Chinese Popular Religion and Confucianism in the United States
Chapter 4 reveals that immigrant parents had mixed success in translating the liyi practices of Chinese Popular Religion to their Chinese American children due to four major barriers. First, Chinese American families transmitted practices by modeling rituals without explaining them. The second generation performed customs without fully understanding the symbols and meanings. Second, the dissonant acculturation between parents and children led the second generation to be more Americanized and less receptive to traditional, hierarchical values. Third, Christian dominance and privilege in the United States rendered Chinese practices exotic and superstitious. Fourth, gendered and racialized experiences “othered” Chinese traditions as foreign and outdated. In spite of these barriers, Chinese Americans distilled and hybridized what was most important to them from these practices to sustain familism.
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