Media, Symbolic Violence and Racialized Habitus: Voices from Chinese Canadian Youth


  • Dan Cui Brock University
  • Frank C. Worrell University of California, Berkeley



Chinese Canadian Youth, Identity, Media, Racialized Habitus, Symbolic Violence, Racism, Alberta, Bourdieu


This study examines how Chinese Canadian youth perceive media representation of Chinese people and how that perception affects their identity construction. Drawing on Bourdieu and interview data with thirty-six first- and second-generation Chinese Canadian youth in Alberta, we discuss three themes of symbolic violence that Chinese youth experience in the media field. We argue that media-initiated symbolic violence not only reproduces and reinforces racism institutionally and systemically but also contributes to the evolvement of a racialized habitus among Chinese Canadian youth. It affects Chinese Canadian youth’s construction of a positive Chinese identity, and at the same time their perceptions as “real” Canadians in the country that they view as home.