Cross, culture, confusion: conflict and community in a Chinese church in Canada

Date created
2010-12-07
Authors/Contributors
Abstract
Through oral history, this project studies a church congregation consisting of families from Hong Kong who came to Canada after the 1970s, professing Chinese ethnicity, while laying claims also to Canadian and Christian identities. As congregants made lives and raised children in both Chinese and Canadian cultures, they changed the way they imagined themselves as a community. Their divergent Chinese, Christian, and Canadian self-identifications affected their varied understandings and experiences of community life at the church. Members conflicted in 2006 when they could not agree whether being Chinese was a defining characteristic of the congregation. Research suggests that the church was for many older, Cantonese-speaking members an important community institution that kept alive their sense of being Chinese. Younger, English-speaking congregants, however, saw a community rooted in multicultural Vancouver. This study can offer insight into questions of personal and national identities, and the role community institutions play in sustaining identity.
Document
Identifier
etd6355
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Scholarly level
Member of collection
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