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Title: Multiracial Britons : Britishness, diasporas, and cosmopolitanism in interwar Hong Kong
Author: Kong, Vivian
ISNI:       0000 0004 7972 7746
Awarding Body: University of Bristol
Current Institution: University of Bristol
Date of Award: 2019
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What do we understand by the notion of being 'British' in the British Empire? This was an issue of political, legal and media debate and dispute. But, while a rich literature has considered how being British was an identity available to 'non-white' subjects in the empire, existing works often engage in the binary discussion of only the indigenous and British communities, neglecting other ethnicities also present in colonies. This thesis proposes a different answer to this question through the prism of colonial Hong Kong between the two World Wars. I ask what did being British mean, and who was British. Drawing on legal cases, public discussions, civil society, and education, I identify a sizable group of 'multiracial Britons' who actively engaged themselves with notions of Britishness in interwar Hong Kong. This thesis examines closely various forms of cross-cultural interactions - between white Britons and British subjects of colour; between Chinese students from British Malaya; British Hong Kong, and mainland China; between Anglophile Portuguese Eurasians and 'patriotic' Portuguese Eurasians; and between white Britons and other Europeans. As I investigate their understanding of Britishness, this thesis also explains how colonialism affected the development of diasporic, civic, and urban identities in twentieth-century Asia. I argue that Hong Kong's multi-ethnic population, urban setting, and transnational connections enabled Britishness to develop as not only a 'race', a legal identity, and a national belonging, but also an imperial tool, a civic sensibility, and a cultural attribute, and so on.
Supervisor: Lewis, Su Lin ; Bickers, Robert Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available