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Title: The city of intermediaries : Compradors in Hong Kong from the 1830s to the 1880s
Author: Abe, Kaori
ISNI:       0000 0004 5349 4278
Awarding Body: University of Bristol
Current Institution: University of Bristol
Date of Award: 2014
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The compradors (maiban), who were intermediary elites, played key roles in the formulation of the fundamental social system of the Hong Kong, the system of intermediation, from the 1830s to the 1880s. This system depends on the existence of coordinators mediating between the commercial and political interests of a variety of people and groups; the integration of human, financial, and information resources; and the intermediary elites' participation in public issues. My PhD research explores Chinese compradors serving foreign institutions in Hong Kong in the nineteenth century. It describes the evolution of the comprador system in nineteenth century Hong Kong, with specific focus on individuals working in the colonial government and with foreign companies. The First Opium War dismantled and privatised the licensed comprador system between the late 1830s and the early 1840s. Thereafter, a variety of compradors appeared in Hong Kong, including government compradors, ship compradors, and company compradors. Of these, the company compradors, who acted as internal staff of the foreign firms as well as their external business, achieved notable economic and political success during the 1870s and 1880s. Collaborating with various individuals, institutions, and communities, the company compradors consolidated their social status in the commercial and political world of Hong Kong by the late 1880s. The Hong Kong compradors' socio-economic activities eventually produced the social system of intermediation in late nineteenth century Hong Kong. After the return of Hong Kong to China in 1997, the city continues to be a commercial centre of East Asia, and to intermediate foreign and Chinese economies, politics, and culture. This thesis will promote further understanding of the contemporary society and people of Hong Kong.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available