何毓琦的个人博客分享 http://blog.sciencenet.cn/u/何毓琦 哈佛(1961-2001) 清华(2001-date)

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Chinese Americans in the US (#3) – the 1.5th Generation 精选

已有 7793 次阅读 2008-3-1 21:29 |个人分类:生活点滴|系统分类:海外观察

(For new reader and those who request 好友请求, please read my 公告栏 first).
Immigrants to the US after becoming citizens are usually denoted as the first generation Americans. Although this designation is by no mean unanimous. Sometimes the children born to the immigrants are denoted as first generation Americans rather than second generation Americans. Instead their parents are classified as the zeroth generation or the immigrant generation. However we shall follow the predominant first definition here. Among the educated first generation Chinese Americans most current members came here for graduate study and stayed. But among them there is a smaller but still significant group who either came here with their parents or were sent abroad to study while they are teenagers. This is the 1.5th generation I will be talking about here. I count myself and my wife among this group. (Note: persons who came here before being a teenage and had their elementary school education in the US are not that different from native born children. They are essentially American born and I count them as second generation). A larger number of the 1.5th generation came during the 1949 and 1950 and after the liberalization of US immigration law in 1965 from Taiwan.
The 1.5th generation are different from and yet similar to the first or immigrant generation in many ways. Both had more or less amount of Chinese upbringing and can converse and read Chinese. The main difference is the way they think or behave. The 1.5 generation all had their undergraduate university education here in the US (the formative years of an adult). They tend to think in English and behave more like native born Americans. They do not subscribe to Chinese newspapers or Chinese satellite TV, don’t play Mahjong 麻將 on weekends, and do not follow Chinese customs while living in the US (see my blog http://www.sciencenet.cn/blog/user_content.aspx?id=6971). For these reasons, while they can survive in China, they will not be accustomed to live in China long term. In many sense, they are citizens of the world rather than of the US or China.
I suspect this 1.5 generation will become an ever decreasing or possibly vanishing species since the 1949-50 events will not repeat again. From here on persons who come here for high school and college education (小留学生) and remain will be a very small percentage of the Chinese American population.


http://blog.sciencenet.cn/blog-1565-16643.html

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