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Khmer-chen in contemporary cambodia : suppression, revitalisation and emulation

Sos, Farib

Description

The twentieth century saw tensions between ethnic Chinese and indigenous majorities throughout Southeast Asia, and Cambodia was not an exception. In the past, the ethnic Chinese were often considered strangers: their actions and interactions took place in an environment of pervasive cultural difference, with assimilationist and discriminatory expectations in the background. In Cambodia, policies to suppress Chinese influence and culture have been implemented in several different eras. In...[Show more]

dc.contributor.authorSos, Farib
dc.date.accessioned2018-11-22T00:05:23Z
dc.date.available2018-11-22T00:05:23Z
dc.date.copyright2015
dc.date.created2015
dc.identifier.otherb3807198
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/1885/150300
dc.description.abstractThe twentieth century saw tensions between ethnic Chinese and indigenous majorities throughout Southeast Asia, and Cambodia was not an exception. In the past, the ethnic Chinese were often considered strangers: their actions and interactions took place in an environment of pervasive cultural difference, with assimilationist and discriminatory expectations in the background. In Cambodia, policies to suppress Chinese influence and culture have been implemented in several different eras. In recent years it has been suggested that the general diminution of anti-Chinese tensions in Southeast Asia has been caused by the phenomenal economic growth that has enriched the region, including Cambodia. It is worth noting that anti-Chinese sentiments remain in many parts of Southeast Asia. In my research I have been forced to ask: could the current lessening of ethnic conflict be the calm before another storm? Is the region's new prosperity a guarantee that anti-Chinese policies will not emerge again? The thesis is an in-depth study of the contemporary status of the Khmer-Chen minority group in Cambodia (also known as Chinese-Cambodians or Sino-Cambodians). Its purpose is to understand the status of Khmer-Chen as regards their positive acceptance or otherwise, belonging to, and position in modern Cambodia. It focuses on the perceived attributes of the Khmer-Chen, examining prevalent stereotypes about their commercial influence and activities, and documenting their cultural practices, identifications, political participation and influence in the country. After providing a description of the research methodology and a historical overview of the Chinese in Cambodia, the thesis documents and critically contextualises the contemporary business, cultural and institutional landscapes of the Khmer-Chen in Cambodia. Providing a set of case studies of businesses owned by Cambodians with Chinese heritage, it demonstrates the diversity that exists in the scale, complexity and success of Khmer-Chen businesses and charts new trends, generational changes, and modes of doing business that challenge stereotypes about the nature of Chinese businesses and businesspeople. In subsequent chapters, a survey of Chinese cultural practices and of the institutions that support them provides evidence of the resurgence of Chinese cultural identifications in Cambodia and of the diverse, dynamic and shifting nature of what it means to be Khmer-Chen. Castigated or labelled as 'others', with a mixture of admiration and envy for their economic wealth and talent, the Khmer-Chen have been remarkable in their tenacity and ability to adapt to various setbacks imposed by successive political regimes in Cambodia. The thesis argues that the Khmer-Chen are no longer suppressed in Cambodia; instead there are wide-ranging efforts to revitalise and even emulate their successes for the betterment of the country as a whole. Nuanced reflections by a variety of Cambodians about Khmer Chen identity demonstrate that Khmer-Chen are widely accepted as integral to the make-up of contemporary Cambodia and show appreciation for the diverse and critical role Khmer Chen have in Cambodian society.
dc.format.extentxiv, 331 leaves.
dc.language.isoen_AU
dc.rightsAuthor retains copyright
dc.titleKhmer-chen in contemporary cambodia : suppression, revitalisation and emulation
dc.typeThesis (PhD)
local.description.notesThesis (Ph.D.)--Australian National University
local.type.statusAccepted Version
local.contributor.affiliationAustralian National University. School of Culture, History & Language
local.identifier.doi10.25911/5d5fd01877a5b
dc.date.updated2018-11-20T06:36:44Z
dcterms.accessRightsOpen Access
local.mintdoimint
CollectionsOpen Access Theses

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