“I was discriminated against because I was seen as PRC-Chinese”: The negotiation between ethnicity and nationalism among Taiwanese migrants in Australia

Yao-Tai LI*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Research on race and ethnicity has focused on conditions under which solidarity will be developed to consolidate collective benefits. For example, facing racial discrimination can bring large-scale affiliations (e.g., people of color, Latinos, or Asians) to fight against racial injustice. Focusing on the negotiation and struggle between ethnicity and nationalism among Taiwanese migrants in Australia—a politicizing context associated with a prior definition of Chinese category, despite inherent differences within it, this article shows the complexity of ethnicity when ethnic identity/solidarity intersects with nationalism and racial discrimination. I argue that Taiwanese migrants attach specific meanings to the ethnic (Chinese) category and constantly connect to and shift its boundaries in different contexts. Meanwhile, they also make a distinction between racial discrimination from white Australians and political hostility from PRC-Chinese. This article proposes a procedural and contextual understanding of ethnic identity, solidarity, nationalism, and boundary making/unmaking within the Chinese category as it is enacted in Taiwanese migrants' everyday lives. It also examines situational variability in the salience of ethnic identifications, racialization of the ethnic category, and people's interpretation of ethnic and national identity when facing racial discrimination.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1016-1030
Number of pages15
JournalBritish Journal of Sociology
Volume71
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2020

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Sociology and Political Science

User-Defined Keywords

  • Australia
  • ethnic identity
  • ethnic solidarity
  • nationalism
  • racial discrimination
  • racialization of ethnic category

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