Contested Confucian heritage, public narratives and community politics of Chinese Australians at the beginning of the twentieth century

Kuo, Mei-Fen (2013) Contested Confucian heritage, public narratives and community politics of Chinese Australians at the beginning of the twentieth century. Journal of Chinese Overseas, 9 2: 212-244. doi:10.1163/17932548-12341260


Author Kuo, Mei-Fen
Title Contested Confucian heritage, public narratives and community politics of Chinese Australians at the beginning of the twentieth century
Journal name Journal of Chinese Overseas   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1793-0391
1793-2548
Publication date 2013
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1163/17932548-12341260
Open Access Status Not Open Access
Volume 9
Issue 2
Start page 212
End page 244
Total pages 33
Place of publication Leiden, Netherlands
Publisher Brill
Language eng
Abstract This paper focuses on the meanings of Confucian heritage for the Chinese ethnic community at the time Australia became a Federation. It will argue that public narratives about Confucian heritage provided a new agency for mobilizing urban Chinese Australian communities. These narratives politicized culture, helped to shape Chinese ethnic identity and diasporic nationalism over time. The appearance of narratives on Confucian heritage in the late 19th century reflected the Chinese community’s attempt to differentiate and redefine itself in an increasingly inimical racist environment. The fact that Chinese intellectuals interpreted Confucian heritage as symbolic of their distinctiveness does not necessarily mean that the Chinese community as a whole aligned themselves with the Confucianism revival movement. By interpreting Confucian heritage as a national symbol, Chinese Australian public narratives reflected a national history in which the Chinese community blended Confucian heritage into a nationalist discourse. This paper argues that this interpretation of Confucian heritage reflects the Chinese community’s attempts to redefine their relationship with the non-Chinese culture, they were a part of, in ways which did not draw on colour or race.
Keyword Public narratives
Confucian heritage
Ethnic identity
Chinese Australian history
Community politics
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status Non-UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collection: School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences Publications
 
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Created: Fri, 06 May 2016, 10:32:19 EST by Mei-fen Kuo on behalf of School of Historical and Philosophical Inquiry