Dr. Hsin-I Sydney Yueh, assistant professor of communication studies at Northeastern State University, will visit UNU Institute in Macau and deliver a talk entitled “We Are Taiwanese American Women”, where she will examine the identity transformation of a minority immigrant Facebook group through Cultural Fusion theory.
Dr. Yueh is an assistant professor of communication studies at Northeastern State University, USA. She received her Ph.D. from the University of Iowa. Her research is centered on intercultural communication, gender and language, ethnography of communication and East Asian popular culture. Yueh is the author of the book, Identity Politics and Popular Culture in Taiwan: A Sajiao Generation, published by Lexington Books.
Cultural fusion theory provides an alternative theoretical framework to understand the immigrant experience and reaffirms that complete assimilation is theoretically and practically impossible. Derived from theorizing adaptation and acculturation, cultural fusion theory focuses on the process and the conditions when the immigrants’ identities start to transform and a fused intercultural identity is created. Using this framework, this paper aims to understand what the fused intercultural identity would look like, an aspect that is not fully explored yet, by a case study of a closed Facebook group of naturalized Taiwanese female immigrants. The study finds that Taiwanese female immigrants’ American identity is ambiguous. Although the purpose of this online Facebook group is to assist Taiwanese female immigrants to smoothly relocate in the new land, users reveal complicated identity management in defining their Taiwanese, American, Taiwanese American, or Asian American identities at the same time. The result shows the relevance and the applicability of cultural fusion theory in understanding immigrants’ identity transformation experience.