Sovereignty at the Edge: Macau and the Question of Chineseness

Sovereignty at the Edge: Macau and the Question of Chineseness

by Cathryn H. Clayton
     
 

ISBN-10: 0674035453

ISBN-13: 9780674035454

Pub. Date: 03/01/2010

Publisher: Harvard University Press

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

Overview

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.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780674035454
Publisher:
Harvard University Press
Publication date:
03/01/2010
Series:
Harvard East Asian Monographs Series, #324
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
420
Product dimensions:
6.20(w) x 9.20(h) x 1.50(d)

Table of Contents

Maps and Figures

Notes on Conventions

Introduction

1. Sort-of Sovereignties

2. Outlaw Tales

3. The Nonexistent Macanese

4. Educating Locals

5. Culture in Ruins

6. The Rubbish Heap of History

7. Outlawed Tales

Conclusion

Notes

Glossary of Cantonese Characters

Works Cited

Index

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