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Returning Home with GloryChinese Villagers around the Pacific, 1849 to 1949$
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Michael Williams

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9789888390533

Published to Hong Kong Scholarship Online: September 2018

DOI: 10.5790/hongkong/9789888390533.001.0001

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The Border-Guard View

The Border-Guard View

(p.15) 2 The Border-Guard View
Returning Home with Glory

Michael Williams

Hong Kong University Press

This chapter discusses in detail that much of the histories of the Chinese overseas have been based on what can be called “border-guard views”. That is to say, they are founded on assumptions of one-way entry, migration, settlement, and assimilation. Such views neglect, it is argued here, not only those who returned to their qiaoxiang, but those who never left, and those who had the capacity to make choices between the two. A review of the many histories of the overseas Chinese is provided and their theoretical foundations discussed. This is followed by a look at the development of an alternative to such perspectives usually centered on the nation-state, an alternative labeled here a “qiaoxiang perspective”.

Keywords:   Cantonese Pacific, Chinese diaspora, Qiaokan, Qiaoxiang, Oral history, Migration, Missionaries

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