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Identity and Health in the Narratives of Older Mixed Ancestry Asian Americans
Unformatted Document Text:  Identity health mixed Asian Americans 10 Asian identity, the more likely participants were to retain some reliance on traditional healing methods, if they had been exposed to them. For those who were U.S. – born, a strong minority identity was associated with a tendency to attribute insensitive treatment by health providers to the dominant culture. I present this analysis through a discussion of several cases. In choosing the cases, I have selected a group that is representative by generation, Asian ethnicity, social class, gender, and age. First Generation Immigrants A subset of the participants were born and raised in China. Mrs. Chiang 2 and Mrs. Lowe, ages 94 and 69 respectively, grew up in western enclaves in China, and became friends while in China. While they share the commonalty of being mixed Chinese American immigrants, there are subtle differences in their personal histories which have influenced how they identify and how they manage health and illness. It is important to understand the conditions of their lives in pre-revolutionary China. The 19th century had witnessed a rapid escalation of penetration of China by the West. This accelerated after China's defeat in the Sino-Japanese war of 1894, which left it vulnerable and weak. In the aftermath of China's defeat by the Japanese, the United States, various European powers, and Japan carved up China into spheres of influence through which they could increase their financial domination and economic exploitation (Chesneaux, et al., 1976). Foreign domination continued through most of the first half of the 20th century. There was considerable social contact between Europeans and Chinese in these enclaves and a significant number of offspring of mixed liaisons. The term "Eurasian" was applied to these mixed descendants and is commonly used throughout Asia for people of mixed European and Asian ancestry. Eurasians like Mrs. Chiang and Mrs. Lowe lived in conditions vastly superior to the masses of Chinese peasants. Significantly, the prevailing ethos of that period was that western ways were superior.

Authors: Tashiro, Cathy.
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Identity health mixed Asian Americans
10
Asian identity, the more likely participants were to retain some reliance on traditional healing
methods, if they had been exposed to them. For those who were U.S. – born, a strong minority
identity was associated with a tendency to attribute insensitive treatment by health providers to
the dominant culture. I present this analysis through a discussion of several cases. In choosing
the cases, I have selected a group that is representative by generation, Asian ethnicity, social
class, gender, and age.
First Generation Immigrants
A subset of the participants were born and raised in China. Mrs. Chiang
2
and Mrs. Lowe,
ages 94 and 69 respectively, grew up in western enclaves in China, and became friends while in
China. While they share the commonalty of being mixed Chinese American immigrants, there
are subtle differences in their personal histories which have influenced how they identify and
how they manage health and illness.
It is important to understand the conditions of their lives in pre-revolutionary China.
The 19th century had witnessed a rapid escalation of penetration of China by the West. This
accelerated after China's defeat in the Sino-Japanese war of 1894, which left it vulnerable and
weak. In the aftermath of China's defeat by the Japanese, the United States, various European
powers, and Japan carved up China into spheres of influence through which they could increase
their financial domination and economic exploitation (Chesneaux, et al., 1976). Foreign
domination continued through most of the first half of the 20th century. There was considerable
social contact between Europeans and Chinese in these enclaves and a significant number of
offspring of mixed liaisons. The term "Eurasian" was applied to these mixed descendants and is
commonly used throughout Asia for people of mixed European and Asian ancestry. Eurasians
like Mrs. Chiang and Mrs. Lowe lived in conditions vastly superior to the masses of Chinese
peasants. Significantly, the prevailing ethos of that period was that western ways were superior.


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