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VOLUME 2 (2000), ISSUE 4  (WINTER)






Communities with transnational links can call upon multiple skills, knowledge and social networks that are rooted in different parts of the world in order to construct their identities. Such identity constructions can be regarded as strategies in the competition for social and economic benefits. This article examines the construction of the identities by Indian residents in Hong Kong in order to understand why certain identities were adopted and for what purposes.

The article analyzes, in addition to the initiatives of Indians in Hong Kong to shape new identities, what are the characteristics of Hong Kong that afford both opportunities and constraints for transnational identity constructions. The determinants examined are the demographic characteristics of Indians in Hong Kong, the values of the British colonial system, the perception of Hong Kong Chinese by the Indians, the business ethos in Hong Kong, the Indians' links with societies of origins or of former residences, and the secularism of Hong Kong.


Indians - Hong Kong - Asia - Identity - Ethnicity - Transnationalism


Caroline PLÜSS obtained a D.Phil. in the Sociology of Religion from Oxford University in 1995. Since 1996 she has been working as a Post-Doctoral Fellow at the Centre of Asian Studies, the University of Hong Kong, carrying out research on Indians, Jews, and Muslims.


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