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Becoming British East Asian and Southeast Asian: Anti-racism, Chineseness, and Political Love in the Cultural and Creative Industries

Yeh, D. ORCID: 0000-0001-8324-5342 (2021). Becoming British East Asian and Southeast Asian: Anti-racism, Chineseness, and Political Love in the Cultural and Creative Industries. British Journal of Chinese Studies, 11, pp. 53-70.


This article advances work on the ‘British Chinese’ by reconfiguring the boundaries of the field and expanding it beyond the cultural and linguistic transformations of an ‘ethnic community’. Instead, I examine new pan-Asian political formations and situate them within wider anti-racist organising in Britain. First, I examine the birth of ‘British East and Southeast Asianness’ as an emphatically political identity that contests racialised notions of ‘the Chinese’ as a passive model minority and repositions us as political agents of change. Second, I examine the crafting of a political community, in which a pan-Asian identity emerges as a contestation of the borders of ‘Chineseness’ and its policing, while maintaining a Chinese hegemony. Third, I identify distinct political repertoires of anti-racism within this ‘community’, a more radical and a more integrationist approach, which highlights the challenges of political mobilisation, and is shaped by a continued abject status. Finally, I examine the role of political love and care as a means of mobilisation, through which a radical politics of affirmation and refusal is crafted. In doing so, I re-envision the political horizons of the so-called ‘British Chinese’, while shedding light on the current complexities, transformations and solidarities of communities within and beyond Chineseness.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: © British Association for Chinese Studies. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
Publisher Keywords: British Chinese, British East Asian, British Southeast Asian, political community, anti-racism, Chineseness, identity, model minority, political love, care
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HT Communities. Classes. Races
J Political Science
Departments: School of Arts & Social Sciences > Sociology
Date available in CRO: 11 Aug 2021 14:57
Date deposited: 1 April 2021
Date of acceptance: 24 February 2021
Date of first online publication: 29 June 2021
Text - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution.

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