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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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Things Did Not Work Out That Way

Things Did Not Work Out That Way

(p.144) 7 Things Did Not Work Out That Way
Returning Home with Glory

Michael Williams

Hong Kong University Press

Historians generally deal with results, but it is useful to remember that such results are not necessarily proof of intentions. Once the gap between intention and result is acknowledged, it becomes necessary to take into account the changing circumstances of people’s lives. Here it is argued that nation-state perspectives, in focusing only on circumstances within prescribed locations, fail to do this adequately for people whose lives take place in a range of locations. In such perspectives, for example, the focus on settlement in a nation-state and factors such as restrictive immigration laws can be interpreted only in terms of their effect upon such settlement. A qiaoxiang perspective provides a broader context and therefore a broader range of circumstances through which to understand the choices and opportunities the huaqiao had and made.

Keywords:   qiaoxiang perspective, huaqiao, family, wives, restrictive laws, paper sons, CEDT, Exclusion, Destination-born

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