Ethnicity and capital : Changing relations between China and Southeast Asia

Research output: Journal Publications and ReviewsRGC 21 - Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)328-349
Journal / PublicationJournal of Contemporary Asia
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2006


This article seeks to debunk the persistent myth of an ethnically-based Chinese capitalism and the culturalist view of an "economic miracle" created by Asians of Chinese descent. This myth claims that Chinese entrepreneurs constitute a closed category with homogenous ethnic attributes and cultural values that have enabled them to achieve economic success. This article disputes such primordialist views and proposes an alternative analysis of the cultural economy of regionalisation and constructions of Chineseness. It deconstructs the politics of culture and identity, and argues for the need to analyse Southeast Asian Chinese entrepreneurship within specific historical, geographical, economic, political and socio-cultural contexts.

Research Area(s)

  • Capitalism, China, Ethnicity, Ethno-class, Regionalisation, Southeast Asia