9781479890521.001.0001

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Asian American Adoptive Parents

Asian American Adoptive Parents

Freedom and Flexibility

(p.88) 4 Asian American Adoptive Parents
How Chinese Are You?

Andrea Louie

NYU Press

This chapter explores the complexities of Asian American identity production in the context of adoption by focusing on the experiences of Chinese American adoptive parents. Drawing on Asian American scholar Lisa Lowe's model of Asian American cultural change, it considers conceptions of China and Chinese culture that inform Asian American adoptive parents' effectiveness in addressing racial and cultural identity issues for adoptees, and how these meanings of Chineseness are renegotiated over time as they are practiced within daily lives. It shows that Chinese American adoptive parents are flexible when it comes to creating and practicing (or not practicing) Chinese or Chinese American culture. It also examines how issues of cultural authenticity are intertwined with questions of cultural change, how the uneven power relations and histories that define the relationships between whites and Asian Americans factor into cultural productions, and how attempts at self-fashioning and building cultural capital present possibilities for the construction of alternative identities.

Keywords:   cultural identity, Chinese adoption, Chinese American adoptive parents, cultural change, China, Chinese culture, Chineseness, cultural authenticity, Asian Americans, cultural capital

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