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Relationships among language, schooling and ethnic identity of the Macanese in Macau: implications for education policy

Seto, Ming Chu (2004) Relationships among language, schooling and ethnic identity of the Macanese in Macau: implications for education policy. Doctoral thesis, Durham University.



The shift of political control from Portuguese to Chinese has changed the importance of languages in Macau. Chinese has become a more important language in the enclave. This shift has created a dilemma to the Macanese group whose first language is Portuguese. This study aims to see whether the present language education policy has taken into consideration this group of people by looking at the construction of the Macanese identity and the role of language and schooling in identity maintenance. The study, the first of its kind in Macau, looks into the ethnic identity of the Macanese people and its implications for the education policies. Both qualitative and quantitative methods were adopted. Interviews, the main source of understanding of the issue, were conducted to collect the group's opinions and questionnaires were administered to different members of the same group to gather data in order to complement and supplement the interview data. The interview data were analysed by a grounded theory approach and the questionnaire was analysed statistically. The findings show that there are different sets of criteria to define people in the group. The genealogical feature is an indispensable criterion but the feeling of 'Portugueseness' is seen as more important. Language and schooling are very important markers of the group as they are important channels to acquire a sense of 'Portugueseness'. It is important for the government to realize this so that appropriate strategies and policy can be adopted. It is hoped that Macanese culture can be maintained so that its uniqueness can be preserved in this enclave.

Item Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Award:Doctor of Education
Thesis Date:2004
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:09 Sep 2011 09:58

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