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Sylvia Yuan

Doctor of Philosophy, (Sociology)
Study Completed: 2013
College of Humanities & Social Sciences


Thesis Title
"Kiwis" in the Middle Kingdom: A sociological interpretation of the history of New Zealand Missionaries in China from 1877 to 1952 and beyond

Read article at Massey Research Online: MRO icon

Ms Yuan investigated the lives of the 254 men and women who went to China as missionaries from Aotearoa/New Zealand. These missionary experiences in China play an important role in forming New Zealand’s perception of Asia. Ms Yuan presented a sociological interpretation of this historical phenomenon, which has not yet been closely examined. The dramaturgical narration began from the back-stage of New Zealand as a sending country and then extended to the front-stage of China as a mission field, with various interludes. The post-China developments of ex-China missionaries in both New Zealand and overseas show that their experiences in China had a life-long impact on them, which has extended inter-generationally to their families. Ms Yuan’s own subjectivity as a Chinese immigrant who came to the Christian faith in New Zealand also comes into play in this academic analysis.

Professor Peter Lineham
Dr Warwick Tie

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