Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

A study on Taiwanese international students and Taiwanese American students: The interface between naming and identity
by Chen, Yi-An, M.A., San Jose State University, 2013, 125; 1533008
Abstract (Summary)

In this study, I analyze how Chinese and English naming practices influence name adoption and explicate how the use and choice of names by Taiwanese international students and Taiwanese American students at San José State University, California, are structured through social interaction and cultural context. The data were collected from in-depth interviews with 10 Taiwanese international students and 10 Taiwanese American students. The interviews focused on how they construct their identities and produce social relations with others through their choice and use of ethnic and/or English names.

The study findings help to illuminate areas that until now have not received much scholarly attention. Certain traditional practices, such as generation names, are used by both Taiwanese parents and first generation Taiwanese parents to solidify the kindred relationships among siblings and collateral relatives, thus showing continuity even when parents have immigrated to the United States. Furthermore, the use of ethnic and English names by Taiwanese international students, which appeared at first to be governed by personal choice, is often constrained by linguistic and social factors. Their use of English names begins in Taiwan and then continues in the United States, not only helping them to transform themselves from outsiders to insiders, but also greatly influencing their acculturation.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Henze, Rosemary
Commitee: Frazier, Stefan, Svorou, Soteria
School: San Jose State University
Department: Linguistics
School Location: United States -- California
Source: MAI 51/04M(E), Masters Abstracts International
Source Type: DISSERTATION
Subjects: Educational sociology, Asian American Studies, Multicultural Education, Sociolinguistics
Keywords: English names, Identity, Naming practices, Onomastics, Taiwanese international students, Taiwanese-American
Publication Number: 1533008
ISBN: 978-1-267-90054-8
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