Being Chinese in Aotearoa New Zealand: The importance of Confucianism and Taoism in the lives and selves of New Immigrants

Minghong Sun, Sue Cornforth, Lise Bird Claiborne


We present a short commentary on the ongoing relevance of Confucianism and Taoism for recent Chinese migrants and, subsequently, for those who work with them. It is based on a thesis by one of the authors, Minghong Sun (2007), who explored what it means to identify as Chinese within a Euro-western setting, particularly in relation to coping strategies and the counselling interventions that might be offered. Her study investigated how recent migrants, with a strong enculturation as Chinese selves in earlier lives, responded to their host country's social-cultural environment , focusing on migrants from mainland China in New Zealand. The study emphasised the continuing importance of the influence of Confucianism and Taoism in the lives of the Chinese immigrants. The findings of the study have relevance not only for counselling, but also for educators and those who provide work-based interventions such as mentoring, coaching and professional development for Chinese migrants.

Full Text: