In an increasingly complex world marked by transnationalism and globalisation, the role of physical cultures in everyday life is undergoing change, as people with different orientations to movement and bodies, especially its dominant Western forms, negotiate their relationships to it. The examination of race in Europe and the United Kingdom (UK) in the current intellectual landscape is often located within a Black-White debate that often excludes the Chinese from any form of critical analysis. This lack of academic recognition and critical engagement is coupled with gendered and racialised British Chineseness in everyday discourses. The ambivalent positions of the hyper-visibility of high-achieving British Chinese students in educational research is in contrast to the invisibility of their other everyday lived experiences, such as physical activity, leisure, sport and health. This juxtaposition is reflected through the complexity of how discourses and practices, shaped by colonial and racial legacies, contribute to a form of Chineseness that remains ‘at risk’ and overlooked in research about their bodies and physicality. This paper calls for explorations of Chinese minority ethnic students’ voices to set the impetus for a critical sociology of Chinese diaspora and health and physical cultures research agenda. It critically engages with the contestable work of cultural norming in relation to Chinese diasporic students’ health and bodily experiences. In response to these challenges, this paper introduces the Rethinking Health Experiences and Active Lifestyles–Chinese Students (REHEAL-C) project in the UK (supported by Marie Skłodowska-Curie Fellowship 2019–2020) as one contribution to shifting the academic landscape.
- Chinese diaspora
- health and physical cultures
- student voices
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
- Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation