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Bickers, Robert, “Shanghailanders: The Formation and Identity of the British Settler Community in Shanghai 1843-1937” (1998)

Title : “Shanghailanders: The Formation and Identity of the British Settler Community in Shanghai 1843-1937”

Author(s) : Bickers, Robert

Year : 1998

Type : Journal article

Subject : History

Keywords : foreigners;colonialism;power;elites;

Journal : Past and Present,

Number : 159,

Start page : 161

End page : 211

Language:Name : English

Support : Print

Abstract : Offers a historical analysis of the development of the British settler community in Shanghai, China, 1843-1937. The origins of the Shanghai Municipal Council (SMC), the polity responsible for British settlers, & development of the Shanghailander identity by British immigrants are discussed; it is noted that the Shanghailanders had little participation in the political affairs of the SMC. Analysis of the Shanghailanders' status as settlers, economic activities, differences when compared to other expatriates & Chinese workers, & preservation of racial & sexual boundaries indicates that Shanghailander identity was principally constructed around nationality, race, & class. The significance of Shanghailander's self-perception as "crusaders" & the overt influence of Christianity on their lives are explored. Although the Shanghai Municipal Police Force's slaughter of Chinese demonstrators in 1925 damaged Shanghailander authority, it is asserted that the Asia Reality Co's involvement in Shanghai accelerated discussions between British & Chinese governments over the future administration of Shanghai. It is concluded that Shanghailanders' identity as settlers ultimately problematized the British government's management of them, thus resulting in their 1941 demise.



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