The Chinese in Britain, 1800 - Present: Economy, Transnationalism, Identity

Paperback | June 15, 2011

byGregor Benton, Edmund Terence Gomez

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This book sets out the history of the Chinese in Britain, from the angle of changes in their economic and social standing. By analysing their migration patterns, associational structures, and paths of enterprise development, the book seeks to understand processes of identity formation among members of this community -- and, by extension, of ethnic minorities in general. Through this approach, the book tackles issues raised by transnational studies concerning the organisation of capital flows, patterns of enterprise development, and the nature of identity formation in diasporic communities.
 
This study points up the complex and intricate interplay of ethnic and national identities in the lives of Chinese in Britain. A constant thread across two hundred years of Chinese presence has been the vigour of British national identity among migrants' descendants. The emergence of new forms of identification among diasporic groups undermines the claim that ethnic minorities function as cohesive units in economies or societies by combining to protect vested interests. This book argues that transnational studies reinforce essentialist conceptions of identity and of cultural authenticity in diasporic communities, and thus frustrate the promotion of ethnic co-existence and social cohesion in multi-ethnic societies.

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This book sets out the history of the Chinese in Britain, from the angle of changes in their economic and social standing. By analysing their migration patterns, associational structures, and paths of enterprise development, the book seeks to understand processes of identity formation among members of this community -- and, by extensio...

GREGOR BENTON is Professorial Fellow in the School of History and Archaeology at the Cardiff University, UK. His publications include Mountain Fires: The Red Army's Three-Year War in South China, 1934-1938, Diasporic Chinese Ventures: The Life and Work of Wang Gungwu, New Fourth Army: Communist Resistance along the Yangtze and the Hua...

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:496 pages, 8.59 × 5.5 × 1.06 inPublished:June 15, 2011Publisher:Palgrave MacmillanLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0230296416

ISBN - 13:9780230296411

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Extra Content

Table of Contents

Preface
Introduction
Migration and Settlement
The Chinese Economy in Britain
Institutions and Divisions
Transnationalism
British Racism and the Shaping of the Chinese Community
Ethnic Culture and Identity
Conclusions
Appendices: Companies Owned by British Chinese

Editorial Reviews

"The study reveals a greater complexity to Chinese life in Britain than has been assumed to be the case, and clearly shows how a distinct identity has emerged and is now threatened, as young modern Chinese rely less on ethnic customs forged over the last century. The book also provides a useful case study of exclusionary practices of the dominant white society in Britain, and how they have influenced, for good and bad, British Chinese identity." -- CHOICE  "A reawakening, a rejection of infatuation with fashionable theories and concepts. The authors have stayed close and true to the studies of Chinese diaspora...Thus, the book is a valuable contribution towards to the understanding of similarities and more importantly diversities among Chinese communities." -- Yow Cheun Hoe, East Asia