Voluntary Organizations in the Chinese Diaspora


Edited by Khun Eng Kuah-Pearce and Evelyn Hu-Dehart

ISBN : 978-962-209-776-6

Anthropology, Sociology, Psychology

February 2006

308 pages, 6″ x 9″

  • HK$350.00

Do Chinese voluntary organizations continue to have a role in modern societies enmeshed in a globalizing world that questions continuation of the nation-state and ethnic identity? This book argues that Chinese voluntary organizations continue to play a significant role in both the established and new Chinese communities in the Diaspora. They are able to do so because of their ability to transform their organizational structure and functions. At the same time, they are able to reinvent their own images to suit their co-ethnic community and the wider polity.

The uniqueness of this volume lies in its integration of historical and contemporary approaches to the study of traditional Chinese voluntary organizations in the Diaspora. The chapters explore how the Chinese voluntary organizations continue to fulfil the needs of the Chinese community in different parts of the world, and do this by both localizing and globalizing their functions and roles in the countries where they have established roots.

The contributors cover traditional Chinese voluntary organizations from Asia to Australia, North America and Europe examining not only their activities in established Chinese communities such as Singapore and Malaysia, but also in the new emerging Chinese communities in Canada and Eastern Europe. This allows the readers to compare and contrast the voluntary organizations across countries and across time.

Readership for this book includes scholars and students of Chinese Studies, Asian Studies, Anthropology, Sociology, Diaspora Studies, History, Social Organizations and the general educated Chinese population.

Khun Eng Kuah-Pearce is Head and Associate Professor of the Department of Sociology, and Honorary Academic Director of the Centre for Anthropological Research, the University of Hong Kong. She is author of State, Society and Religious Engineering: Towards a Reformist Buddhism in Singapore and Rebuilding the Ancestral Village: Singaporeans in China. Evelyn Hu-DeHart is Professor of History, and Director of the Center for the Study of Race and Ethnicity in America at Brown University. She is author of Missionaries, Miners, and Indians and Yaqui Resistance and Survival: The Struggle for Land and Autonomy, 1821–1910.