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Fang-tan in research among Chinese communities in New Zealand and Australia:a cultural approach to engagement

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This article proposes Fang-tan as a cultural approach to engagement in psychology research among Chinese communities in New Zealand and Australia. Fang-tan reflects the degree of “being-in-relation” throughout the research process. The article suggests that being-in-relation as a concept is a form of cultural engagement that enables the researcher easier and more culturally appropriate access to research participants. Fang-tan comprises two Chinese words, Fang and Tan. Fang refers to interviewing and asking questions, and Tan is concerned with dialogues and conversation. There are four features of Fang-tan: participant participation, the equality of status between the researcher and the participant, the insider relationship between the researcher and the participant, and the use of the Chinese language. This article illustrates how Fang-tan was conducted in three studies with the Chinese communities and offers the authors’ insights into and reflections on conducting Fang-tan.
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Keywords: Chinese culture; Fang-tan; being-in-relation; community engagement; empowerment; engagement

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Psychology, James Cook University, Australia 2: College of Arts, Society and Education, James Cook University, Australia

Publication date: October 2, 2018

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