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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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Don’t Objectify Me

Don’t Objectify Me

Chinese Adoptee Teens

(p.226) 7 Don’t Objectify Me
How Chinese Are You?

Andrea Louie

NYU Press

This chapter explores how Chinese culture is enacted, performed, and negotiated within broader U.S. identity politics by focusing on the use of Chineseness by Chinese adoptee teens to define themselves. Drawing on interviews with teenage adoptees from St. Louis and the San Francisco Bay Area, the chapter highlights the ways that representations of Chinese culture are lived and transformed into developing identities as children grow older, as well as the ways that Asian American cultural politics may be shifting. It also considers whether the specific approaches that parents have taken regarding issues of adoption and racial and cultural identity directly correlate with their children's attitudes. It shows that teen adoptees varied in the ways they viewed themselves as Chinese and connected with China and Chinese culture. For all of these teens, being Chinese was not always central to their self-expressed identities, and each had different (and often changing) degrees of identification with Chinese or Asian as a racial identity.

Keywords:   cultural politics, racial identity, Chinese culture, identity politics, Chineseness, Chinese adoptee teens, cultural identity, Chinese adoption

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