Chapter

Rewriting Genealogy and Reclaiming One’s Cultural Roots

Khun Eng Kuah-Pearce

in Rebuilding the Ancestral Village

Published by Hong Kong University Press

Published in print December 2010 | ISBN: 9789888028818
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9789882207332 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5790/hongkong/9789888028818.003.0008
Rewriting Genealogy and Reclaiming One’s Cultural Roots

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This chapter examines the rewriting of the genealogy and how, through the genealogy, the Mainland and Chinese overseas reclaimed their social identities and re-established their lineage links. Recompiling the Chinese genealogy, which incorporates both the Mainland and Chinese overseas as part of a single lineage, is an attempt by the Chinese to rewrite their history and cultural identity in a rapidly changing environment. This is particularly so for Chinese overseas who have found that their cultural identity has been increasingly subjected to challenges by forces of ethnic pluralism, corporatism, and homogenization, as well as by those of modernity and social liberalism. To them, the only way to arrest this is by looking back to their source of origin and understanding their position within the wider lineage structure.

Keywords: genealogy; social identities; lineage links; Chinese genealogy; cultural identity

Chapter.  11265 words. 

Subjects: Society and Culture

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