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Chinese Identities in Malaysia

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This paper discusses the types of Chinese identities in Malaysia, which have been influenced by localization the process of becoming local, involving cultural adjustment to a local geographical and social environment as well as identifying with the locality. The important role of socialization in ethnic identification is discussed, illustrated by the experience of the Malay-speaking Chinese called Baba. The Chinese in Malaysia are both ethnic Chinese (Huaren) and Malaysians. As Huaren, they are both territorially bounded as Chinese Malaysians and unbounded as transnational Chinese. Ethnic Chinese identities are both bounded and unbounded. The bounded identity as Malaysians of Chinese origin reflects the diverse localization experience of the Chinese.

Affiliations: 1: Department of Anthropology Chinese University of Hong Kong


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