Chapter

Sojourner adjustment and adaptation to new cultures: Art, literature, and the social science perspective on identity

Nan M. Sussman

in Return Migration and Identity

Published by Hong Kong University Press

Published in print October 2010 | ISBN: 9789888028832
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9789882207370 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5790/hongkong/9789888028832.003.0003
Sojourner adjustment and adaptation to new cultures: Art, literature, and the social science perspective on identity

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This chapter steps back from the pin-light focus on Hong Kong movement and identity, scrutinizing the sojourner transition cycle through the lenses of social science theory, novelistic narratives, and artistic endeavors, each of which adds clarity to our understanding of the psychological responses to population shifts. It notes that humans are a peripatetic species, traveling widely for food and territory. Recent biological anthropology research indicates that 3,500 years ago, residents of coastal China migrated eastward across the Pacific Ocean, populating hundreds of island that make up Micronesia and Polynesia. It learns from early documents the struggle to assimilate into other societies, while in other situations the admonitions by community leaders were to avoid such integration. It observes that individual internal struggles to blend cultural identities introduced through proximity and enculturation, political change and geographic transition have been revealed in art, both visual and textual, as well as through social scientific analysis.

Keywords: identity; sojourner; biological anthropology; coastal China; Micronesia; art; Polynesia

Chapter.  8340 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Society and Culture

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