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A narrative inquiry of cross-cultural lives: lives in Canada

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In a series of three papers, I examined the identity-development of three Chinese women teachers as they moved back and forth between Eastern and Western cultures and languages amid the rapidly changing events of the last four decades. I use a river metaphor to explore three phases in the cross-cultural lives of these women: in the first paper, their lives in China amid multiple cultural movements; in the second, their lives in Canada; and in the third their lives in the North American academy. This lifebased narrative inquiry, situated between non-fiction, fiction and academic discourses, opens up possibilities for establishing a link between cross-cultural lives and identities, cross-cultural teacher education, and curriculum studies in multicultural contexts. In this second paper, I explore the three teachers' lives in Canada with a particular focus on their enculturation (acquisition of first culture) and acculturation (learning of second or additional culture) processes. Special attention is paid to developing an understanding of the relationship between the cultural impact of a move to Canada and the experience of moving back and forth between China and Canada, a cultural process no less of an upheaval than the Cultural Revolution. I question static notions of first culture, second culture and cultural transformation, and search for a fluid way of thinking and writing about the complex cross-cultural lives and cross-cultural identities.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2002-05-01

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