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Publisher Description

From 1890-1956 the French colonial government of Indochina became increasingly involved in the affairs of the colony's miniscule and marginalized population of abandoned Eurasian children. During this period, French civilian "protection" organizations and the French colonial government conducted exhaustive, often covert searches throughout the Indochinese countryside to find mixed-race children who had been abandoned by their French fathers. (1) Because they lacked a French father and French cultural influences and lived within the Vietnamese milieu, such children were labeled "abandoned." (2) The colony's small population of abandoned Eurasians was a consistent source of anxiety for members of French colonial society. Many French colonists believed that the combination of a supposedly debauched Vietnamese mother and a Vietnamese cultural environment put Eurasian children at risk for social deviance. These children, many of whom could pass for white yet had supposedly been corrupted by Vietnamese culture, were considered a threat to white prestige. If Eurasian females engaged in prostitution, as was feared, this would embarrass the colony; if Eurasian males engaged in anti-colonial activities, this would call into question the very authority of whiteness. French colonists further suspected that abandoned Eurasians would come to resent their place in the colonial racial hierarchy when they reached young adulthood. Being of partial European descent, yet classified under colonial law as Vietnamese, the abandoned Eurasians might well expect privileges that would be denied them. French colonists feared that these children, already supposedly predisposed toward deviance, would eventually channel their resentment into rebellion against the colonial government. (3)

GENRE
History
RELEASED
2010
March 22
LANGUAGE
EN
English
LENGTH
52
Pages
PUBLISHER
Journal of Social History
SIZE
292.1
KB

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