History and anthropology (Coursework Sample)
writing a formal essay that will assess the unique historical conditions and experiences of the following individuals. -A Chinese immigrant labourer in Vancouver Imagine you are one of these characters, reflecting in 1925 on the way your life has changed over the past forty years in Canadasource..
The Chinese population in western societies has been the topic of extensive study in the twentieth century. It is so because the Chinese settlements in the region serve as commentaries on the attitudes and behaviors of the western societies towards them (Anderson, 1987). Because of the same, many investigators in the field of sociology and anthropology developed research questions to solve problems of cultural transfer in foreign societies, social organization and community stratification in new societies. Vancouver is a typical example of a western city, which had large numbers of Chinese settlements (Amos, & Wong, 2009).
The proliferation of the Chinese in the city has helped in putting forward the inherent generalization of different populations by the Europeans. Laborers from the Chinese population faced hostility, oppression, discrimination, which are only a fraction of the ordeals that shaped their lives for the last four decades. The state perceived the many Chinese immigrants in Canada as a threat in many forms. In this regard, the state intervened in the “Chinese question.” Such a move was not favorable to the Chinese laborers because it would limit their employment in public works (Anderson, 1987).
Because of the rampant prejudice, discrimination and other forms of oppression the Chinese laborers encountered, for example, low employment opportunities; Chinese laborers had to find ways of surviving. Therefore, they opted to provide cheap labor. In the same context, such means of survival elicited hostile reactions from the non-Asian population (Barnholden, 2007). The theme of racism was rampant, and the Chinese population was barred from majoring in fields such as law, pharmacology, business or any other important fields for them to get white-collar jobs; therefore, they were confined to unskilled labor at low pay.
As for such, some of the professionals only offered skilled services to their fellow Chinese, but the case is different in contemporary Canada. In the 21st century, the Chinese populace has shown to take part in music, politics, law, entrepreneurship and other professions (Amos, & Wong, 2009). On the other hand, the segregation from the rest of the population made the Chinese laborers settle in the most-underdeveloped places. Although there were laborers who lived more comfortably than others did, the majority of the Chinese laborers resided in wooden shacks, in conditions described as “distressed and cramped” (Anderson, 1987).
Upon arrival in Canada, the Chinese immigrants took part in a variety of works. Some of them were domestic servants, merchants and the larger percentage were laborers. In the period 1880-1885, the Chinese laborers worked on the railway. Four decades later, the Chinese laborers contributed significantly to the current state of the Canadian country. In fact, there is an apparent difference, in that; historically, the Chinese laborers only featured in unskilled labor (Anderson, 1987). In the same context, literature has shown that the laborers encountered much oppression; however, they managed to maintain their culture. They remained unshaken, fought using combat to survive (Amos, & Wong, 2009).
Then again, the Chinese population was running away from many challenges in their home country, but as laborers, they managed to send money to their families back home. The Chinese laborers lived a life of hardship. Their host societies did not accommodate them as deemed appropriate to the extent of taking away their right of voting in federal elections. Many Canadians were not accommodative to the Chinese settlers, for example, Canadians perceived the Chinese as immoral and drug traders, which saw to the exclusion of the Chinese from immigrating into Canada (Barnholden, 2007).
The Chinese laborers witnessed events that affected their lives both negatively and positively. What was clear for them; the Caucasians or rather the whites perceived them as a menace (Amos, & Wong, 2009). From such a perspective, they often encountered fights, even legal threats to evacuate or expel them from Canada. The Asiatic Exclusion League (AEL) is a typical movement, which threatened the existence or peace of the Chinese populations in Canada. The event organized by the AEL held in the city hall between Chinatown and Japan-town aimed at expelling and stopping Chinese immigrations from entering Canada (Barnholden, 2007).
Similarly, the Chinese laborers, although did the labor work, were not aware of their working terms. There were mediators who contracted on their behalf, which meant, the mediators profited from the laborers’ hard work. Therefore, their accepting to work for low wages fueled the 1907 riots because the other population saw them as taking away their job opportunities. Oblivious of their inferiority, the other population saw the Chinese laborers as the source of agitation, instead of the contractors (Barnholden, 2007).
In present Canada, life has changed considering the repeal of the discriminatory law in the year 1947; hence, the Chinese could now immigrate to Canada. In addition, they experienced seg...
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