American-Chinese America is a nation consisting of people from different areas with multiple cultures. As a result, lots of Americans have their ancestors in other countries. Even though they are called “Americans”, they have a special identity, that is, hyphenated Americans actually. Chinese-Americans have been one of the large groups of hyphenated Americans since a long time ago. This passage mainly observes the living conditions of Chinese-Americans in America and tries to analyze how the hyphenation identity impacts their thoughts and life.The first section gives a brief introduction about Chinese-American, including its history and construction.
Then the passage unpacks their living conditions, such as careers, consumption and repercussions to America with specific examples. In the third part, the author tries to analyze the influence of hyphenated identity on Chinese-Americans. At last, a conclusion presents the core idea of the passage. In general, Chinese-American is group of Chinese whose nationality is America at present. (Gritter, 2009, pp. ) Chinese-Americans include those American citizens who have blood relationship with Chinese and people who joined in American nationality, giving up the former Chinese nationality.
According to the constitution in the Untied States, Chinese-Americans are all American citizens, even though they have a hyphenated American identity. (Abdelrazek, 2008, pp. 23) According to the investigation recently, around 60 percent Chinese-Americans come from the mainland and only 9. 4 percent from Hong Kong. Taiwan also takes a relatively large account, which is 16 percent in all.
The development of Chinese-American began with immigration in different groups. It is said that the first group immigrants left for the United States in around Ming Dynasty. Then in the 1820s to 1840s, a large number of Chinese people immigrated to America and tried to earn their living overseas. (Chang, 2003, pp.
49) In Qing Dynasty, the government was unable to protect dominion and exploited its people. People tried to make a living overseas. However, in early times, the majority of Chinese immigrants came to America as labor workers in construction industry.They undertook heavy labor work with little money. At the same time, Chinese people did not have the right to settle down until the Immigration Law became effective in the 1950s.
(Fleegler, 2013, pp. 136) Ever since Chinese had been driven out of factories and mines, they tried to venture by themselves. Therefore, Chinese restaurants appeared and some female Chinese chose to be maids in American families. Nowadays, more and more Chinese people choose to immigrate to America, aiming at better income or receiving higher education, better medical condition and living environment.Traditionally, the majority of Chinese-Americans live in Chinatown in cities such as New York, San Francisco and Los Angeles. (Tsui, 2009, pp.
3) States such as California, Hawaii and New Jersey are the main states where Chinese-Americans live in. As for the conditions of Chinese-Americans, it should be divided into two different groups. The first group is those highly educated Chinese-Americans, who move to the United States in modern times. This group of people is a typical kind of Chinese who immigrate to America and work at better place.About one fourth Chinese-Americans work in professional fields such as science and design.
Compared with some natives, these Chinese-Americans have higher positions and salary in the same company. It is because that they are highly educated as well as hardworking, which is the traditional strength of Chinese. (Wang, 2011, pp. 55) Except for some famous scientists, most of them are engaged in work such as management and administration. This group has concentrated much to the development of America in various ways, for example, the field of arts, politics and science.Another group is the traditional immigrants to America from China.
The majority of them live in Chinatown in some core cities, where is relatively poor actually. The first batch of immigrants to Chinatown was mainly labor workers with little knowledge. They operated Chinese restaurant and undertook pure labor work for a long time. Along with the becoming of violent juntoes there, it is more difficult for Chinatown to catch up with the modern pace. (Irwin & Genthe, 2010, pp.
137) Although divided into two parts, the two groups both have the common identity. That is, hyphenated American.As a hyphenated American, one of the most common scenes they have to face up is discrimination and hostility from some natives. Chinese people seem to have nothing in common with natives: different beliefs, different habits and different culture. People can not deny the fact that Chinese-Americans have gains as well as loss influenced by the special identity. (Sowell, 2011, pp.
244) First of all, the hyphenated American identity confuses some traditional Chinese-Americans. It is hard for some old Chinese immigrants to accept the hyphenated identity since they are still Chinese people in their deep mind.At the same time, most ideas and concepts, as well as daily habits, are difficult for traditional immigrants to be used to. The novel Scrapping (Wang, 2000) has presented the conflicts in an extreme way.
Scrapping is a kind of treatment in Chinese. However, it has been regarded as children abuse in America. Xu Datong, he hero in the story was charged with children abuse surprisingly. They struggled to prove their innocence but failed at last.
The family broke up in the end and Xu would be in prison as a result. Although absurd in some degree, it is actually one of the dilemmas Chinese-Americans are occurring.Second, the hyphenated identity makes it difficult for some younger Chinese-Americans to evaluate themselves properly. More and more young people have accepted the modern ideas and concepts in the United States. However, there are also difficulties for them to live in America.
First, they are contradiction themselves because they have gained two different ideas. The traditional Chinese opinions may influence them in behavior from time to time. Second, the natives usually regard them with discrimination in every field, although young Chinese-Americans are equipped with western thoughts.The movie Full Moon in New York (Guan, 1990) tells stories of three Chinese women in New York. They pursued inner love but confused by the society, struggling to survive as an American with hyphenated identity. Third, some Chinese-Americans also gain from the hyphenated identity at work.
It is easy to understand that Chinese-Americans are equipped with the particular qualities Chinese people have, such as smart and hardworking. Beneficial to these qualities, Chinese-Americans have achieved their goals and breakthrough in different fields. There are some specific examples.In the science field, there are seven Chinese-Americans having been awarded the Nobel Prize in history, including five prizes in Physics, one in chemistry and one for literature. Yang Zhenning may be the most famous scientist both in China and America. He owes his success to his hardworking.
(Guan & Zhao, 2012, pp. 32) In the politics field, Steve Chu, the Energy Minster in America, may be the best example to prove the ability of Chinese-Americans. In the art field, countless singers and writers, such as Coco Lee have been popular in America, even around the world.Except for these large fields, Chinese-Americans are also applauded in usually working positions. Almost all companies in American admit that Chinese people are hardworking and smart in learning.
Therefore, Chinese-Americans always act as managers or directors in the company. Ordinary Chinese people who are less educated also do well in labor work since they work hard with little complaint. To conclude, the hyphenated American identity gives Chinese-Americans both advantages and disadvantages actually. However, people should be optimistic about the future condition.Although the environment outside is changing all the time, the qualities and abilities Chinese-Americans have should not be forgot. In general, it is not easy for Chinese-Americans to make a living in America with a hyphenated identity.
The hyphenated American identity gives them both obstacles and accesses to success. There are discriminations from natives as well as continuous conflicts between different cultures and habits from different nation. All of these can be presented in works and movies created by Chinese-Americans.However, Chinese-Americans still gain from the special identity. Chinese people are smart and hardworking in a long history. As a result, highly educated Chinese-Americans are accepted and welcomed by the companies in America because knowledge and ability are two important factors in work.
Chinese-Americans have succeeded in several fields in the world, such as politics, science and art. Reference Abdelrazek, A. (2008). Contemporary Arab American Women Writers: Hyphenated Identities and Border Crossings. New York: Cambria Press.
Chang, I. 2003). The Chinese in America: A Narrative History. America: Viking Books. Fleegler, R. (2013).
Ellis Island Nation: Immigration Policy and American Identity in the Twentieth Century. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press. Gritter, M. (2009).
The Chinese Americans. America: Mason Crest Publishers. Guan, Chengxue. & Zhao, Jimin. (2012) Chinese-American scientists who have been awarded the Nobel Prize: the Story of Yang Zhenning and Li Zhengdao. Jilin: Jinlin Science and Technology Press.
Irwin, W. & Genthe, A. (2010).Old Chinatown: A Book of Pictures by Arnold Genthe.
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