Date of Award

12-2008

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

Major

Education

Major Professor

Barbara J. Thayer-Bacon

Committee Members

Joy T. DeSensi, Miriam L. Levering, Diana K. Moyer

Abstract

As a female cross-cultural educator and scholar in the third space, I am deeply concerned about issues related to Asian Americans and especially Chinese women intellectuals. Problematic misinterpretations of Chinese women from Euro-western perspective center on Orentalism and newly arising problems during the post-Mao era in China such as problems with rising gender consciousness, invisibility issues of homosexuality, ethnic minorities, rethinking of class, and added social contexts in Chinese indigenous works. These problems demonstrate the need to pay attention to Chinese feminist scholarship and Chinese women’s academic contributions. A better way to theoretically understand Chinese women and their scholarship from a philosophical perspective is suggested through this work. The researcher's perspective as a philosopher and cultural studies scholar is pragmatist, post-modern, and socialist feminist. I develop Chinese feminist identity theory on the basis of an interdisciplinary reflective critical analysis of Euro-western and Chinese feminist literatures and Euro-western identity theories. The academic identity of Chinese female intellectuals is represented as an ensemble of multiple factors including their gender/cultural/social selves that interplay with each other. I develop my own gender perspective – “relational gender perspective” – as an alternate to the “separate gender perspective” in Euro-western feminist Julia Kristeva’s problematic argument. Relating theory to practice, I suggest educational implications about how to create more inclusive multicultural learning communities.

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