Discourses of 'Chineseness' and Superdiversity

Jing Huang

Research output: Chapter or section in a book/report/conference proceedingChapter or section

10 Citations (SciVal)


The diversity and difference among groups of Chinese people in Britain has been documented by Benton and Gomez (2008), who describe in detail the ethno-geographic and diverse migration trajectories of those not only from Hong Kong and Mainland China, but also from Malaysia, Vietnam, Singapore, Taiwan, Mauritius and elsewhere. In their sociological study, they point to the dangers of oversimplified categories such as “Chinese” and illustrate the complexities of difference represented within the Chinese diasporic community in the UK. In this chapter, I will adopt a similar perspective, but will bring the discursive approach of linguistic ethnography to understand constructions of “Chineseness” in the British Chinese diaspora. I will focus in detail on one “round-table event” which was organised in Birmingham’s Chinatown to bring together business people from the Chinese community to discuss entrepreneurial opportunities in the city’s changing social and linguistic landscape. In doing so, I will argue that there is a need to consider the complexity of constructions of “Chineseness” in diasporic settings, freeing them from static notions of cultural heritage affiliated to the past. I will argue that far from there being a single conception of “Chineseness” in superdiverse contexts, discourses of “Chineseness” are fluid and constantly changing. I will present empirical material which offers an insight into these fluid, changing discourses
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Routledge Handbook of Language and Superdiversity
Subtitle of host publicationAn Interdisciplinary Perspective
EditorsAngela Creese, Adrian Blackledge
Place of PublicationAbingdon, U. K.
PublisherRoutledge, Taylor & Francis Group
Number of pages13
ISBN (Electronic)9781317444688
ISBN (Print)9781138905092
Publication statusPublished - 6 Mar 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities(all)
  • Social Sciences(all)


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