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Debra Dudek is interested in the intersection of multiculturalism, cultural citizenship and children's literature and in this article looks at the 'tension between representing an acceptance of cultural difference...and representing all people within one culture as the same' (43). She locates her analysis within the field of Asian-Australian studies through a discussion of Hoa Pham's No One Like Me (1998), the story of a young Vietnamese girl who lives in Australia with her family, arguing that the text 'simultaneously highlights and deconstructs gender and the Asian family as homogenous categories' (43). Framing the analysis with a discussion of the Howard Government's approach to cultural diversity and its viewpoint that 'immigrants from Asia threaten the notion of a unified Australia', Dudek draws attention to the 'turbulent past and uncertain future' of multiculturalism which, she argues, relies on 'concepts of sameness and difference' that fundamentally support and maintain policies of assimilation (43-44). Dudek posits that No One Like Me negotiates the question of 'how to recognize and accept race and gender strategically as essential categories of difference without homogenising them' (45) in a way which destabilizes 'neat and static categories of otherness' and 'opens up the possibility of multiple subject positions [and] complex lived hybridities' (48).

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Last amended 29 Sep 2016 15:52:00
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