Ethnicity and the Subjectivity of Malaysian-Chinese Diasporic Writers

Qiao Meng, Qin Guanyu


Diasporic writers are blessed with two cultures. Their choice of which culture to identify with may be promoted by social circumstances. During the 1970s and the 1980s when Malaysia prioritized the Malays and the Chinese were marginalized and reduced to an inferior position in the country, Malaysian-Chinese writers turned traditional Chinese culture into cultural capital to bring comfort and consolation for their community. Besides, they wrote to protest the country’s unfair treatment of the Chinese, lamented the aphasiac state of their fellowmen and defied the nation’s actualizing attempts to stifle the ethnicity of the Chinese. The Malaysian-Chinese writers’ choice of ethnic identity indicated that they were not passive targets to consent the power of the dominant discourse; and it highlighted their subjectivity as diasporic writers.

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