Life and work between home and "homeland": A narrative inquiry of transnational Chinese adoptees' identity negotiations across time and space

Shumin Lin*, Ming Hsuan Wu, Genevieve Leung

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Unlike Korean or Vietnamese adoptees who came to the U.S. during the postwar era, Chinese adoptees are mostly abandoned female infants under China's one-child policy from 1980 through 2015. Little work has documented Chinese adoptees' identity (trans)formation across time and space. This study examines how three Chinese adoptees from the U.S. who chose to go to Taiwan to teach English make sense of their Chinese heritages and their lives in and out of Asia. Drawing on the frameworks of positioning and chronotopic identities, this cross-sectional, multiple case study documents the participants' identity (trans)formations through their narratives on their moves across the U.S., China, and Taiwan during different points of their lives. Our adoptee participants' home and work experiences over time represent diverse pathways for their negotiations of various aspects of their identities-linguistic, cultural, Chinese, American, Asian American, and adoptee-in their life trajectories transnationally. Their diverse experiences complicate current understandings of adoptee identities within and across the adoptive home, the "homeland"of their birth places, and beyond.

Original languageEnglish
JournalApplied Linguistics Review
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2023

Keywords

  • adoptees
  • chronotope
  • identity
  • narratives
  • Taiwan

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