The formation of Chinese identity in young Chinese women according to fathers’ narratives

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Violence against the Chinese in Indonesia is increasing, and much trauma has arisen among the ethnic Chinese because of this fact. In this paper, the authors present the result of interviews with three Chinese women from the current generation who have experienced trauma. The goal of this study is to comprehend how their families’ trauma can be told and how that traumatic experience forms their Chinese ethnicity. Chinese ethnicity is often thought to be formed by the narration of the fathers. Fathers play a central role in the formation of generations and the ethnic ideologies in Chinese families, especially with regard to their own children, while the mother’s role is often marginalised solely responsible for the children’s biological identity. This is a qualitative research study with a feminist approach intended to understand and identify the maturation process of young Chinese women according to their fathers’ narratives. This study used Anthias and Davis’s theory along with Spivak’s work to find the thread between the father’s role in ethnic identity formation and self-agency as represented by interviews with three ethnic Chinese women. The end of this paper presents the self-agency and the representation of how these ethnic Chinese were affected by their society and their education. These three subjects each received different types of education and are from different societies; thus, they represent some ethnic Chinese who have had similar experiences. The results show that the trauma continues for these women and that it is passed down by the father; furthermore, the women’s educational backgrounds influence the subjects’ perspectives.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2635-2646
Number of pages12
JournalPertanika Journal of Social Sciences and Humanities
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2019


  • Chinese women
  • Ethnic
  • Identity
  • Representation
  • Subaltern women


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