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Minority Education in ChinaBalancing Unity and Diversity in an Era of Critical Pluralism$
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James Leibold and Yangbin Chen

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9789888208135

Published to Hong Kong Scholarship Online: May 2014

DOI: 10.5790/hongkong/9789888208135.001.0001

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Identity and Multilingualism

Identity and Multilingualism

Negotiating Multiculturalism among Ethnic Korean Teachers in China

(p.259) 12 Identity and Multilingualism
Minority Education in China

Gao Fang

Hong Kong University Press

China is home to over one million ethnic Koreans who have long thought of themselves as part of the Chinese nation, making significant contributions to the nation’s development. Due to their high educational outcomes, Koreans are often viewed as a “model minority” in China, a cultural stereotype that can carry a weighty burden. Arguing in her chapter that multicultural education requires protective and discursive spaces for minority languages, Gao Fang demonstrates that for ethnic Korean teachers, at least, the pressure to succeed and live up to the model minority tag has led to a gradual hollowing out of Korean-Chinese identity. In place of the Korean language, which is increasingly devalued, commodified cultural practices like kimchi and karaoke have come to define the boundaries of Korean identity in China. Gao’s chapter also highlights the nested yet fluid hierarchy of minzu categories and identities in the PRC, with several of her Korean informants viewing themselves as innately superior to Tibetan and Uyghurs students but still inferior to the Han majority.

Keywords:   Korean-Chinese, China, Multilingual education, Minority education, Bilingualism, Model minority, Korean, Multicultural education

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