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The Children of ChinatownGrowing Up Chinese American in San Francisco, 1850-1920$
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Wendy Rouse Jorae

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780807833131

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: July 2014

DOI: 10.5149/9780807898581_jorae

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Articles of Contention: Chinese Children in the Missions and Courts

Articles of Contention: Chinese Children in the Missions and Courts

(p.140) 5 Articles of Contention: Chinese Children in the Missions and Courts
The Children of Chinatown

Wendy Rouse Jorae

University of North Carolina Press

This chapter presents cases that help illuminate the dark side of Chinatown in order to reveal aspects of the Chinese American experience that prove otherwise elusive. In some of these stories, Chinese and white adults fought for custody of Chinese children. The children thus became articles of contention in the much larger political and economic debate over the presence of the Chinese in America. These cases also demonstrate a clash in cultural values, as Chinese and whites not only debated the best methods of caring for these children but also argued about who should be in charge of the process. Yet, Chinese parents and their children sometimes formed alliances with white reformers in their efforts to create a stable and safe environment in which to raise their children.

Keywords:   custody, Chinatown, Chinese American experience, Chinese children, economic debate, cultural values

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