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Race and Ethnicity - Making Chinese-Canadian Masculinities in Vancouver's PE Curriculum

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Kinesiology & Health Science
KINE 1000
Parissa Safai

Race and Ethnicity – Making Chinese-Canadian masculinities in Vancouver’s Physical Education Curriculum. By: Brad Millington, Patricia Vertinsky, Ellexis Boyle, Brian Wilson - Males of Chinese descent = victims of discrimination (obvious and subtle) - Racism = linked to ideas about class, gender and the body Introduction (in text = good summary of entire article) - Study: done by Millington at an all-boys PE class at a Vancouver high school - Millington found a dominant white male student that was especially harsh towards the Asian students o Openly enforced stereotypes about hoe Asian boys are unsuited for PE class o Physically and verbally bullied them - In Vancouver, Chinese males have often been discriminated against o Began over a century ago o Denounced in local newspapers which only implied that the Chinese men could not stand up for themselves (were not manly enough to do so) o Succeeds in maintaining a hegemonic idea of masculinity where white males are physically and culturally dominant  Demonstrated in secondary BC secondary schools - Chinese Canadians make up a large portion of school populations in BC o Integration of these students is being impeded by discrimination by other children o Canada’s multiculturalism policy isn’t working - White people’s sense of privilege is prevailing over “commitment to social justice in education” Constructing Chinese-Canadians masculinity/ies: institutional racism and the historical stereotyping of Chinese men in Western Canada th - Started in mid-19 century o Anti-orientalism o Negative stereotyping  Small, effeminate, weak, sexually dangerous • All Asians, but especially Chinese o Were representative of China’s weakness at the time  Image enforced through the media  Vancouverites feared “yellow peril” • Thought large amounts of Chinese people would take over spreading disease and drugs everywhere o Were banned, with “Negroes”, from swimming until 1945 for fear of infecting the pool - Chinese racism was sometimes the result of self-fulfilling prophecy o Ex: cramped conditions of Chinatown, men were forced into only specific occupations  Were often the victims of White vandalism and fines/closures (institutions were seemed “unclean”)  Common job: launderers (enforced image of femininity) - 1884: Act to regulate the Chinese Population of BC o Couldn’t vote, work in certain areas, hire white women, implemented a head tax that steadily increased in amount until 1923 when Chinese people were no longer allowed to immigrate to BC (repealed in 1947, got right to vote) - Couldn’t afford to bring their families over so were known as “married bachelors and unsettled sojourners’” Chinese Masculinities in Early BC Schools - School seen as a way to mold children into the ideal citizens - Masculinity = building and sustaining the British Empire o Ex: physically strong, white military heroes o Schools said the Chinese contradicted this masculine ideal - Schools were given the job of assimilating the Chinese children o At the request of white parents the school board segregated older Chinese children from the others as they posed a threat ‘to young girls’ and of spreading diseases  Were hardened because they had grown up in difficult neighborhoods o The younger Asian children remained integrated with everyone else - Chinese parents fought segregation o They were guilty of buying into the hegemonic views of subordinate working class masculinities  Wanted their children to get a good education so they could achieve social elevation Chinese-Canadian Sporting Pursuits - Most Chinese communities traditionally place a higher importance on hard work and intelligence over sport o Exceptions to this in Vancouver o Wealthy Chinese merchants were able to get their children involved in sport  A highly successful Chinese soccer team in 1920 • Were extraordinary due to their speed and agility • Were considered equals with the whites because of their success o A little too ideal o More likely the white people just saw soccer as a way to assimilate the Chinese o Racism towards the Chinese continued  Media = greatly to blame th st Chinese-Canadiathmasculinities in the Late 20 and Early 21 Centuries: Everyday Racism - Mid 20 C: o Chinese people were allowed  To become occupationally mobile, financially secure, etc. • But people still had a messed up view of Chinese masculinity - Today: Chinese people = most populous ethnic minority in Vancouver and tis surrounding suburbs (22% + of the population) o Views of Chinese masculinity have been altered because of the powerful, wealthy, talented Asian men displayed in the media  Ex: Bruce Lee, Yao Ming
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