Chin Family Roots and Experiences in America : Effects of Anti-Chinese Violence and Exclusionary Policies on Chinese Immigrants during late 1800s to mid-1900s
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I am bi-racial: half Chinese and half Lebanese. Both of my parents are the first generation in their family to be born in America; their parents immigrated to America. Throughout my education at Kalamazoo College, I have been inspired by the wealth of information on East Asian Studies, so I naturally gravitated towards seeking more knowledge about my Chinese culture, language, history, and ultimately about my own identity. The use of family artifacts to explore identity is in a way a transformative experience in which one engages with the world through the mediation of artifacts. Artifacts, such as pictures and formal records of family, can (if warranted) have teachable moments in which one can learn through the experiences of past family members' interactions in the social, political, and cultural environment. The mediation of artifacts and oral history can affect the influence of the cognition and the self. It can either subconsciously or consciously be a way for one to form identity. The development of an identity is socially constructed and shaped by socialization, interpersonal interactions, cultural tools, and personal experiences. People develop and learn various ways of being, knowing, and doing through experiences and activities in social contexts. That learning can be built on prior knowledge of cultural tools that mediate this process, helping to facilitate the growth of an individual as one finds one's place in the world and helping to understand family traditions and cultures better, so that they can be preserved into the generation. Through research, people can also take pride in their ancestors' achievements or personalities, which might be reflected in the current ·generation. On a more practical level, discoveries can uncover a history of medical information that might harm the current generation. In the case of my research, there is no known medical information from my family genealogy records in China.
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