Text as Discourse: The Chinese in Canada in Historiographical Perspective

Samantha J Scot

Abstract


As a historiographical analysis, this essay seeks to understand the idea of historical layering through the topic of Chinese immigration to Canada. It considers the following four works: In the Sea of Sterile Mountains: The Chinese in British Columbia (1974) by James Morton, White Canada Forever: Popular Attitudes and Public Policy Toward Orientals in British Columbia (1978) by W Peter Ward, From China to Canada: A History of the Chinese Communities in Canada (1982) by Harry Con et al., and The Concubine's Children (1994) by Denise Chong. It does so in an effort to compare and contrast their approaches with regard to consensus and specialist histories, top-down and bottom-up approaches, as well as passive and active historical representations.

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