STORIES OF A TAIWANESE DIASPORA: A NARRATIVE INQUIRY ON THE EXPERIENCES OF TAIWANESE AMERICAN STUDENTS
Chang, Stephanie Hsiao-Sho
Park, Julie J
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There is a growing emphasis on students’ cultural experiences on campus. As such, the purpose of this study was to explore Taiwanese American students and their connection to Taiwanese culture. As a critical-cultural narrative inquiry this study (a) brought attention to Taiwanese American students and their engagement with Taiwanese culture, (b) expanded upon notions of home and experiences of bicultural integration, and (c) utilized diaspora as a theoretical perspective in a student development and higher education context. Research questions guiding this exploration included the following: (1) What do Taiwanese American students identify as significant and meaningful components of Taiwanese culture? (2) How and where do Taiwanese American students connect to Taiwanese culture on campus? (3) In what ways do the experiences of Taiwanese American students contribute to the existence of Taiwanese diaspora? Eight Taiwanese American students from a Mid-Atlantic University participated in this study. Each participant engaged in two interviews. The outcome of this study included individual participant narratives and a grand narrative encompassing four themes: recognizing their parents’ influence, navigating multiple cultural contexts, finding meaningful connections in non-Taiwanese American settings, and making decisions to move closer to Taiwanese culture. This study explored the importance of Taiwanese American students’ connectedness to their ethnic cultural background.