Identity development of second-generation Chinese Canadians through heritage and dominant cultures
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This paper addresses the experiences of second-generation Chinese Canadians in developing their identity through heritage and dominant cultures. Literature on global migration and dual nation identities is explored before discussing the dichotomy of collectivism and individualism, which highlights a distinction between focusing on community goals compared to autonomy. The negotiation between heritage and dominant cultures is further impacted by a range of factors, including specific cultural values such as filial piety, as well as parental attitudes and components of ethnic identity (e.g. self-labels and language). Reviewing the existing, albeit limited, literature on Chinese Canadians has emphasized the shortcomings of data on this demographic and the lack of information on a population that has deep-rooted historical and unique connections with Canada. Amongst the studies available, the results have painted a picture riddled with a blend of generational statuses, a hyperfocus on adolescent individuals, and sampling mostly limited to metropolitan communities. Recognizing the complexities faced by second-generation Chinese Canadians, practitioners are required to acknowledge the unique experiences and local resources pertaining to this group of people. Further, self-awareness and cultural competencies strengthen the ability to align with prospective clients. Implications for the helping professionals and considerations for future studies are discussed.