Why "Chinese Diaspora" Is More Than Just An Ethnic Label

Author(s): Douglas Ross

Year: 2016


Some scholars, myself included, have recently argued in favour of a shift from "Overseas Chinese" to "Chinese Diaspora" as the most appropriate name for our field of study. But are we simply substituting one interchangeable ethnic label for another in accordance with intellectual trends? I argue that the term "diaspora" can potentially unite our disparate research interests because it brings with it a valuable body of theory that helps us understand the process of overseas Chinese migration and recognize local migrant communities as part of a larger global phenomenon. It aids in identifying common factors affecting the nature of migrant experience to help us develop meaningful questions about the past, while also providing a unifying framework for comparing and contrasting Chinese and other diasporic communities worldwide. Here, I attempt to link my own study of Asian cannery workers in British Columbia with research elsewhere in North America and abroad.

Cite this Record

Why "Chinese Diaspora" Is More Than Just An Ethnic Label. Douglas Ross. Presented at Society for Historical Archaeology, Washington, D.C. 2016 ( tDAR id: 434333)


Spatial Coverage

min long: -141.003; min lat: 41.684 ; max long: -52.617; max lat: 83.113 ;

Individual & Institutional Roles

Contact(s): Society for Historical Archaeology

Record Identifiers

PaperId(s): 219