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Dear ChinaEmigrant Letters and Remittances, 1820-1980$
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Gregor Benton and Hong Liu

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780520298415

Published to California Scholarship Online: January 2019

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520298415.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CALIFORNIA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.california.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of California Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CALSO for personal use.date: 25 May 2022

The Genealogy of Qiaopi Studies

The Genealogy of Qiaopi Studies

(p.19) 1 The Genealogy of Qiaopi Studies
Dear China

Gregor Benton

Hong Liu

University of California Press

This chapter is mainly concerned with scholarship over the past eighty years or so in both China and overseas on the qiaopi phenomenon. It first discusses the reasons for the large quantities of letters Chinese emigrants wrote home and the replies (known as huipi) they received from their families. It then analyzes scholarship on qiaopi up to 2013, when qiaopi were included in the UNESCO Memory of the World Register. During this period, studies on qiaopi were mainly undertaken in the context of local histories of South China (Fujian and Guangdong). In the late twentieth and the early twenty-first centuries, qiaopi studies gradually emerged as a special branch of research. This chapter pays special attention to qiaopi studies after 2013, when interest in qiaopi, both as an object of collection and a subject of research, reached new heights. While the focus of Chinese-language studies has been primarily on the role remittances play in the Chinese economy and in the economic and social development of the migrant-sending areas (the qiaoxiang), this book looks at qiaopi not only as an economic and financial phenomenon but also as a means of sustaining emotional and spiritual ties in families, clans, and local communities.

Keywords:   social history of China 1840–, qiaoxiang, South China, UNESCO Memory of the World Register

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