SOJOURNERS OR A NEW DIASPORA? ECONOMIC IMPLICATIONS OF THE MOVEMENT OF CHINESE MINERS TO THE SOUTH-WEST PACIFIC GOLDFIELDS

Authors

  • Keir Reeves

    1. Monash University
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      The research for this article was supported under Australian Research Council's Linkage Projects funding scheme (project number LP0667552). The article is dedicated to the memory of Henry Chan. I thank Veryan Croggon for research assistance, Stephen Morgan- journal editor and two anonymous referees for their constructive and incisive comments.


Abstract

Chinese gold seekers were the largest non-British group on the goldfields of Australasia and constituted the largest nationality on some diggings. In considering the movement of Chinese miners to and throughout the goldfields colonies of the southwest Pacific, this articles argues there existed a more complex pattern of migration than that suggested by the sojourner model of arrival, brief stay and departure. It examines the links between migration patterns and economic activity, and argues that economic history perspectives complement the insights offered by recent social and cultural history in the field.

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