Potentially Helpful Terms for Chinese-Canadians

  • Asian-American: A term coined by historian Yuji Ichioka in 1968 during the founding of the Asian American Political Alliance "inter-ethnic-pan-Asian American self-defining political group," a replacement of the terms Oriental/Asiatic/Mongoloid (Wikipedia article)

  • Chinese-Canadians (華裔加拿大人/加拿大華人): Canadians of full or partial Chinese ancestry, being of Chinese ethnic origin.

  • Coolie (苦力/咕喱): From 18th century onwards would refer to migrant Indian or Chinese indentured laborers to European colonies (Wikipedia article)

  • Banana/Twinkie (香蕉人/香蕉仔): derogatory slang for ethnic Chinese with Westerner characteristics, yellow on the outside but white on the inside (Wikipedia article)

  • Fresh off the boat (FOB): derogatory term used to describe ethnically Asian circles have yet to assimilate into the host nation (Qualitative Sociology)

  • Healthy immigrant effect: immigrants' health is generally better than that of the Canadian-born, although it tends to decline as their years in Canada increase (Statistics Canada)

  • Honorary whites: a term associated the rights and privileges of offered to Whites peoples to those who would otherwise have been treated as non-Whites peoples upon certain conditions (Wikipedia article)

  • Hyphenated identity: implies a dual identity or sociocultural group, historically has been used in derogatory ways (Wikipedia article)

  • Jook Sing (竹升): derogatory Cantonese slang for ethnic Chinese from Western nations, becoming outcasts for being sufficiently Chinese nor Western (Wikipedia article)

  • Microaggression: verbal, behavioral or environmental indignities, whether intentional or unintentional, that communicate hostile, derogatory, or negative attitudes toward stigmatized or culturally marginalized groups. (Wikipedia article)

  • Model minority myth: a demographic group whose members are perceived to achieve a higher degree of socioeconomic success than the population average, particularly common in Chinese immigrants. May include characteristics such as: diligence, discipline, strong family values, respect for authority, thriftiness, morality, self-sufficiency, respect for education. The term originated in the United States and refers to a different situation than in Canada. (Wikipedia article)

  • Native informant: the person who translates their culture for the researcher, the outsider

  • Orientalism: a way of seeing that emphasizes differences of Eastern peoples and cultures as compared to that of the West, in derogatory ways (Wikipedia article).

  • Perpetual foreigner: in which naturalized and even native-born citizens are perceived as foreign (Wikipedia article)

  • Racialized: encompasses all people that are non-White, more preferable to the term "visible minorities"

  • Sinocentrism: ideology that the nation of China is the cultural, political or economic center of the world (Wikipedia)

  • Third-Culture: people who were raised in a culture other than their parents' or the culture of their country of nationality, and also live in a different environment during a significant part of their child development years (Wikipedia)

  • Whitewashed: derogatory term used to describe ethnically Asian circles assimilated too far into the host nation (Qualitative Sociology)

  • White adjacent: a person coming from a marginalized background within society in terms of race, and at the same time, receiving benefits similar to those identified as white (Daily Sundial Opinions)

  • Sinophone (華語語系/華夷風): the study of Sinitic-language cultures born of colonial and postcolonial influences

  • Yellow peril (黃禍): derogatory metaphor that East Asians are a threat to the Western world (Wikipedia article)

Scientific Racism

Science was used to bolster claims of race, particularly becoming prominent from the 19th century on (Wikipedia article). For instance, Johann Friedrich Blumenbach (1752-1840) coined the term "Caucasian" and proposed five races according to pseudoscience of craniology, the study of physical characteristics of skills, concluding that the Caucasian was the superior:

    • Caucasian (white)

    • Mongolian (yellow)

    • Malayan (brown)

    • Ethiopian (black)

    • American (red indigenous)