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Davidi, A. (1973) Some cultural changes in the Chinese minority communities in Southeast Asia: A study in political geography with special reference to Singapore. PhD thesis. SOAS University of London. DOI:

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The first of the three parts of this work deals with the Chinese identity and solidarity in China, and with its expansion southwards during the last three millennia. Initially, this involved overland movement within China itself; later, migrations by sea introduced the Chinese into the Nan Yang. As these immigrants have generally retained their Chinese identity maintaining links with China, a detailed discussion of politico-cultural developments in 20th century China has been included. The second part deals with the historico-geographical development of the Southeast Asian countries with special reference to the 20th century. The need for a separate discussion of each country arises from the effects of their political sovereignty, which, in some sense, enclose their respective Chinese communities within a specific state-culture, and limit the latter's extra-state relations with Chinese communities abroad. It thus occurs that, from a geographical-cultural point of view, each of the Kan Yang Chinese communities constitutes an almost closed cultural system with its proper cultural hierarchy. And yet, some similarities in indigenous-Chinese relations exist in all the Southeast Asian countries. The third part discusses the historical geography of Singapore and, in particular, various geographical conceptions of its character and role as well as the build-up of the attachment values to its territory. A special emphasis is given to the period of Singapore's independence with relation to its becoming a Chinese cultural node for the Nan Yang communities, ideologically different from and extra-territorial to China. This process occurs as a result of a popular cultural perseverance in Singapore and in the Nan Yang communities, and definitely does not constitute part of the official Singaporean state-idea.

Item Type: Theses (PhD)
SOAS Departments & Centres: SOAS Research Theses > Proquest
DOI (Digital Object Identifier):
Date Deposited: 16 Oct 2018 15:08

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