Being “Very China:” Self-Consciousness and Identity Transformation

  • Peidong Yang
Part of the Anthropological Studies of Education book series (ASE)


This chapter is an ethnography of a psychosocial experience of the PRC scholars revolving around the notion of being “very China,” an idiom that captures the intertwinement between their development of self-consciousness and their identity transformation. Indexing the undesirable embodied differences as well as educational subjectivities that some PRC scholars critically discover about themselves upon being reflected through the otherness of the local/Singaporean figure, “very China”-ness is a transient identity label, the negation of which marks the PRC scholars’ subjective expansion. Not only is this drama of “very China”-ness played out in the local-foreign relation, it also manifests in the “intra-ethnic othering” between the SM1/2/3 scholars. This chapter is a case of how exactly subjective transformations take place among international students.


Othering Stereotyping Discrimination Identity Self-consciousness Chinese international students 


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Copyright information

© The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s) 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Peidong Yang
    • 1
  1. 1.Nanyang Technological UniversitySingaporeSingapore

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