Negotiating identities in stories of anti-Chinese racism during the COVID-19 pandemic

Anastasia Stavridou, Haiyan Huang, Kim Schoofs, Stephanie Schnurr, Dorien Van De Mieroop

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, there has been an upsurge of anti-Chinese racism. This paper investigates the socio-pragmatic processes through which Chinese international students in Belgium discursively deal with othering processes in the stories they tell about racist incidents during semi-structured research interviews. These processes are closely linked to various identities which are sometimes projected upon them and often take the form of the Standardised Relational Pair of victim and perpetrator. Our analysis illustrates the complexities of these multi-directional othering processes which span a continuum from merely acknowledging to challenging and rejecting. Findings not only contribute to current conceptualisations of othering, but also give a voice to those who are othered and demonstrate that they can be powerful agents who may find ways of speaking up and re-claiming agency rather than silently accepting the victim identities that are often assigned to them.
Original languageEnglish
JournalLanguage, Culture and Society
Issue number1
Early online date24 Aug 2023
Publication statusPublished - 24 Aug 2023


  • othering, identity, anti-Chinese racism, pandemic, Standardised Relational Pair, narratives
  • Chinese international students
  • COVID-19
  • identity
  • education in China
  • nationalism


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