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Creating New Identities: Chinese American Women Professionals in Greater Baltimore

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DOI: 10.4236/aa.2016.62004    1,544 Downloads   1,777 Views  
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This qualitative paper explores the attitudes, values and social practices of a small group of first generation Chinese American professional women in the Greater Baltimore Region. The research focuses on ethnic self-ascription, marriage, dating and interethnic social relations. To explore boundary persistence and acculturation, informants answered an online survey. After this stage, several informants were interviewed in a semi-structured format. Qualitative analysis suggests that Chinese immigrants selectively acculturate through situational interaction with co-ethnic and out-group actors. Informants interact with non-co ethnics at work, and increasingly in non-work settings. Some date and marry outside of the ethnic label, though most marry within group. In areas such as culinary habits and parenting, cultural attitudes and practices deemed “Chinese” prevail, but values identified as Chinese can vary by individual. Within the Chinese ethnic category, informants tend to prefer interaction with Chinese from the same region in China. Yet, interethnic dating and marriage do not necessarily weaken ethnic identity persistence. The central point is that Chinese American ethnic expression varies by individual, and is framed within place specific multi-scalar structures of regional culture, economy and attitudes toward immigrants and race.

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Smith, J. (2016) Creating New Identities: Chinese American Women Professionals in Greater Baltimore. Advances in Anthropology, 6, 30-35. doi: 10.4236/aa.2016.62004.


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