Remembering the Samsui Women: Migration and Social Memory in Singapore and China by Kelvin E.y. LowRemembering the Samsui Women: Migration and Social Memory in Singapore and China by Kelvin E.y. Low

Remembering the Samsui Women: Migration and Social Memory in Singapore and China

byKelvin E.y. Low

Paperback | January 15, 2015

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In the early twentieth century, thousands of women from the Samsui area of Guangdong, China migrated to Singapore during a period of economic and natural calamity, leaving their families behind. In their new country, many found work in the construction industry, with others working in households or factories where they were called hong tou jin, translated literally as “red-head-scarf,” after the headgear that protected them from the sun. In Singapore, the women have been celebrated as pioneering figures for their hard work and resilience, and in China for the sacrifices they made for their families. Kelvin Low explores the lives and legacy of the Samsui women, both through media and state representations and through the oral histories of the women themselves. Thus, his work sheds light on issues of their identity, both publicly constructed and self-defined, and explores why they undertook their difficult migration. Remembering the Samsui Women is an illuminating study of the connection between memory and nation, including the politics of what is remembered and what is forgotten.

Kelvin E.Y. Low is an assistant professor of sociology at the National University of Singapore. He is the author of Scents and Scent-sibilities: Smell and Everyday Life Experiences (2009) and co-editor of Everyday Life in Asia: Social Perspectives on the Senses (2010).
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Title:Remembering the Samsui Women: Migration and Social Memory in Singapore and ChinaFormat:PaperbackDimensions:268 pages, 8.75 × 5.96 × 0.65 inPublished:January 15, 2015Publisher:Ubc PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0774825766

ISBN - 13:9780774825764

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Table of Contents

Introduction

1 Chinese Migration and Entangled Histories

2 Politics of Memory Making

3 Local and Transnational Entanglements

4 From China to Singapore

5 Beyond Working Lives

6 Samsui Women, Ma Cheh, and Other Foreign Workers

Conclusion: Social Constructions of the Past

Glossary; Notes; References; Index

Editorial Reviews

Remembering the Samsui Women tells the story of women from the Samsui area of Guangdong, China, who migrated to Singapore during a period of economic and natural calamity, leaving their families behind. In their new country, many found work in the construction industry, while others worked in households or factories where they were called hong tou jin, translated literally as “red-head-scarf,” after the headgear that protected them from the sun. Contributing to current debates in the fields of social memory and migration studies, this is the first book to examine how the Samsui women remember their own migratory experiences and how they, in turn, are remembered as pioneering figures in both Singapore and China.Remembering the Samsui Women forensically displays just how memory works on many different levels and contexts, highlighting the intersections of different memory projects. It uses interesting original oral history material alongside the analysis of art, literature, and film, and is underpinned by a strong historiographical grasp. Low’s book will be particularly useful for those with interests in gendered migration histories and in state attitudes to “remembering” minorities. - Katherine Burrell, co-editor of Socialist and Post-Socialist Mobilities