Download Big White Lie: Chinese Australians in White Australia by John Fitzgerald PDF

By John Fitzgerald

Brief indexed for the top Minister's Prize for Australian background. a lot has been written in regards to the White Australia coverage, yet little or no has been written approximately it from a chinese language viewpoint. tremendous White Lie shifts our figuring out of the White Australia Policy—and certainly White Australia—by exploring what chinese language Australians have been announcing and doing at a time after they have been formally excluded. mammoth White Lie will pay shut consciousness to chinese language migration styles, debates, social companies, and their company and spiritual lives and exhibits they had each correct to matter as Australians, even in White Australia. The book's specialize in chinese language Australians presents a clean new viewpoint at the very important position the chinese language have performed in Australia's prior at a time whilst China's most likely position in Australia's destiny is extra compelling than ever.

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Extra resources for Big White Lie: Chinese Australians in White Australia

Sample text

This style of culturalism requires explanation on its own account. The tenacity of the culturalist argument in Australian history can be traced to a premise of Australian nationalism that Australia is an egalitarian, progressive and tolerant society in contrast to class-ridden Britain and the hierarchical societies to Australia’s north. In the Australian national imaginary, the imagined clash between Western liberalism and ‘Oriental despotism’ – or, more parochially, between Australian values and Chinese values – cannot easily be separated from the residual conflict between ideals of social, cultural and material progress on the one hand and the spectre of resistant social and cultural traditions on the other.

Indd 25 22/5/07 9:04:44 AM 26 Big White Lie The argument mounted here is that freedom, egalitarianism and mateship were local Australian idiom for the modern ethical principle that people are born free and equal. This principle was well established in 19th century Europe and America and, as we shall see, by the late 19th century it had come to hold considerable appeal in China and Japan as well. Within Australia, however, the principle that people are born free and equal was not applied universally.

For Makepeace, China was not just an alien place, but an ancient time, or rather a place caught in time in a way that the progressive West was not. He fabricated his story within an established literary genre of timeless Oriental travellers who imparted words of wisdom on the clash of cultures between a dynamic and progressive West on the one side and a timeless and unchanging Orient on the other. Although transported to Marvellous Melbourne, Hwuy Ung was trapped in the same time warp that marked out China as a cultural space.

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