Author:Seet Leng Wong (University of Malaya)
Paper short abstract:
Living in a multiethnic and multicultural society such as Malaysia, the Chinese from different backgrounds and upbringings may have different perceptions of their own identity. This research explores the perceptions and views of different categoiies of people.
Paper long abstract:
Identity is a person's conception and expression of their individuality or group affliation such as national identity and cultural identity. According to Hall (1996), cultural identity is not a theory of the knowing subject, but rather a theory of discursive practice. Cultural identities are influenced by several different factors such as one's ancestry, religion, language, education, profession, family and political attitudes. These factors contribute to the development of one's identity.Language wise, the affluence of communication that comes along with sharing a language promotes connections and roots to ancestors and cultural histories. Ethnolinguistic work has also supported contextual influences, as individual often accommodate and adapt their language speech patterns to those they are communicating with. With these notes, the existing study examines the perceptions and views of Chinese on their identitties in the context of the multiethnic and multilingual society of Malaysia. This paper reports only a portion of the data collected, i.e. from a group of 47 Chinese Language teachers, through interviews, and will be presented descriptively.
The maintenance and consolidation of Malaysian Chinese identities: an anthropological exploration