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Article: A national custom: Debating female servitude in late nineteenth-century Hong Kong

TitleA national custom: Debating female servitude in late nineteenth-century Hong Kong
Authors
KeywordsColonialism
Cultural heritage
Cultural tradition
Nineteenth century
Slavery
Issue Date2009
PublisherCambridge University Press. The Journal's web site is located at http://journals.cambridge.org/action/displayJournal?jid=ASS
Citation
Modern Asian Studies, 2009, v. 43 n. 6, p. 1463-1493 How to Cite?
AbstractThis article frames the debate about mui-tsai (meizai, female bondservants) in late nineteenth-century Hong Kong within changing conceptions of the colony's political, geographical and cultural position. Whereas some colonial officials saw the mui-tsai system as a national shame that challenged Britain's commitment to ending slavery, others argued that it was an archaic custom that would eventually dissolve as China modernized. The debate also showed the rise of a class of Chinese elites who had accumulated enough power to defend the mui-tsai system as a time-honoured Chinese custom, even while acknowledging that in Hong Kong they lived beyond the boundaries of Chinese sovereignty. Challenging notions of the reach of the colonial state and showing how colonial policies often had unintended consequences, this debate also reveals the analytical and explanatory weakness of concepts such as colonial discourse or the colonial mind.
Persistent Identifierhttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/127649
ISSN
2015 Impact Factor: 0.405
2015 SCImago Journal Rankings: 0.332
ISI Accession Number ID

 

DC FieldValueLanguage
dc.contributor.authorCarroll, JMen_HK
dc.date.accessioned2010-10-31T13:37:55Z-
dc.date.available2010-10-31T13:37:55Z-
dc.date.issued2009en_HK
dc.identifier.citationModern Asian Studies, 2009, v. 43 n. 6, p. 1463-1493en_HK
dc.identifier.issn0026-749Xen_HK
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/127649-
dc.description.abstractThis article frames the debate about mui-tsai (meizai, female bondservants) in late nineteenth-century Hong Kong within changing conceptions of the colony's political, geographical and cultural position. Whereas some colonial officials saw the mui-tsai system as a national shame that challenged Britain's commitment to ending slavery, others argued that it was an archaic custom that would eventually dissolve as China modernized. The debate also showed the rise of a class of Chinese elites who had accumulated enough power to defend the mui-tsai system as a time-honoured Chinese custom, even while acknowledging that in Hong Kong they lived beyond the boundaries of Chinese sovereignty. Challenging notions of the reach of the colonial state and showing how colonial policies often had unintended consequences, this debate also reveals the analytical and explanatory weakness of concepts such as colonial discourse or the colonial mind.-
dc.languageengen_HK
dc.publisherCambridge University Press. The Journal's web site is located at http://journals.cambridge.org/action/displayJournal?jid=ASS-
dc.relation.ispartofModern Asian Studiesen_HK
dc.rightsModern Asian Studies. Copyright © Cambridge University Press.-
dc.rightsCreative Commons: Attribution 3.0 Hong Kong License-
dc.subjectColonialism-
dc.subjectCultural heritage-
dc.subjectCultural tradition-
dc.subjectNineteenth century-
dc.subjectSlavery-
dc.titleA national custom: Debating female servitude in late nineteenth-century Hong Kongen_HK
dc.typeArticleen_HK
dc.identifier.openurlhttp://library.hku.hk:4550/resserv?sid=HKU:IR&issn=0026-749X&volume=43&issue=6&spage=1463&epage=1493&date=2009&atitle=A+national+custom:+Debating+female+servitude+in+late+nineteenth-century+Hong+Kongen_HK
dc.identifier.emailCarroll, JM: jcarroll@hkucc.hku.hken_HK
dc.identifier.authorityCarroll, JM=rp01188en_HK
dc.description.naturepublished_or_final_version-
dc.identifier.doi10.1017/S0026749X08003648-
dc.identifier.scopuseid_2-s2.0-72449168461-
dc.identifier.hkuros178911en_HK
dc.identifier.volume43en_HK
dc.identifier.issue6-
dc.identifier.spage1463en_HK
dc.identifier.epage1493en_HK
dc.identifier.isiWOS:000271555300006-

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