Negotiating Chineseness in diaspora : traditional Chinese medicine and memory in Hong Kong and the greater Toronto area, 1960-2018

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Ko, Jenn




In this essay and documentary film, I explore the notion of "Chineseness" in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) through the lived experiences of Chinese diaspora in Hong Kong and the Greater Toronto Area. I conducted an oral history project with eight individuals who shared their perceptions and memories of TCM. I interpret their stories through the theoretical frameworks of diaspora, affect, and performance, and situate them within the translocal history of TCM from China to its cultural peripheries. I argue that Chineseness emerges in liminal spaces and is narrated and negotiated in uneven and sometimes contradictory ways and explore ways TCM inscribes and transmits cultural knowledge in family. This inquiry has implications for policymakers and change makers who are able to integrate cross-cultural perceptions and practices into private and public healthcare systems in Ontario.


Canadian History
Cultural Anthropology
History - Asia, Australia, and Oceania




Carleton University

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Theses and Dissertations

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