Volume 4, Issue 1 April 2021, pp. 39–55 Download PDF

Special Issue Articles

Multiracial Chinese American women studying abroad in China: The intersectionality of gender, race, and language learning

Wenhao Diao https://orcid.org/0000-0002-6465-69441, & Yi Wang https://orcid.org/0000-0002-6026-79682

1 The University of Arizona, USA wdiao@arizona.edu
2 Emory University, USA yi.wang3@emory.edu

DOI: https://doi.org/10.29140/ice.v4n1.444


Abstract

This case study addresses the theme of mobility and intercultural education by focusing on the study abroad experience of three multiracial Chinese Americans in China. Research on study abroad and language learning has shown the salience of gender in intercultural learning, but women from minoritized groups have rarely been the focus in the literature. Meanwhile, heritage language speakers may encounter complex negotiations of identity and belonging while studying abroad in their “ancestral homeland” (e.g., Jing-Schmidt et al., 2016). Multiracial women, who may linguistically be categorized as heritage speakers, have to respond to the challenges to which study abroad women are subjected and also make sense of their gendered ethnoracial identity. In this study, we focus on the experience of three multiracial Chinese American women. In our findings, gender emerged as a frequent theme across all focal participants, and their responses to their gendered experience aligned with their various interpretations of their multiracial Chinese identity. The results highlight the intersectionality of gender and race for women from minoritized backgrounds. We conclude that intercultural education should recognize the multiplicities of identity among our students and adopt a descriptive approach that acknowledges cultural identity to be fluid and evolving.



Copyright

© Wenhao Diao, Yi Wang

CC  4.0
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.


Suggested citation

Diao, W., & Wang, Y. (2021). Multiracial Chinese American women studying abroad in China: The intersectionality of gender, race, and language learning. Intercultural Communication Education, 4(1), 39–55. https://doi.org/10.29140/ice.v4n1.444


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