1887

n Historia - 'Whiteness', 'blackness', 'neitherness' - The South African Chinese 1885-1991: a case study of identity politics

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Abstract

Die Chinese in Suid-Afrika is een van die land se kleinste etniese minderheidsgroepe, tog het hulle relatief onbeduidende getalle hulle nie sedert die begin van die Europese heerskappy van die diskrimenerende impak van die opkomende strukture van segregasie en apartheid gevrywaar nie. Hulle kleur en kulturele erfenis het aan hulle 'n onsekere, inkonsekwente en dubbelsinnige wetlike status aan die periferie van die blank-swart- samelewing verskaf. Hierdie artikel volg die geskiedenis van die Chinese se wetlike status as 'n gevallestudie in identiteitspolitiek van die oorsprong van segregasiebeleid teen die middel van die negentiende eeu tot met die afskaffing van die Bevolkingsregistrasiewet 'n eeu later. Hoewel hulle nie die menslike lyding en vernedering van kleurwetgewing vrygespring het nie, was die Chinese in 'n sekere sin die eerste herkenbare minderheidsgroep wat die apartheidsskeiding oorbrug het en uiteindelik 'n teenstrydige posisie bereik het wat nóg blank nóg swart was. Hierdie dubbelsinnigheid is kenmerkend van die Chinese se ontmoeting met strukturele diskriminasie in Suid-Afrika End

The Chinese in South Africa form one of the country's smallest ethnic minorities, yet from the start of European hegemony their relatively insignificant numbers did not exempt them from the discriminatory impact of the evolving structures of segregation and apartheid. Their colour and cultural heritage gave them a precarious, inconsistent and ambiguous legal status on the periphery of black-white society. This article traces the history of Chinese legal status from the genesis of segregationist policies in the mid-nineteenth century to the abolition of the Population Registration Act a century later as a case study of identity politics. While not escaping the ii.human suffering and degradation of colour legislation, in a sense the Chinese were the first identifiable minority to transcend the apartheid divide and ultimately attain an anomalous position which was neither white nor black. This ambivalence is characteristic of the Chinese encounters with structural discrimination in South Africa. End

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/content/hist/47/1/EJC38060
2002-05-01
2016-12-08
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