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Palgrave Macmillan

Chinese Labour in South Africa, 1902-10

Race, Violence, and Global Spectacle

ISBN 9780230303775
Publication Date November 2013
Formats Hardcover Ebook (PDF) Ebook (EPUB) 
Publisher Palgrave Macmillan
Series Cambridge Imperial and Post-Colonial Studies Series

At the beginning of the twentieth century, 'white' colonies around the world had restricted Asian migration, associated with immorality, disease, and a threat to 'white' labour. The 'yellow peril' was in full swing. And yet, in 1904, the British government imported over 64,000 Chinese indentured labourers to work on gold mines in southern Africa. This book explores the decision to import Chinese labour so soon after the empire had fought to secure southern Africa for the British empire and despite the already tense racial situation in the region. This enables a clearer understanding of racial and political developments in southern Africa during the reconstruction period and the formation of South Africa the nation. It places these localised issues within a wider historiography, such as research into colonial violence, moral panics and Black Perils, networks of labourism and whiteness, and economic imperialism. Through this book one can trace the complicated negotiations between national and imperial identities, between independence and patriotism, and giving a clearer sense of how trans-colonial relationships evolved.

Rachel Bright is Lecturer in Modern History at Keele University, UK. Previously she was a post-doctoral fellow at the University of East Anglia, and has taught at the London School of Economics and Goldsmith's College, London. Bright completed her PhD at King's College London in 2009 and before that, was Programme Manager for scholarships at The Fulbright Commission.

1. Chinese Migration and 'White' Networks, c.1850-1902
2. The Transvaal Labour 'Problem' and the Chinese Solution
3. Greater Britain in South Africa: Colonial Nationalisms and Imperial Networks
4. A Question of Honour: slavery, sovereignty and the legal framework
5. Sex, Violence and the Chinese: The 1905-6 Moral Panic
6. Adapting the Stereotype: Race and Administrative Control
7. Political Repercussions
Conclusion: Racializing Empire
Appendix A: List of Key Figures


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