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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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White Parents’ Constructions of Chineseness

White Parents’ Constructions of Chineseness

Preemptive Parenting

(p.139) 5 White Parents’ Constructions of Chineseness
How Chinese Are You?

Andrea Louie

NYU Press

This chapter explores how white adoptive parents construct Chinese identities for their adopted children in relation to their own understandings of Chineseness. It first considers the notion of preemptive parenting in relation to culture and race before discussing the birth cultures and the cultural difference of Chinese adoptees. It then examines the ways that white adoptive parents form conceptions about Chinese culture and its relationship to other elements of American life. It suggests that adoptive parents who strategically employ resources about China and Chinese culture for their adopted children are engaged in a type of reflexive, preemptive parenting and that in many cases, parents attempt to proactively pick and choose aspects of Chinese cultural identity to integrate into their children's lives to address salient issues of identity, while their understanding of and ability to change the broader racial and historical structures that continue to shape Chinese identities remain limited.

Keywords:   white adoptive parents, adopted children, Chineseness, preemptive parenting, race, birth culture, cultural difference, Chinese adoptees, Chinese culture, cultural identity

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