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Family SacrificesThe Worldviews and Ethics of Chinese Americans$
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Russell M. Jeung, Seanan S. Fong, and Helen Jin Kim

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780190875923

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2019

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190875923.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use.date: 03 July 2022

The Li of Chinese American Familism

The Li of Chinese American Familism

Ritualizing Family, Food, and Fun

(p.127) Chapter 6 The Li of Chinese American Familism
Family Sacrifices

Russell M. Jeung

Seanan S. Fong

Helen Jin Kim

Oxford University Press

Chapter 6 identifies how Chinese Americans maintain the value of family through rituals, including rites of passage, ethnic routines, and table traditions. Rites of passage such as the wedding tea ceremony provide individuals with distinct responsibilities within the family. Ethnic routines, including family meals, transnational visits, and reunions, inculcate the norms of hospitality, reciprocity, and face/shame. They also teach the cultural scripts of familism through table traditions, such as pouring tea. Traditions and rituals change over time, however, and second-generation Chinese Americans pass on their liyi values and ethics differently than their immigrant parents did. The second generation lack a migration story of family sacrifice and have an attenuated knowledge of Chinese liyi traditions, and racialized multiculturalism further reduces ethnic traditions to what is marketable and consumable. Chinese Americans therefore hybridize and Americanize their ethnicity, which results in a new liyi Chinese American identity that consists of food and fun.

Keywords:   familism, rites of passage, family reunions, Chinese school, household rituals, racialized multiculturalism

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