Non-Fiction Books:

On Not Speaking Chinese

Living Between Asia and the West

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Paperback / softback

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On Not Speaking Chinese by Ien Ang
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Description

In this major new book, leading cultural thinker Ien Ang engages with urgent questions of identity in an age of globalisation and diaspora. The starting point for Ang's discussion is the experience of visiting Taiwan. Ang, a person of Chinese descent, born in Indonesia and raised in the Netherlands, found herself "faced with an almost insurmountable difficulty" - surrounded by people who expected her to speak to them in Chinese. She writes: "It was the beginning of an almost decade-long engagement with the predicaments of Chineseness' in diaspora. In Taiwan I was different because I couldn't speak Chinese; in the West I was different because I looked Chinese". From this autobiographical beginning, Ang goes on to reflect upon tensions between Asia' and the West' at a national and global level, and to consider the disparate meanings of Chineseness' in the contemporary world. She offers a critique of the increasingly aggressive construction of a global Chineseness, and challenges Western tendencies to equate Chinese' with Asian' identity. Ang then turns to the West', exploring the paradox of Australia's identity as a Western' country in the Asian region, and tracing Australia's uneasy relationship with its Asian neighbours, from the White Australia policy to contemporary multicultural society. Finally, Ang draws together her discussion of Asia' and the West' to consider the social and intellectual space of the in-between', arguing for a theorising not of difference' but of togetherness' in contemporary societies.

Author Biography

Ien Ang is Professor of Cultural Studies and Director of the Institute for Cultural Studies Research at the University of Western Sydney, Nepean. She is the author of a number of books, including Watching Dallas (1985), Desperately Seeking the Audience (1991) and Living Room Wars (1995)
Release date Australia
November 8th, 2001
Author
Country of Publication
United Kingdom
Imprint
Routledge
Pages
240
Dimensions
156x234x13
ISBN-13
9780415259132
Product ID
1741619

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