Sovereignty at the Edge: Macau and the Question of Chineseness - Harvard East Asian Monographs (Hardback)
  • Sovereignty at the Edge: Macau and the Question of Chineseness - Harvard East Asian Monographs (Hardback)
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Sovereignty at the Edge: Macau and the Question of Chineseness - Harvard East Asian Monographs (Hardback)

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£41.95
Hardback 420 Pages
Published: 01/03/2010
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How have conceptions and practices of sovereignty shaped how ­Chineseness is imagined? This ethnography addresses this question through the example of Macau, a southern Chinese city that was a Portuguese colony from the 1550s until 1999. As the Portuguese administration prepared to transfer Macau to Chinese control, it mounted a campaign to convince the city’s residents, 95 percent of whom identified as Chinese, that they possessed a “unique cultural identity” that made them different from other Chinese, and that resulted from the existence of a Portuguese state on Chinese soil.

This attempt sparked reflections on the meaning of Portuguese governance that challenged not only conventional definitions of sovereignty but also conventional notions of Chineseness as a subjectivity common to all Chinese people around the world. Various stories about sovereignty and Chineseness and their interrelationship were told in Macau in the 1990s. This book is about those stories and how they informed the lives of Macau residents in ways that allowed different relationships among sovereignty, subjectivity, and culture to become thinkable, while also providing a sense of why, at times, it may not be desirable to think them.

Publisher: Harvard University, Asia Center
ISBN: 9780674035454
Number of pages: 420
Dimensions: 235 x 156 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS

Anthropologist Clayton examines how identity manifested itself in Macau in the years leading up to its reversion to China in 1999, as the Portuguese administration attempted to foster a unique Sino-Western character...Clayton's account is highly anecdotal and personal--the first-person pronoun is used liberally--as well as thoughtful and nuanced. - R. E. Entenmann, Choice

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