Item description for Reluctant Heroes: Richshaw Pullers in Hong Kong And Canton, 1874-1954 (Royal Asiatic Society Hong Kong Studies Series) by Fung Chi Ming...
Reluctant Heroes is a fascinating history of rickshaw pullers in Hong Kong and Canton. The author reconstructs the daily lives and social environments of rickshaw pullers, the majority of whom were emigrants who differed in the loyalties of dialect, place of origin and kinship. Low skilled yet partially self-employed, rickshaw pullers relied on entrepreneurial flair, in addition to physical stamina, to tout for fares, thus bridging the culture of petty traders and physical laborers. In the volatile urban environment, they were subjected not just to patron-client problems, but also the directives and regulations of the state, and interventions of the police, and the British colonial and Chinese authorities.
Rickshaw pullers struggled with their adversities and became a political force to be reckoned with. Fung argues that they are "reluctant heroes," since their collective outbursts were authentic protests against encroachments on their livelihood. They were spurred into collective actions that were at times cheered by the public, or embroiled in city politics, thus suffering great losses in political storms, when they would have preferred to lead quiet, anonymous lives. Set against the backdrop of two contrasting yet interrelated cities in South China, "Reluctant Heroes" brings a richer understanding of urban living through a comparative study of the historic pattern of adaptation in the urban workplace, the powers of the state, and the repertoire of mass activism.
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Studio: University of Washington Press
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 9.1" Width: 6.1" Height: 0.7" Weight: 0.75 lbs.
Release Date Dec 30, 2005
Publisher University of Washington Press
ISBN 9622097340 ISBN13 9789622097346
Availability 0 units.
More About Fung Chi Ming
FUNG CHI MING works in the Antiquities and Monuments Office, Hong Kong SAR. His previous books on the region's history and heritage include Yuen Long Historical Relics and Monuments (1996) and A History of Queen Mary Hospital, Hong Kong, 1937-1997 (1997).