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“We”, “They” and the Spaces In-Between: Hybridity in Intercultural Interactions between Portuguese and Chinese Residents in Macau

Vanessa Amaro EMAIL logo
From the journal Multilingua

Abstract

This study seeks to explore the hybrid cultural and linguistic spaces that Portuguese immigrants create in Macau in the process of engaging in intercultural communication with the Chinese local community. I use critical discourse analysis to examine data collected through in-depth interviews and observations in order to arrive at an understanding and provide an explanation of how Portuguese residents in Macau negotiate their interactions with the Chinese host culture. In these interviews participants furnish accounts of how they preserve their own cultural and linguistic space, while at the same time achieving functional integration in Macau when interacting with the Chinese population. Using hybridity as the theoretical framework, my research shows how participants deal with living and communicating within and between two distinct cultures; it also demonstrates how their lack of literacy in Cantonese limits the degree and form of integration that they are able to achieve.

Acknowledgments

The author would like to thank Tony Schirato, Tim Simpson, Kim H. Johnson, Ingrid Piller, and the anonymous reviewers for their encouragement and assistance with this article.

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Published Online: 2014-11-11
Published in Print: 2015-5-1

©2015 by De Gruyter Mouton

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