Evolving humanity, emerging worlds
Manchester, UK; 5th-10th August 2013
Reframing the discourse space around 'studies on overseas Chinese': toward an alternative anthropological approach
Location Alan Turing Building G109
Date and Start Time 09 Aug, 2013 at 16:30
This panel aims to reframe dominant discourses in "Overseas Chinese studies", which had been created historically by certain discourse space in East Asia. Discussing various views on "Chinese Overseas" in each era, this panel will redirect Anthropological approaches on Overseas Chinese.
This panel aims to reframe the discourse space around "Studeis on Chinese Overseas, which had directed anthropological researches on Chinese Overseas (This panel refers "Overseas Chinese," as an comprehensive concept which includes Diasporic Chinese, Chinese Creoles, etc .) The "Overseas Chinese Studies" in East Asia had been framed by the dominant discourses of Studies on Chinese Overseas, which had been generated on certain discourse space in each era such as "Diaspora Chinese network", "Cultural China," or others. In order to resolve this deadlock, this panel will look for an alternative approach of Overseas Chinese Studies.
The panel will illustrate the various discourse spaces around "Overseas Chinese Studies," which had influenced and directed anthropological researches and other fields of studies in the East Asian context.
Firstly, we will investigate the discourse of "Overseas Chinese Studies" and the nation-state buildings in East Asian countries, especially in the prewar Japanese academy. This modernist's view on "Overseas Chinese" had been amended and transplanted both to China and other East Asian nation-states, and had created various versions of "Chineseness." One of dominant discourses has been "Cantonese version," which has framed the current discourse space of Overseas Chinese Studies. Secondly, and thirdly, we will examine studies on sub-ethnicity and the home communities of overseas Chinese, and illustrate how influential the discourse space is.
Discussing these views on "Chinese Overseas" in each era, this panel will redirect Anthropological approaches on Overseas Chinese.
Chair: Gyo Miyabara
This panel is closed to new paper proposals.
Chinese Overseas Studies in pre-war Japan and the East Asian Version of Modernity: Focusing on the position of "Ka-kyo" both in each host country and the Greater East Asian Co-prosperity Sphere.
This study will examine Chinese Overseas Studies and the concept of “Ka-kyo” in pre-war Japan and will discuss the unique view on “human society” and the “ethno-anthropological” nature. It will provide a clue for reconsidering a discourse space in East Asia.
Since the pre-war era, Chinese Overseas Studies in Japan have used a term, "Ka-kyo" (originally a Chinese term, "Hua-qiao," which means Chinese Overseas) for identifying the subject of the researchers. This terminology is quite unusual for anthropological usage since it differentiates migrants from residents in home country. Why had Chinese Overseas Studies required a specific term for migrants instead on "Han-Chinese?" This question will bring us to discover the Ethno-Anthropology in Japan, which had provided the East Asian version of modernity with a cognitive framework.
Anthropological researches had traditionally encompassed and identified the subjects of their researches as a sort of group such as a tribe, an ethnic group, villagers, etc. The criteria of the identification is based the membership acquisition, which can be a consanguineous, territorial or other ties.
This manner of the identification is, however, problematic not because a consanguineous tie or a shared territorial bond is always ambiguous, but because it invites an assumption deeply rooted in the Western Modernity, that one who shares blood or hometown is also sharing culture with a clear boundary.
Focusing on the position of "Ka-kyo both in each host country and the Greater East Asian Co-prosperity Sphere, this study will examine Chinese Overseas Studies and the concept of "Ka-kyo" in pre-war Japan and will discuss the unique view on "human society" and the "ethno-anthropological" nature. It will provide a clue for reconsidering a discourse space in East Asia.
Location of Overseas Chinese in Taiwan: Overseas Chinese and the National Construction of ROC or Taiwan
This paper traces the images of the Overseas Chinese in Taiwan. Studies of Overseas Chinese early after-war Taiwan deal with Overseas Chinese as the ROC population. After the Taiwanization, the studies on Overseas Chinese became multifaceted. Hybrid ambivalent nature of them starts to be discussed.
Studies on overseas Chinese or Chinese overseas after-war Taiwan are investigated around the axis of national identity of Republic of China (ROC) or the Taiwan identity. Contrary to the previous studies in which I demonstrated the ways how overseas Chinese connect themselves to Taiwan, in this study I try to explore the ways the studies both of the academic field in Taiwan and of the Japan academy which focuses on Taiwan locate the issue of Overseas Chinese in their research. Overseas Chinese are always recognized as an ambivalent entity in terms of the nation building either of ROC or of Taiwan. They should be included as one of the population of ROC but will be excluded from the localized political entity of Taiwan.
Studies of Overseas Chinese early after-war Taiwan deal with them as one of the national population of ROC. Especially academies depict the Overseas Chinese from Myanmar or northern Thailand in the relationship with KMT. Even some of the ethnic minorities who moved to Taiwan are surveyed by anthropologist in this framework. After the Taiwanization of ROC, however, the studies on Overseas Chinese became more multifaceted. Creole and hybrid nature of Overseas Chinese, the transnational networks of re-migrants or the ambivalent identity of Overseas Chinese start to be discussed.
This paper traces the diachronic variation of the image of the Overseas Chinese both in Taiwan and in Japan. And it further tries to locate it in relation to the pursuit of identity construction of ROC or Taiwan.
"Rich Huaqiao" and "Poor Qiaoxiang "?: Reconsidering the Relationship between Overseas Chinese and Their Hometowns
In this presentation, I reconsider stereotyping view about “rich overseas Chinese” and “poor their hometowns” and present a new perspective for its study.
Research about qiaoxiang, the hometowns of overseas Chinese, from Chen Da at the beginning of the 20th Century, to the fairly recent Oxfeld, has been conducted from a consistent viewpoint. That is "rich overseas Chinese" and "poor their hometowns". The basis for this schema was probably the recognition of "overseas being wealthy" and "China being poor". However, it is obvious that this idea does not apply today. At the Pearl River delta from 2005 at the latest, if not signalling a complete turnaround, many examples indicate a need for the reconsideration of this schema.
For example, projects from maintenance of infrastructure to the reconstruction of lineage ancestral halls have been completed using regional government funds and donations from successful local people. Is it not reasonable to say that up until now those kinds of projects could not have been maintained without donations from overseas Chinese? Additionally, overseas Chinese who frequently returned home until the end of the 1990's stopped doing so because of a comparatively low standard of living with respect to commodity prices. Formerly, wasn't their ideal to work hard abroad in their young days and then live out their old age at hometown in comfort? On the other hand, most of them never miss returning home and worshipping their ancestors at the Qingmingjie.
I hope to reconsider such a stereotyping view about overseas Chinese and their hometowns and present a new perspective for its study, all the while being careful to avoid falling into the pit of postmodernism.
This panel is closed to new paper proposals.