The Dialectic of Unity and Discord: A Simmelian Perspective on Diversity in a Contemporary American Chinese Church

Eugene Kang

Despite the diversity of the ethnic Chinese group, little is known about how diversity has shaped the social structure within American Chinese churches. Drawing upon George Simmelís concept of dualism and his exposition on conflict, Eugene Kang argues that although diversity may breed discord, it also plays an inseparable role in fostering unity within a social structure. As such, the dialectic between discord and unity arising from diversity has to be successfully managed and not summarily resolved or done away with. Mr. Kang conducted an ethnographic study of an American Chinese church and found support for Simmelís arguments in a religious setting. Kang is an Assistant Professor of Management at Nanyang Technological University of Singapore.

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Last Updated: January 1, 2006
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