Young Children as Intercultural Mediators: Mandarin-speaking Chinese Families in Britain

Author: Zhiyan Guo

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Paperback, Ebook(PDF), Ebook(EPUB)
Multilingual Matters
Number of pages:
210mm x 148mm
Price: £99.95
Price: $139.95
Price: €119.95

This multidisciplinary approach to cultural mediation brings together insights from anthropology, sociology, linguistics and intercultural communication to offer a detailed depiction of family life in immigrant Chinese communities. Utilising a strongly contextualised and evidence-based narrative approach to exploring the nature of child cultural mediation, the author provides an insightful analysis of intercultural relationships between children and parents in immigrant families and of the informative aspects of their everyday lives. Furthermore, the family home setting offers the reader a glimpse of a personal territory that researchers often have great difficulty accessing. This ethnographic study will be of interest to students, researchers and professionals working in the areas of intercultural communication, childhood studies, family relations and migration studies.

The volume provides a comparative inductive study on the modernist philosophical concepts of time, 'Otherness', and the self in practice, and relates it to contemporary tourism and mobility.

The International Association for Languages and Intercultural Communication, March 2014

I found Guo's book conceptually deep, methodologically sound, culturally rich, and contextually informative. This piece has a strong potential to address a diverse readership of Chinese immigrant parents; sociologists of childhood, families, and immigrants; ethnographers and anthropologists of cultural studies; as well as research students with relevant scholarly interests.

Frontiers of Education in China, 2015, 10(2): 340–350

This fascinating book reveals the significant role children play in helping their families adapt to a new migration context. Zhiyan Guo gives us lively descriptions of everyday interactions in which children interpret their experiences of school and peer culture to their parents. Her analysis highlights the subtle processes involved in understanding cultural difference. Researchers and educators will learn much from this book about children as active social agents whose mediation enables parents to connect to new cultural practices.

Charmian Kenner, Goldsmiths, University of London, UK

In this book Zhiyan Guo takes us into the everyday lives of children from Chinese immigrant families in Britain. Unlike previous studies of language brokering, Zhiyan Guo explores a continuum of mediation from assimilative, appropriative to accommodative levels. Along this continuum the children guide their parents to the British way of life. Detailed, thorough and masterfully written this book provides a guide for educators to a mobile and globalized way of life everywhere.

Sheila M. Shannon, University of Colorado Denver, USA

Zhiyan Guo's thoughtful analyses reveal both explicit and implicit ways in which children serve as cultural mediators and active agents in family socialization processes. Nicely theorized, and offering keen insights into everyday lived cultural experiences, this book helps us see reciprocal learning between adults and children in important new ways.

Marjorie Faulstich Orellana, University of California at Los Angeles, USA

Zhiyan Guo is Senior Teaching Fellow in the Language Center at the University of Warwick, UK. Her research interests include intercultural communication, language acquisition, and language teaching and technology.

1. Migration and Acculturation 
2. Understanding Childhood 
3. Cultural Mediation 
4. Child Mediators and Their Families 
5. The Assimilative Level of Child Cultural Mediation 
6. The Appropriative Level of Child Cultural Mediation 
7. The Accommodative Level of Child Cultural Mediation 
8. Demystifying Child Cultural Mediation 
Appendix: Methodological Issues in Ethnographic Studies 

Postgraduate, Research / Professional, Undergraduate
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