Building Diaspora: Surviving and Thriving in the Shadow of Imperialism

Author(s): Kelly Fong

Year: 2015


In the aftermath of mid-19th century Western imperialist and capitalist expansion in China, the Chinese Diaspora grew beyond Southeast Asia as migrants left southern China for Australia, North America, and South America.  Despite being separated by the Pacific Ocean, these Chinese communities in the United States did not live in isolation.  Instead, they remained highly connected to their home villages and districts in southern China as well as communities throughout the Diaspora through the movement of people, ideas, food, money, politics, and material culture.  This paper examines how district, dialect, and village networks that transverse regional, national, and continental boundaries became a backbone of Chinese American society in the face of racism and outright exclusion in the United States.  By understanding the Chinese American community in light of diaspora, we can better understand how this exploited, marginalized, and racialized community survived and thrived on the periphery in the United States.

Cite this Record

Building Diaspora: Surviving and Thriving in the Shadow of Imperialism. Kelly Fong. Presented at Society for Historical Archaeology, Seattle, Washington. 2015 ( tDAR id: 433822)


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PaperId(s): 226