Is Taiwan Chinese

Is Taiwan Chinese: The Impact Of Culture, Power, And Migration On Changing Identities is a sociological view of the changing perception of the Taiwan identity. Melissa Brown looks very deeply into the personal perceptions of generations of Taiwanese and mainland Chinese people in an attempt to quantify how far the people of Taiwan and China have drifted apart.

She views the question as a pure sociological quandary, and as such answers it on many levels and using a very rigorous approach. This unfortunately leads to as much discussion of her method as her results, which gets old.

While the conclusions of the book are interesting, the dry approach Brown takes makes it difficult to recommend this book except for those very interested in the topic. The author struck me as more interested in the using the Taiwan situation as a way to explore high handed sociological questions than actually answering the title question. The best I can say about the book is that she is very thorough and the topic actually is very interesting, so it’s not a waste of time to read it.

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