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Creating Chinese Ethnicity Subei People in Shanghai, 1850-1980

by Emily Honig

Creating Chinese Ethnicity Subei People in Shanghai, 1850-1980 cover
  • ISBN: 9780300051056
  • ISBN10: 0300051050

Creating Chinese Ethnicity Subei People in Shanghai, 1850-1980

by Emily Honig

  • Binding: Hardcover
  • Publisher: Yale Univ Pr
  • Publish date: 11/01/1992
  • ISBN: 9780300051056
  • ISBN10: 0300051050
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Description: For the last century immigrants from the northern part of Jiangsu Province have been the most despised people in China's largest city, Shanghai. Called Subei people, they have dominated the ranks of unskilled laborers and resided in makeshift shacks on the city's edge. They have been objects of prejudice and discrimination: to call someone a Subei swine means that the person, even if not actually from Subei, is poor, ignorant, dirty, and unsophisticated. In this book, Emily Honig describes the daily lives, occupations, and history of the Subei people, drawing on archival research and interviews conducted in Shanghai. More important, she also uses the Subei people as a case study to examine how local origins - not race, religion, or nationality - came to define ethnic identities among the overwhelmingly Han population in China. Honig explains how native place identities structure social hierarchies and antagonisms, as well as how ascribing a native place identity to an individual or group may not connote an actual place of origin but becomes a pejorative social category imposed by the elite. Her book uncovers roots of identity, prejudice, and social conflict that have been central to China's urban residents and that constitute ethnicity in a Chinese context.
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