Accepted paper:

Chinese education, identity and its boundary in Malaysia: a study on Chinese independent schools

Authors:

Jijiao Zhang (Insititute of Ethnology and Anthropology, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences)
Yujun Li (Institute of Urban Development and Environment, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences)

Paper short abstract:

Education is one of most important factors which impact Chinese ethnic identity and its boundaries in Malaysia.

Paper long abstract:

Ethnic identity becomes and is maintained through relational processes of inclusion and exclusion of ethnicity. T. F. W. Barth (1969) outlines an approach to the study of ethnicity which focuses on the on-going negotiations of boundaries between groups of people. Education is one of most important factors which impact Chinese ethnic identity and its boundaries in Malaysia. For example, Chinese independent high schools are funded mostly by the Malaysian Chinese public, with UCSCAM (United Chinese School Committees Association of Malaysia, also known as Dong Jiao Zong after its Chinese acronym) as the overall coordination body. It was claimed by UCSCAM that the main reason for many Chinese parents sending their children to Chinese schools was that Chinese parents generally hoped their children would retain their Chinese identity, with love and awareness of the nation, love of their own culture and traditions, ethnic pride, and most importantly being aware of their ethnic "roots".

panel P025
The maintenance and consolidation of Malaysian Chinese identities: an anthropological exploration