Nineteenth-Century German Community

King Sang MAK*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in book/report/conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Anthony Smith suggests that an “ethnic group” is a group of people who have a collective proper noun, a myth of common ancestry, collective historical memories, one or more differentiating elements of common culture, an association with a “homeland," and a sense of solidarity among significant sectors of its population.1 According to historical experience, it seems to be a rule that political entities consist of different ethnic groups. Different ethnic groups in a nation or a larger community do not always coexist peacefully, because they are inevitably caught in the struggle for social, economic, and political resources. Those who are bigger in size, more coherent, and politically or militarily better organized usually prevail over the others. War, invasion, and changes in the political boundaries continue to produce privileged as well as underprivileged ethnic groups. Peoples subdued by foreign invaders are likely to be politically, economically, and culturally marginalized. Ethnic groups possessing immense wealth and social resources such as the Chinese in twentieth-century Southeast Asian countries, though small in size, can play a key role in the domestic affairs of the host-state. While few dominant ethnic groups strive to establish mono-racial states by expelling foreign communities, they can choose whether they wish to impose their culture and way of life on other groups, or tolerate cultural and national diversity. The smaller, weaker, and less organized ethnic groups, while seeking to maintain their way of living, need to come to terms with the dominant social, cultural, and political ways of life.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationForeign Communities in Hong Kong, 1840s-1950s
EditorsCindy Yik-yi Chu
Place of PublicationNew York
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
Number of pages23
ISBN (Electronic)9781403980557
ISBN (Print)9781403970596, 9781349532230
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2005

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Arts and Humanities(all)
  • Social Sciences(all)

User-Defined Keywords

  • German State
  • German Government
  • German Firm
  • Colonial Government
  • German Identity


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