• Tiada Hasil Ditemukan



Academic year: 2022


Tunjuk Lagi ( halaman)







A dissertation submitted in fulfilment of the requirement for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Education

(Psychology in Education)

Kulliyyah of Education

International Islamic University Malaysia

MARCH 2018




Within the entire literature on identity studies of Chinese Muslim women, researches still remain limited. As ethnic identity is considered to be a fundamental aspect that provides an individual with a sense of belonging and commitment to a particular ethnic group, this exploratory phenomenological study using qualitative data analysis investigated the lived experiences of young minority Chinese Muslim women in order to gain an understanding of how they negotiate their ethnic identities within and outside their families. The study draws on data gathered from semi-structured interviews with nine young Muslim women who studied religious knowledge at various community-organized classes in the city of Guangzhou. Using integrated approach from developmental, social psychological, and acculturation theories as a conceptual framework, this study provides rich descriptions of the participants’

identity negotiation, interpersonal interactions, and sense of belonging within a changing psychological, social and historical context. Based on participants’

perceptions, the findings of this phenomenological study suggest (1) Ethnic identity is a dynamic process. (2) Social and cultural contexts have great effects on individual’s ethnic identity development. (3) Ethnic identity is multidimensional: family, friends, gender, and religion play vital roles in the process of achieving positive ethnic identity.

(4) Hijab issues are the major barriers for Muslim women living in the mainstream society. And single Muslim women faced difficulties looking for a partner in big cities like Guangzhou. (5) Ethnic identity is understood and internalized through community religious education. Based on the findings, it is recommended that practitioners, especially Muslim activists of current local communities to investigate prevention and intervention programs based on current educational and religious programs. Secondly, the results of this study suggest that educators and practitioners have the responsibility to help build a better connection of communication channel between policy makers and Muslim activists to hear and understand the needs of these minority Muslim women. It is also important to note that they may find out more possible ways of educating their members to consider religion as a potential source of empowerment and to discuss with the female members the ways in which they gain strength from their religious beliefs.



ثحبلا ةصلاخ

ةيولها نأ ابمو .ةردان ةينيصلا ةملسلما ةأرلماب ةقلعتلما تاساردلا لازت لا ،اهلمكأب ةيولها تايبدأ راطإ في ةساردلا هذه نإف ،ةنيعم ةيقرع ةعوممج هاتج مازتللااو ءامتنلااب اروعش درفلل رفوي ايساسأ ابناج برتعت ةيقرعلا تح مادختساب ةيفاشكتسلاا ةيعلاطتسلاا ةيلقلأل ةيعقاولا براجتلا في تققح دق ةيعونلا تانايبلا ليل

ةيقرعلا متهايوه ىلع ضوافتلا ةيفيك مهف ىلع لوصلحا لجأ نم تاباشلا تاينيصلا ءاسنلا نم ةملسلما ءاسن عست عم ةمظنم هبش تلاباقم نم تعجم تانايب لىإ ةساردلا دنتستو .اهجراخو مهرسأ لخاد رعلما نسرد تاباش تاملسم ةنيدم في ةيللمحا تاعمتلمجا اهمظنت تيلا تارودلا فلتمخ في ةينيدلا ةف

رفوت ،يميهافم راطإك ،ةيسفنلاو ةيعامتجلااو ةيومنتلا تايرظنلا نم لماكتم جنه مادختسابو .وشتغناوق قايس في ءامتنلااب روعشلاو ،صاخشلأا ينب تلاعافتلاو ،ينكراشلما ةيوه ةفرعلم ايرث افصو ةساردلا هذه نأ لىإ يرشت ةساردلا هذه جئاتن نإف ،تاكراشلما تاروصت لىإ ادانتساو .يرغتم ييخراتو يعامتجاو يسفن ( 1 ( ،ةيكيمانيد ةيلمع يه ةيقرعلا ةيولها ) 2

ةيولها ةيمنت ىلع ةيربك راثآ ةيفاقثلاو ةيعامتجلاا تاقايسلل )

( ،دارفلأل ةيقرعلا 3

داعبلأا ةددعتم ةيقرعلا ةيولها نأو ) -

رسلأا نيدلاو سنلجا عونو ءاقدصلأاو ة -


( .ةيبايجلإا ةيقرعلا ةيولها قيقتح ةيلمع في ةيويح اراودأ 4

يه ،سانلا تاروصت في ،باجلحا ةيضق نأو )

نع تابوعص هجاوت ةجوزتلما يرغ ةملسلما ةأرلماو .ماعلا عمتلمجا في شيعت تيلا ةملسلما ةأرملل سيئرلا زجالحا بكلا ندلما في كيرش دوجو ( .وشتغناوق لثم ةير

5 ميلعتلا للاخ نم بعوتستو ةموهفم ةيقرعلا ةيولها نأو )

ةيللمحا تاعمتلمجا في نوملسلما نوطشانلا سرايم نأب ثحبلا يصوي ،جئاتنلا لىإ ادانتساو .يعمتلمجا نييدلا يرشت ،ايناث .ةيلالحا ةينيدلاو ةيميلعتلا جمابرلا ىلع ًءانب لخدتلاو ةياقولا جمارب ضعب ةساردلا هذه جئاتن

تاونق ينب لضفأ لاصتا ءانب ىلع ةدعاسلما ةيلوؤسم نولمحتي ينسراملماو ةيعوتلا ييصاصتخا نأ لىإ نمو .تاملسلما ءاسنلا نم ةيلقلأا هذه تاجايتحا مهفو عاسم لجأ نم ينملسلما ينطشانلاو لصاوتلا م نيدلا اوبرتعي نأب ءاضعلأا فيقثتل لضفأ اقرط اوديج نأ مهلما عم اوشقاني نأو ،ينكمتلل لامتمح اردص

.ةينيدلا نتهادقتعم نم ةوق ابه بنستكي تيلا لبسلا ثانلإا ءاضعلأا




The dissertation of Sha Chunyan has been approved by the followings:


Nik Ahmad Hisham Ismail Supervisor


Syed Alwi Shahab Co-Supervisor


Nik Suryani Nik Abd. Rahman Internal Examiner


Mohd Tajuddin Md. Ninggal External Examiner


Ma Qianfeng External Examiner


Badruddin Hj. Ibrahim Chairperson




I hereby declare that this dissertation is the result of my own investigation, except where otherwise stated. I also declare that it has not been previously or concurrently submitted as a whole for any other degrees at IIUM or other institutions.

Sha Chunyan

Signature………....………. Date …….……….








I declare that the copyright holder of this dissertation are jointly owned by the student and IIUM.

Copyright © 2018 Sha Chunyan and International Islamic University Malaysia. All rights reserved.

No part of this unpublished research may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise without prior written permission of the copyright holder except as provided below

1. Any material contained in or derived from this unpublished research may be used by others in their writing with due acknowledgement.

2. IIUM or its library will have the right to make and transmit copies (print or electronic) for institutional and academic purposes.

3. The IIUM library will have the right to make, store in a retrieved system and supply copies of this unpublished research if requested by other universities and research libraries.

By signing this form, I acknowledged that I have read and understand the IIUM Intellectual Property Right and Commercialization policy.

Affirmed by Sha Chunyan

……..……….. ………..

Signature Date




This dissertation is dedicated to Chinese Muslim women, our parents, our children, and our families




All praises belong to Allah, the Creator, the Cherisher and the Sustainer. He truly granted me His mercy, grace and strength to complete this research. The road to achieve this degree is not easy, as I witnessed my baby has turned to a big boy. Truly, this journey has enriched me spiritually, psychologically, and intellectually. Being a member of the Chinese Muslim women, I returned from business to academy to write about them as my responsibility. Without their full cooperation, this work could not be carried out.

I acknowledge with the deepest of my heartfelt gratitude the wisdom, guidance, and quick support form Prof. Dr. Nik Ahmad Hisham, my dissertation committee chairperson. To my other committee members: Assoc. Prof. Dr. Syed Alwi Shahab and Assoc. Prof. Dr. Ssekamanya Siraje Abdallah, God knows exactly the entire process how they have supported me. I am truly grateful for the sacrifices you all made to offer your advices, support, and expertise throughout this process. And this dissertation would not have been possible without my nine phenomenal study participants. Thank you all for trusting me to tell your stories.

I am very grateful to my husband, my children, and my parents for being the most supportive and caring stewards of my life. Their unconditional love, endless patience, myriad sacrifices, and enormous trust have empowered me with courage to fulfill my dreams and overcome challenges during these years. I would not have walked so far without them. There are not enough words to express how much you all mean to me. You have always been my greatest cheerleaders. I have been able to count on your support throughout the years. Thank you all, and May God reward you.




Abstract ... i

Abstract in Arabic ... iii

Approval Page ... iv

Declaration ... v

Copyright ... vi

Dedication ... vii

Acknowledgements ... viii

List of Tables ... xiii

List of Figures ... xiv


1.1 Background of the Study ... 1

1.2 Statement of Problem ... 4

1.3 Objectives of the Study ... 6

1.4 Research Questions ... 7

1.5 Significance of the Study ... 8

1.6 Conceptual Frameworks ... 10

1.7 Delimitations of the Study ... 15

1.8 Definition of Terms ... 16

1.9 Summary and Chapter Arrangement ... 17


2.1 Introduction... 19

2.2 Sociocultural Historical Context... 19

2.2.1 Religious Sects ... 21

2.2.2 The People: Hui ... 21

2.2.3 Dual Identities of Chinese Minority Muslim Women ... 22

2.2.4 The Floating Population of Chinese Minority Muslim Women in Guangzhou ... 23

2.2.5 Previous Studies on Education and Identity of Muslim Women in China ... 25

2.2.6 Reviving of Islamic Education. ... 29

2.3 Ethnicity and Ethnic Identity ... 31

2.3.1 Definitions of Ethnicity ... 31

2.3.2 Definitions of Racial Identity and Ethnic Identities ... 31

2.3.3 In the Context of China ... 33

2.3.4 Religion and Religiosity ... 35

2.4 Theoretical Frameworks of Ethnic Identity Development ... 38

2.4.1 Developmental Approach ... 39 Erikson’s Theory of Ego Identity Formation ... 39 Marcia’s Theory and Model of Ego Identity Formation ... 41 Sue and Sue’s Racial and Cultural Identity Development Model (R/CID) ... 42


x Cross’s Five- Stage Black Identity Development

Model ... 44 Phinney’s Three-Stage Model of Ethnic Identity Development ... 45 Kim’s Model of Asian American Identity Development ... 46

2.4.2 Social Psychological Approach ... 49 Social Identity Theory ... 49 Multiple Dimensions of Identity Model ... 51

2.4.3 Acculturation Approach ... 52 Theory of Acculturation by Berry ... 52 Models of Acculturation ... 53

2.3.4 Limitations of Identity Models ... 56

2.5 A Conceptual Framework ... 57

2.6 Summary of the Chapter ... 60


3.1 Introduction... 61

3.2 Research Design ... 61

3.2.1 Qualitative in Nature ... 61

3.2.2 A Phenomenological Approach ... 62

3.3 Participants ... 63

3.3.1 Selection of Participants... 65

3.4 Data Collection ... 67

3.4.1 Demographic Questionnaires ... 67

3.4.2 Interviews ... 67

3.5 Data Analysis ... 69

3.5.1 Transcribing and Coding ... 69

3.6 Credibility and Trustworthiness ... 72

3.6.1 Trustworthiness ... 72 Peer Debriefer ... 73 Member checking ... 73

3.7 Ethical Issues and Concerns ... 75

3.8 Summary ... 76


4.1 Introduction... 78

4.2 Profiles of Participants ... 79

4.3 Profiles of Individual Participants ... 78

4.4 Research Findings ... 94

4.4.1 Theme One: Self Concept ... .95 Sub Theme One: Prior Identity ... 96 Sub Theme Two: Hui/Muslim Identity ... 98 Sub Theme Three: Being Different ... 98 Sub Theme Four: Future Expectations ... 100

4.4.2 Theme Two: Ethnic Identity Development is influenced by Social and Cultural Contexts ... 102 Sub Theme One: Assimilation from Han ... 102 Sub Theme Two: Confucius Teachings ... 104


xi Sub Theme Three: Integration and Acculturation ... 105

4.4.3 Theme Three: Ethnic Identity is Multidimensional ... 107 Sub Theme One: Parental Influences ... 107 Sub Theme Two: Children’s Religious Education ... 109 Sub Theme Three: Muslim Friends’ Influences ... 111 Sub Theme Four: Gender Roles ... 114 Early Marriage ... 114 Family roles and childcare ... 115 Subtheme Five: Religion ... 116 Intrinsic Belief ... 120 Religious Practices (Extrinsic) ... 123

4.4.4 Theme Four: Barriers and Challenges ... 125 Sub Theme One: People’s Perceptions ... 126 Ignorance ... 127 Misunderstanding ... 128 Stereotyping Muslims ... 129 Sub Theme Two: Internal Feelings of Hijab ... 130 Meanings and Practices Behind Hijab ... 130 Not Wearing Hijab ... 132 Wearing Hijab ... 134 Subtheme Three: Future Partners ... 135

4.4.5 Theme Five: Muslim Communities (Educating and Supporting Roles) ... 137 Subtheme One Religious Classes ... 137 Subtheme Two: Individual and Community Charity Works ... 142 Sub Theme Three: Guangzhou (A City of Inclusiveness) ... 143

4.5 Summary of the Chapter ... 145


5.1 Introduction... 147

5.2 Discussion ... 149

5.2.1 Ethnic Identity is A Dynamic Process ... 151

5.2.2 Social and Cultural Contexts of Individual’s Ethnic Identity Development ... 156 Assimilation or Acculturation? ... 157 Confucius Teachings ... 159 Integration to the Mainstream... 161

5.2.3 Ethnic Identity is Multidimensional: Family, Friends, Gender, and Religion Play Vital Roles for Individuals in the Process of Achieving Positive Ethnic Identity ... 162 Familial Influences ... 163 Muslim Friends' Influences ... 165 Gender ... 167 Religion as Empowerment... 170

5.2.4 Peoples’ Perceptions, Hijab Issues, Future Partners, and Children’s Education as Barriers ... 172 People’s Perceptions ... 173


xii Hijab ... 175 Children’s Education and Future partners ... 177

5.2.5 Ethnic Identity is Understood and Internalized through Community Centered Religious Education. ... 179 Community centered religious education helps individuals gain ethnic identity ... 180 Guangzhou, A Uniqueness Place ... 183

5.3 Implications ... 183

5.4 Limitations ... 187

5.5 Suggestions for Future Research ... 189

5.6 Conclusions ... 190












Table 2.1 Related Studies 27

Table 2.2 Racial/Ethnic Identity Development Models 48

Table 2.3 Theoretical Framework 57

Table 4.1 Participant Demographics 80

Table 4.2 Participants’ Perceptions and Descriptions of their Faith 119




Figure 1.1 Muslim Population in China 14

Figure 1.2 Conceptual Framework 14

Figure 2.1 Guangzhou Huaisheng Mosque (One of the Earliest Mosques in

China) 20

Figure 2.2 Chinese Islamic Calligraphic Writing of “Jiao Men” 38 Figure 2.3 Four Quadrants Reflecting Acculturation Status 55

Figure 2.4 The Conceptual Framework 59

Figure 3.1 Selection of Participants 66

Figure 3.2 Sample Themes 70

Figure 4.1 Themes: Ethnic Identity Development of Young Chinese Muslim

Women 95

Figure 5.1 Original Conceptual Frameworks 150

Figure 5.2 Revised conceptual frameworks 150

Figure 5.3 The Process of Ethnic Identity Development 152





The People’s Republic of China is a complex, multicultural, and multilingual country comprising 13 diverse states or provinces, and populated by the dominant Han (汉) ethnic group who constitute 91% of the total population, and 55 officially recognized ethnic minority groups, each possessing distinct cultural differences, and divided into a myriad ethnic subgroups speaking at least 128 different languages (Sun, Hu &

Huang, 2007), making up 9% (approximately 110 million) of the PRC population (Sautman, 1999). Among the 9% of the minority ethnic groups, more than 23 million are Muslims, comprising 10 ethnic groups. However, this population, which consists of only 1.6 percent of the whole PRC population, has been systematically snubbed and alienated by the majority Han society for decades (Poston, Alnuaimi & Zhang, 2011).

Figure 1.1 Muslim Population in China



In the year 2014, for the very first time in China’s history a beautiful young Muslim woman stood on the stage in proper Islamic garb and covered by the hijab (Zhang, 2017), and was wildly applauded by a totally Chinese (mostly non-Muslim Han) audience. Her name is Shila Amzah, a famous Muslim singer from Malaysia who won third place in a highly competitive singing contest in one of the highest-rated TV programs in China entitled “I am a Singer” (Koh, 2016). Although she was placed 3rd among very strong Chinese competitors, what attracted the Chinese audience most was the way she dressed (Bai, 2014). The fact that a Muslim lady could appear in a popular public talent show on TV was completely unexpected. The audience was immediately struck by the way she dressed, in particular her head cover. Who is she?

Why does she cover herself? And they began to get curious about her Muslim identity, and started discussions about Islam (Yao, 2014). This incident demonstrated (particularly to fellow Muslims in China) that Muslim women can also perform on stage, and still retain their modesty by wearing the hijab (Zhang, 2017). Muslim traditions and practices are not well known by the majority in China. Instead, Muslims are solely known as one of the minority ethnic groups (Gladney, 1998).

When Shila’s hijab image appeared in the Chinese mainstream media, Muslim women started thinking and rethinking about their identities. For the minority Muslim community, Shila could represent a positive image of the Muslim women to the public, and many Muslim activists on the Internet started to call upon fellow sisters to act on such a positive influence (Zhang, 2017). However, in contrast to this phenomenon, only a few days after Shila’s success on China’s stage, another incident went viral on mainstream Chinese mass media: a fully veiled Muslim girl was caught live by the police after a knife-wielding terrorist group attacked the Kunming Railway



Station in the capital of southwest China's Yunnan Province (Gracie, 2014). That beautiful and positive image of Chinese minority Muslim women was immediately wiped away, and instead, the Internet was inundated with blames and virulent condemnations. People simply related the terrorism with Muslims by negative stereotyping. As Israeli (1978) states, Islam is unavoidably rebellious and Muslims as minorities are inherently problematic to secular states. Inevitably, this image of Muslims coincides with their negative image worldwide after the 911 attacks in the USA. Worldwide, Muslims have been demonized as terrorists by the mass media.

How Chinese Muslim women negotiate their identity in a non-Muslim country has become the concern of many researchers. Establishing a positive identity is a major developmental task during adolescence and emerging adulthood (Chickering &

Reisser, 1993). Being a Muslim female researcher from China, the author realizes a great responsibility and an urgent need to tell the public who we are, what we need, why we are here, and how we live our lives differently from the mainstream society.

Bearing this great responsibility in mind, the purpose of the researcher is to initiate a study of the ethnic identity development of young Minority Chinese Muslim women, which is scarce and needs to be introduced to the general public. And this study therefore, can be regarded as a pioneering work.

The current research about Muslim women’s ethnic identity development was conducted in Guangzhou, China, where Muslim women are visible everywhere in this big modern city. As the world’s biggest manufacturing hub, Guangzhou attracts Muslims from all over the world and from every part of China. As Simpfendorfer (2011) stated, Guangzhou now plays its role as a link between China, Muslim countries and the world, and an important center of the “New Silk Road”. Without a doubt, half of their products can be attributed to the women with colorful Hijabs on



the busy streets. This investigation examines real life stories of these contributors, their needs, feelings, and aspirations.

The researcher used to live in Guangzhou and was involved in different Muslim community activities for 5 years. The community had experienced various challenges and hardships, and continuously making their best effort to survive, to be recognized, to be accepted, and not to be misunderstood and slighted by the majority Han people. This sector of the population still faces many problems, such as the opportunity to have the Hukou (a position/certificate as a city citizen), to have a stable job, to practice their religion freely, to be protected and cared for by the government, and to make Guangzhou their home.


Minority Muslim women in China have been an enigma for centuries. Little is known about Muslim women behind their hijab. And this is a population that is often ignored, misrepresented, misinterpreted, and needed to be studied in order to improve cross- cultural understanding among Muslims and non-Muslims nationally and internationally. Currently, what remains critical and to be studied is the general status of the Chinese Muslim women, who represent half of the Muslim population in China.

However, unavoidably, they face more challenges and difficulties as well as ignorance, especially those migrant young women, who are still struggling with their sense of identity, due to their educational, religious and ethnic background, and facing more obstacles than their male counterparts (Bai, You, Ji & Bai 2011). Additionally, the diversity of the numerous ethnic populations, the multiplicity and confusion of identity, have created a lot of instability and uncertainty, even among their own community. Jenkins and Gottlieb (2007) stated that, many of these challenges still



remain the same for the past 1400 years of interaction with the mainstream society, but many more are new due to the transformed and globalized Chinese society.

Ever since the inception of the “open door policy” (Ma, 2005), traditional minority communities are facing disintegration, dispersion or migration. This massive movement of internal migration within the states of China gave rise to the notion of Floating Population, the domestic immigrants of China, which has become one of the biggest social problems in China today (Ma Q, 2006). China's urban Muslim communities also suffered an intense process of urbanization. The rapid urbanization has pushed the urban Muslims into a diaspora (Ma Q, 2006).

In Guangzhou, most of the young Muslim women migrated from the Northwestern part of China, where life experiences are extremely different from the Cantonese Guangzhou. The researcher used to be the only hijab-wearing female in the district of Dongpu, where she first resided in Guangzhou in 2005. None of the researcher’s Muslim female friends could find a job with the government. Many Muslim women were rejected by the officials due to their way of dressing. This explains the large number of female Muslim translators on the streets and markets of Guangdong. Most of them chose to work for private trading companies where they have more religious rights such as wearing the hijab and praying five times a day. The question is whether this is the only job solution for them? What about the future female Muslim newcomers? There are a great number of fresh graduates as well as those uneducated women continuously coming to Guangzhou looking for jobs. Do they get any government aid? What kind of support have they received from the local Muslim community? And what can we, as educators, do to support them? The current situation of the Muslim women has urged the researcher to dive deep into their real- life stories



Living in the modern international city of Guangzhou, the female young Muslim population faces various challenges in all aspects of their lives. And previous researches lack descriptive information since investigators have been unsuccessful to directly question subjects about the Chinese Muslim women’s ethnic identity. Hence due to their educational and religious background, they seldom voice out what they are experiencing, how they feel, and what they really want. “How we perceive our ethnic identity - in fact, our ethnic self-concept - results from an accumulation of life experiences, personal perceptions, social interactions, and developmental growth.”

(Gay & Baber, 1987, p.35). Therefore, this study aims to examine the complex process of ethnic development by allowing subjects to describe their ethnic identity development through in-depth interviews. In the present study, the author aims at discovering more descriptive information on the educational influences, personal experiences, and other factors involved in the process of these women’s ethnic identity development.

This study aims at exploring into the real live experience of young Muslim women in Guangzhou, and the main research question is, “What are the lived experiences of Chinese young Muslim women in Guangzhou?” In greater detail, the goals of this research therefore, are to:

1. Look into the perceptions and inner feelings of the young Muslim women about their ethnic identity.

i. Their past experiences of identity development in Guangzhou.

ii. The present thoughts and predicament of these women in Guangzhou.

iii. Future expectations and aspirations of these women.

2. Examine the roles that Islam plays as a way of life in shaping their


7 identities.

3. Discover how they deal with identity issues and gender roles inside and outside their family context.

4. Explore and understand the barriers and various life challenges they encounter in their daily life.

5. Examine the coping strategies they employed in dealing with life barriers and challenges.

6. Propose a model to help minority Muslim women in China to realize their true identity.


There are some myriad unanswered questions pertaining to Muslim women in China.

Who are they? Where do they come from? Why do they come to Guangzhou? What do they do in Guangzhou? Why do they cover up their heads? How do they live in Cantonese Guangzhou? These are some of the common questions being asked by the majority people from time to time. These women look different and behave differently in the society. Those who care about them, would want to delve more into this enigma. What makes them unique and what thoughts and feelings lie beneath their head covers? How do they adjust to the modern Chinese life and culture? And how do they situate themselves in the society? These are complex questions which have no easy answers, and a large number of researches are needed to unearth some of the answers.

Currently, there are some studies and researches focusing on general Muslim community life and social changes; however very few deal with women’s issues.

Muslim women contribute half to the productivity of the larger community, but they



are often marginalized and ignored. The researcher seeks to understand how these young Muslim women comprehend and negotiate their identities—their current situations, their feelings, their desires (potentials), their plans (thoughts) for their future, marriage and family, their ethnicity, religion, and gender roles within the context of their families, their work places, their communities and the overall society.

This study focused on several research questions:

1. How do young Chinese minority Muslim women perceive and feel themselves both as Muslims and as Chinese?

2. What role does Islam and the Chinese culture play in shaping their identity?

3. How do young Chinese minority Muslim women negotiate their identity and gender roles within and outside their families?

4. What barriers do young Muslim women experience in their daily lives in Guangzhou?

5. How do these young women cope with the current situation? Do they an official support system? What roles do Muslim communities play in helping their female members?

6. What working plans and supporting strategies can the researcher contribute to this study?


Phinney and Rosenthal (1992) have noted that more research needs to be conducted examining the impact of ethnicity on identity. They reasoned that racial and ethnic minorities have an added dimension to their identity development. These youths are faced with the challenge of not only developing their personal identity, but also



integrating their identity as an ethnic group member with the mainstream society (Phinney & Rosenthal, 1992). In China, it was only after the 1990s, the development and issues of China's ethnic minority had increasingly become the concerns of all parties and also became the focus of many experts and scholars (Luo, 2004). Through years of struggling, Muslim women in China struggled to be accepted and respected by the majority Chinese society. Due to the complexity of the Chinese Muslim women’s culture, very few studies have been conducted, and there are many gaps to be filled. Women’s studies are still developing and improving, and the theoretical system in the research area is still under construction. Due to inadequate theoretical support, the applications of research methods and theories relating to Muslim women leaves much to be discovered (Luo, 2004).

This study is significant in many respects. It opens a new chapter of research to discover the identity issues of these women. First, it fills a gap in the literature. In China, research in the field is rather weak, especially in areas like women's psychology, women and the environment, women and domestic violence (Luo, 2004).

Secondly, although some research focused on the Muslim peoples’ experience in northwestern China (Gladney, 2003), little research has been done on the Muslim women’s experiences in China. Some very limited knowledge about the experiences and challenges of Chinese Muslim females existed. The study of the lived experiences of Chinese Muslim women and their identity development has rarely been conducted.

The findings of this study will add new knowledge and understanding of the identity development of these Muslim Chinese women.

And finally, this study helps researchers, educators, administrators, counselors, and policy makers increase their understanding of the minority Muslim women of China, so that their voices could be heard, their current statuses could be improved,



and their needs could be fulfilled. In addition, by increasing awareness of these minority women among the general society, there will be less misunderstandings and bias towards them. And finally, this study, as a pioneering research on ethnic identity development of minority Muslim women in China, urges more research to be carried out in the future. Therefore, this research is very significant since scholars are also calling for urgent attention and serious studies to be done on/by Chinese Muslim women (Luo, 2004), especially those who have better opportunity and access to them.


This research is a study of the real lived experience of young Muslim women in Guangzhou, China, which employs theoretical perspectives relevant for understanding their experience. A conceptual framework guides the study and gives it boundaries by framing the problem, the data collection and analysis of data (Mertens, 2005).

Therefore, using related theories, the researcher drew out a picture of an integration of related theories to construct the conceptual framework. In this study, across a wide range of theories, the researcher summarized from three different approaches of identity studies as a basis of the conceptual framework, namely: a developmental approach, a socio-psychological approach, and an acculturation approach. Theories from these three perspectives are employed as the guiding conceptual framework.

First of all, this study utilizes the developmental approach to ethnic identity, which views it as a developing process (Phinney, 1998). This process may include learning about the history and traditions of their group and confronting issues of discrimination and prejudice, and young adults may discuss such issues with their parents or others as part of this exploration (Phinney, 1998). Ideally the process culminates in an achieved ethnic identity, characterized by clarity about oneself as an



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As a theory of social learning, COP allows a thorough examination to be conducted on young people’s participation in digital practices, their belonging to communities in

a Is there a relationship between Malaysian Chinese secondary school students’ ethnic identity and micro educational factors for different type of school?.. b Is there a

6 The concept of intra-ethnic business networks are now liberally used in assessments of business enterprises owned by ethnic Indians – as well as other ethnic groups – in a variety

In order to determine the DUSP6 gene mutation and its effect on craniofacial morphology of class III malocclusion in Malaysian Malay ethnic group, a study is yet to be

Given the primacy of Malay political hegemony and the constitutional status of Islam, the Chinese minority in Kelantan experienced both gradual and drastic

study that focused on ethnic Chinese minority’s perceptions, the authors raised discussions on social integration and expanded on the understanding of “functional” ethnic identity

a) Two views of commitment concept as a behavior and as the relative strength of an individual’s identifications with and involvement in a

1) To identify if sense of belonging and consumer behavioural intention to accept QR codes as a new form of organization marketing tool is having a significant

Malaysian ethnic diversity is not only recognised by the existence of a number of ethnic groups such as Malay, Chinese, Indian, Iban, Kadazan, and ethnic minorities such as the

This research, confines its study to micro factors such as gender and ethnic groups , influencing compliance behavior of individual taxpayers.. There is also a difference

These items are item 27 (I have been threaten by the other students whose ethnic group is…), item 32 (play in school with other students whose ethnic group is…), item 33 (study

Analyzing Land Surface Temperature (LST) in response to massive urbanization by using Single Window Algorithm in Penang Island.. Signature o

The variable (a) is neither correlated with ethnic group variation nor stylistic variation, it can be said that variable (a) is neither a marker nor an

occupational- Association structure,the Hokkiens were the first to organize a strong consanguineous association among the different work groups within the Hokkien

Hence, this current paper intends to focus on job stressor, workplace telepressure, workplace Fear of Missing out (FOMO) and cynicism about organisational change

Freedom from the shackles of poverty is a fundamental human right that has to be accorded to all human beings irrespective of their gender, ethnic, cultural, religious,

The presence of endogenous hormone 2,4-D in leaf explants and the addition of synthetic hormone 2,4-D around 0.002-11.050 mg L −1 in culture media induced the formation

Therefore, shari’ah is seen as a sacred and fundamental aspect in the sense that if there is an external attempt that tries to change the sacredness of its teachings and