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Jens Damm - The Multiculturalization of Taiwan

The Construction of the 'Four Main Ethnic Groups'

The Taiwanese discourse on multiculturalism, however, focuses mainly on the four ethnic groups mentioned in the official discourse: the Hoklo (fulao 福佬), the Hakka (kejia 客家), the Mainlanders (waishengren 外省人) and the Aboriginal peoples (yuanzhumin 原住民). The lecture analyses the development of Taiwan’s multiculturalist policies and the ways in which these have discursively influenced the image and the selfperception of the “four ethnic groups.” After a general overview, the different perceptions and self-perceptions of multiculturalism are separated out among the abovementioned four ethnic groups. Three key questions are dealt with here: the extent to which the policy of multiculturalism has targeted the various ethnic groups in Taiwan, the underlying reasons for the differing reactions of the various ethnic groups towards the policy of multiculturalism and, finally, which groups have been excluded and the underlying reasons.


JENS DAMM is an Assistant Professor at the Graduate Institute of Taiwan Studies, Chang Jung Christian University, Tainan. He is also a board member of the European Association of Taiwan Studies and a Research Associate with the ERCCT, the European Research Center on Contemporary Taiwan, University of Tübingen. His research is mainly focused on discourses on gender and ethnicity-related issues in Taiwan, Greater China including the People’s Republic of China, and on the impact of new communication technologies. He is the author of Homosexuality and Society in Taiwan: 1945 to 1995 (2003) and co-editor of Chinese Cyberspaces (Routledge 2006, co-edited with Simona Thomas).His most recent publications are Taiwanese Identity in the 21st Century (co-edited with Gunter Schubert), “Whither Taiwanization?” (Journal of Current Chinese Affairs, 2011, co-edited with Yoshihisa Amae) and European Perspectives on Taiwan (VS Springer 2012, co-edited with Paul Lim). Jens Damm is currently involved in a research project on “Cross-Strait Cyberspace,” investigating the perceptions of the Taiwanese within cross-Strait cyberspace (see Jens Damm, “The Cross-Strait Perception of the Taiwanese in Cyberspace,” Zixun shehui yanjiu, 21, July 2012, pp. 55-82).

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Vienna Center for Taiwan Studies

Department of East Asian Studies
University of Vienna
AAKH-Campus, Hof 2, Entrance 2.3
Spitalgasse 2
1090 Vienna Austria

Contact: Astrid Lipinsky
T: +43-1-4277-43844
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Lastupdate: 05.10.2014 - 12:04