"Girls doing a big job" in diaspora: cosmopolitan minority and making modern Chinese women associations in white Australia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

During Australia's “White Australia” policy (1901-1973), Chinese women in Sydney defied limitations through voluntary work. Starting with social clubs and local relief funds, their efforts culminated in the 1954 Chinese Women's Association of Australia (CWAA). This study explores how these women navigated inclusion and exclusion by leveraging their voluntary efforts. Fundraising, cultural events, and community activities became platforms for them to express their evolving identities and reshape social dynamics. The paper argues that cultural practices empowered women-led Chinese voluntary organizations in the diaspora. It introduces the concept of a “cosmopolitan minority,” where “Chineseness” is performed identities transcending race or ethnicity alone. Cosmopolitan life allowed these women to leverage intercultural understanding for navigating their complex situation and fostering resilience. Through collaboration and community building, they strategically performed their heritage, ultimately shaping associations and spaces to assert agency and define their ideal lives within the diaspora.
Original languageEnglish
JournalEthnic and Racial Studies
Early online date13 Jun 2024
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 13 Jun 2024

Keywords

  • Cosmopolitan minority
  • Chinese Australian women
  • Chinese voluntary associations
  • sociability
  • Chineseness
  • intercultural capitals

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of '"Girls doing a big job" in diaspora: cosmopolitan minority and making modern Chinese women associations in white Australia'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this