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Chinese family values in a selection of Chinese-American and Chinese-Canadian children's novels on the immigrant experience Li, Yan Ling


This study examines the representation of traditional family values, in particular filial piety, in four Chinese-North American immigrant children’s books: The Bone Collector’s Son by Paul Yee, The Star Fisher by Laurence Yep, Donald Duk: A Novel by Frank Chin, and Yang the Third and Her Impossible Family by Lensey Namioka. Utilizing the theoretical framework of Critical Race Theory and the methodologies of content analysis and close reading, this research investigates the depiction of the role and importance of filial piety in the immigrant families of the texts, as well as the relationship between acculturation and heritage values. Conclusions include that the value of traditional Chinese filial piety, while present in the fictional family relationships, is to an extent modified and questioned in the North American society. The choice of acculturation strategies by parent and child protagonists also creates intergenerational conflicts and affects the adherence to traditional family values. By providing diverse perspectives on the immigrant experience, the novels give a voice to minority group issues and celebrate individual differences.

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