Gardens, transitions and identity reconstruction among older Chinese immigrants to New Zealand

J Health Psychol. 2010 Jul;15(5):786-96. doi: 10.1177/1359105310368179.


Psychologists have foregrounded the importance of links between places and daily practices in the construction of subjectivities and well-being. This article explores domestic gardening practices among older Chinese immigrants. Initial and follow-up interviews were conducted with 32 Chinese adults ranging in age from 62 to 77 years. Participants recount activities such as gardening as a means of forging a new sense of self and place in their adoptive country. Gardening provides a strategy for self-reconstruction through spatiotemporally establishing biographical continuity between participants' old lives in China and their new lives in New Zealand.

MeSH terms

  • Acculturation*
  • Aged
  • Aging / ethnology*
  • Aging / psychology*
  • Asian Continental Ancestry Group / psychology*
  • Emigrants and Immigrants / psychology*
  • Family Conflict / psychology
  • Female
  • Gardening*
  • Humans
  • Interpersonal Relations
  • Interview, Psychological
  • Male
  • Mental Recall
  • New Zealand
  • Self Concept*
  • Social Identification*