Cantonese Society in Hong Kong and Singapore
Gender, Religion, Medicine and Money
ISBN : 978-988-8028-14-6
632 pages, 6″ x 9″, 79 b&w illus.
Not for sale in Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Brunei, Indonesia, Vietnam, or the Philippines
The volume collects the published articles of Dr. Marjorie Topley, who was a pioneer in the field of social anthropology in the postwar period and also the first president of the revived Hong Kong Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society. Her ethnographic research in Singapore and Hong Kong set a high standard for urban anthropology, and helped creating the fields of religious studies, migration studies, gender studies, and medical anthropology, focusing on topics that remain current and important in the disciplines.
The essays in this collection showcase Dr. Topley’s groundbreaking contributions in several areas of scholarship. These include “Chinese Women’s Vegetarian Houses in Singapore” (1954) and “The Great Way of Former Heaven: A Group of Chinese Secret Religious Sects” (1963), both important research on the study of subcultural groups in a complex urban society; “Marriage Resistance in Rural Kwangtung” (1978), now a classic in Chinese anthropology and women’s studies; her widely known and cited article, “Cosmic Antagonisms: A Mother-Child Syndrome” (1974), which investigates widely shared everyday practices and cosmological explanations that Cantonese mothers invoked when they encountered difficulties in child-rearing; and “Capital, Saving and Credit among Indigenous Rice Farmers and Immigrant Vegetable Farmers in Hong Kong’s New Territories” (2004 ).
“For more than two decades Marjorie Topley was the intellectual and organizational mainstay of the Hong Kong Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society—as Council member from 1960, Vice-President (1966–72), and President (1972–83). This splendid edition, incorporating all of her published work on Hong Kong, Singapore and beyond, will make available her pioneering, and still topical, anthropological research to a new generation of readers.” —James Hayes, author of The Great Difference: Hong Kong’s New Territories and Its People, 1898–2004
“Marjorie Topley pioneered research into areas of traditional Chinese culture that remain significant today. Some of these papers have been unavailable for many years, and the whole collection is impressive in its originality and breadth of coverage. The numerous photographs are a superb bonus.” —Hugh Baker, Professor Emeritus, SOAS, University of London