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Essential Outsiders

Chinese and Jews in the Modern Transformation of Southeast Asia and Central Europe

edited by Daniel Chirot and Anthony Reid

Publication Year: 1997

Ethnic Chinese in Southeast Asia, like Jews in Central Europe until the Holocaust, have been remarkably successful as an entrepreneurial and professional minority. Whole regimes have sometimes relied on the financial underpinnings of Chinese business to maintain themselves in power, and recently Chinese businesses have led the drive to economic modernization in Southeast Asia. But at the same time, they remain, as the Jews were, the quintessential “outsiders.” In some Southeast Asian countries they are targets of majority nationalist prejudices and suffer from discrimination, even when they are formally integrated into the nation.

Published by: University of Washington Press


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pp. v-vi

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p. vii

We would like to thank the Social Science Research Council for funding the conference in La Jolla, California, that produced these papers, and especially Toby Volkman, who was then the council's staff person responsible for Southeast Asian studies. On the last morning of the conference we were all awakened early in the morning by the January 1994 earthquake that jolted southern California and caused so much damage in ...

Part One: Similarities and Disparities: An Introduction to the Comparison of Entrepreneurial Minorities

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1. Conflicting Identities and the Dangers of Communalism

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pp. 3-32

Comparing the two most prominent entrepreneurial minorities in the modem world, European Jews and Southeast Asian Chinese, raises questions about almost every important and controversial aspect of nationalism and ethnic conflict. Because of what appears to be intensified xenophobic nationalism and the spread of bloody ethnic wars in parts of ...

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2. Entrepreneurial Minorities, Nationalism, and the State

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pp. 33-72

Periods of rapid economic expansion and relatively weak government tend to widen the differences between individuals and social groups. Risk takers and innovators are rewarded more than most, sometimes by their ability to enter the yawning gap between the laws and values of an older era and the economic needs of the new one. Cultural minorities exist wherever international business is done, but their salience, and indeed ...

Part Two: Identity, Choice, and the Reaction to Prejudice among Chinese and Jews

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3. Imagined Uncommunity: the "Lookjin" Middle Class and Thai Official Nationalism

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pp. 75-98

One night in September 1992, four months after an uprising by the cellular phone-wielding, sedan-driving Thai middle class had toppled the military government of General Suchinda Kraprayoon, the top-rated drama "Lod Lai Mangkorn" (Through the Dragon Design) was broadcast on a state-run television channel. It contained the following dialogue: ...

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4. "Pride and Prejudice" or "Sense and Sensibility"? How Reasonable Was Anti-Semitism in Vienna, 1880 - 1939?

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pp. 99-124

Considering what has happened in the twentieth century, it is more than understandable. that the relationship between nationalism and Jews should generally be viewed as one between anti-Semites and their victims or targets. The Holocaust has meant that the Jewish role in modern European history has been teleologically construed as that of victim, of ...

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5. Jewish Entrepreneurship and Identity under Capitalism and Socialism in Central Europe: The Unresolved Dilemmas of Hungarian Jewry

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pp. 125-152

The impact of Jewish entrepreneurship has proved to be much more important in postfeudal east-central Europe than anywhere else in the world. Jews formed either the main entrepreneurial class or a major component of it during the period when capitalist market economies were established in the region extending from Germany and Switzerland in the ...

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6. Anti-Sinicism and Chinese Identity Options in the Philippines

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pp. 153-184

Four events of the early 1990s illustrate the promise and perils of the Philippine Chinese situation. For "promise," consider the first and second. In September 1992, a capacity audience of 2,500 expatriate Filipinos paid substantial prices to attend the Carnegie Hall concert of Jose Mari Chan. Chan, an ethnic Chinese born in the Philippines, is an immensely ...

Part Three: The Modernization of Ethnic Perceptions and Conflicts

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7. Anti-Sinicism in Java's New Order

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pp. 187-207

Violent, popular anti-Sinidsm came to Dutch lava in the early 1910s. As late as 1908, W. Boekhoudt, author of a report on police reorganization, saw no real nationalist threat to the Indies state and the public order from among the natives; he observed that among Javanese, the national sense was "fast asleep. "1 He noted instead a growing sense of solidarity and nationality among Java's Chinese, and he pointed out that Chinese ...

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8. Middleman Minorities and Blood: Is There a Natural Economy of the Ritual Murder Accusation in Europe?

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pp. 208-234

In 1974, in a study of German anti-Semitism before the First World War. Stefan Lehr attempted to list all documented accusations of ritual murder against Jews that occurred during the last two decades of the nineteenth century.' He counted 128 incidents from 1873 to 1900; all but five occurred in the single decade from 1891 to 1900. Presumably, if he had ...

Part Four: Chinese Businesses in Contemporary Southeast Asia: Are There Parallels?

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9. A Specific Idiom of Chinese Captialism in Southeast Asia: Sino-Malaysian Captial Accumulation in the Face of State Hostility

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pp. 237-257

In recent years, much has been written about the economic boom in East Asia. Attention was focused first on Japan and the newly industrializing countries (NICs) of South Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Singapore. By the early 1980s, culturalist explanations were touting Confucianism as the common element responsible for these economic miracles.1 This is ...

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10. Ethniticity and Capitalist Development: The Changing Role of the Chinese in Thailand

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pp. 258-284

Why are the Chinese so successful in business? This question has been asked again and again in reference to the Chinese in virtually every location outside of China where they have settled in any substantial numbers in the past 150 years. Many anthropological and historical accounts of the Chinese in this or that location suggest answers to the question, but ...

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11. Strengths and Weaknesses of Minority Status for Southeast Asian Chinese at a Time of Economic Growth and Liberalization

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pp. 285-317

Southeast Asia is distinguished from other ethnically diverse, economically developing regions by the coincidence of extreme ethnic and religious diversity with relative interethnic peace and rapid economic growth over three decades.1 Stability and prosperity have been achieved, even though small minorities of ethnic Chinese dominate the region's ...

List of Contributors

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pp. 318-320


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pp. 321-335

E-ISBN-13: 9780295800264
E-ISBN-10: 0295800267
Print-ISBN-13: 9780295976136
Print-ISBN-10: 0295976136

Publication Year: 1997

OCLC Number: 715155087
MUSE Marc Record: Download for Essential Outsiders

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Subject Headings

  • Southeast Asia -- Ethnic relations.
  • Europe, Central -- Ethnic relations.
  • Southeast Asia -- History.
  • Jews -- Europe, Central -- History.
  • Europe, Central -- History.
  • Chinese -- Southeast Asia -- History.
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