New immigrants and their children need to develop the ability to reconcile perceived dissonances between the worldviews of their parents and grandparents and those of their peers. This pursuit is made more difficult when they find that their newly adopted homeland misrepresents their cultural heritage. This article examines the historical evolution of the Mulan ballad along with issues of cultural authenticity in folktales. The analysis of three English adaptations of the ballad demonstrates clear contrasts that either support or complicate identity formation. We suggest that this text set could be used to inform critical classroom discussions regarding the plurality and fluidity of culture as well as those pertaining to Chinese heritage and cultural authenticity.
Children's Literature in Education 43(3), pp.213-222