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Inclusion/exclusion: Identity policies in contemporary Asia and beyond

Wed, June 24, 9:00 to 10:55am, North Building, Floor: 5th Floor, N501

Session Submission Type: Organized Panel Proposal Application


Identities are created by individuals and groups in order to distance oneself from others. Moreover, political and cultural agendas support certain identities on the basis of denying others access to economic, political, cultural and social institutions that are essential to be a generally respected and accepted human being. Adding to the complexity, selection processes concerning recognition and exclusion of certain identities and cultural expression are historically and culturally determined.

The four papers present how Chinese identities are negotiated within China, Taiwan, Southeast Asia and the Netherlands. Based on the question of “who is included and who is excluded?”, the papers utilise analysis of policy, interview, art historical and social media. Under scrutiny are the identities of overseas Chinese people embedded in Southeast Asian societies, queer women in Shanghai, and children implicated in the Chinese rural-to-urban migration. To underline the diversity of our understanding of identity, also negotiations of Buddhist images that play a powerful role in the formation of “traditional Chinese culture” will be analyzed.

This panel engages with the great diversity in which Chinese culture, men, women and children try to find their identities within a globalizing context in the world, city and family. Linking all four papers is the comparison of top-down identity-creation through e.g. policies with identity-creation from below through the formation of creative counter-cultures. By combining papers about women, children, migrants and Buddhist images this panel seeks to create a lively ground for discussion during the session.

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