Citizenship is traditionally viewed as a legal status to be possessed. Cultivating Membership in Taiwan and Beyond: Relational Citizenship proposes the concept of relational citizenship to articulate the value-laden, interactive nature of belongingness. Hsin-I Cheng examines the role of relationality which produces and is a product of localized emotions. Cheng attends to particular histories and global trajectories embedded within uneven power relations. By focusing on Taiwan, a non-Western society with a tradition to adeptly attune to local experiences and those from various global influences, relational citizenship highlights the measures used to define and encourage interactions with newcomers. This book shows the multilayered communicative processes in which relations are gradually created, challenged, merged, disrupted, repaired, and solidified. Cheng further argues that this concept is not bound to nation-state geographic boundaries as relationality bleeds through national borders. Relational citizenship has the potential to move beyond the East vs. West epistemology to examine peoples’ lived realities wherein the sense of belonging is discursively accomplished, viscerally experienced, and publicly performed.
Hsin-I Cheng is associate professor of communication studies at Middle Tennessee State University.
Introduction: Multiculturalism, Communication, and Critical Citizenship Studies
Chapter 1: Taiwan—Hybridity of Intercultural Practices
Chapter 2: Relational Citizenship as a Communication Strategy for National Identity and Border
Chapter 3: Citizens as Relational Partners
Chapter 4: Embodied Relational Citizenship in the Public: Place, Visibility, and Emotions
Chapter 5: Relational Citizenship Beyond Taiwan–the United States
Conclusion: Relational Framework in Communicating About Citizenship
The independent nation-state of Taiwan, formerly known as Formosa, has been colonized over the past centuries by the Dutch, the Spanish, various Qing-era Chinese warlords, and imperial Japan. And throughout it all, Taiwan has welcomed immigrants, travelers, adventurers, and refugees, rendering it one of most multicultural places on the planet, a living laboratory of mixed languages, intermingled cultures, crisscrossing markets, international media flows, and political intrigue—it is the poster child of hybridity in an age of globalization. Hsin-i Cheng offers her insights into how citizens create senses of belonging amidst this miracle of complexity and possibility. Cultivating Membership in Taiwan and Beyond: Relational Citizenship will therefore appeal to students and scholars of intercultural and international communication, globalization studies, and debates about community and citizenship in an age of contested nationalisms.
Cultivating Membership in Taiwan and Beyond offers an important contribution to the interdisciplinary study of citizenship as a contemporary political practice and social force. This book invites readers to consider practices of citizenship in their multiplicity and diversity. Focusing on the case of Taiwan, Cultivating Membership in Taiwan and Beyond articulates a perspective emphasizing culture, connection, and fluidity. Readers learn how discourses of citizenship encourage residents of a polity to reflect on issues of membership and belonging. Drawing attention to a region of the globe too often neglected in studies of citizenship, this book offers larger lessons that may illuminate practices of citizenship across contexts and cultures.
Cheng’s study of relational citizenship has a grand attempt to engage in scholars of intercultural communication, critical cultural studies, and critical racial theory. Cheng explores how relations are gradually created, challenged, and solidified by a case study of immigrants in Taiwan. With a thick description of Taiwan’s history, nation-building process, and voices of immigrants, Cheng’s conclusion and critique offer insights for other societies to rethink their immigration policies and border management.