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Managing Identity: The Politics Of Community Formation And Networking

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Chapter Summary

This chapter assesses the organizational structures developed by the Chinese on Mauritius and considers how these have been used to generate efficient commercial networks as well as to foster positive intra-community understandings. It discusses the development of organisations which facilitated the transfer of credit between Chinese and placed emphasis on clan membership. Since most of the Chinese originated from villages in South China which were composed of a relatively small number of clans, it was comparatively easy for the immigrants to reconstruct clan networks in Mauritius. The creation of commercial organisations by Chinese retailers demonstrates the use of clan networks to ensure the maintenance of control over a number of shops in a given area, ensuring continuity of prices, and the concretisation of local monopolies. After independence was proclaimed, in March 1968, Mauritius made a commitment to "recognise the People's Republic of China as the only legal representative of China".

Keywords: Chinese community; Chinese retailers; clan networks; Mauritius



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