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Life in the foreign quarters of Canton: the case of the Swedish East India Company in the long eighteenth century
Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of History.
2015 (English)In: International Journal of Maritime History, ISSN 0843-8714, Vol. 27, no 4, 798-802 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This note describes a project analysing the everyday life in the foreign quarters of Canton, focusing on the Swedish East India Company employees 1730–1830. Canton was a well-known hub in the global trade during the long 18th century. However, it had strict restrictions on the foreign traders. Additionally, this port had a complex make-up in terms of ethnicity, class and religion, and I argue for the need to take its many groups into account. The Swedish company is a rare topic of study compared to other, larger companies, but it provides an unusual perspective: that of the small and non-colonial European company meeting a large and powerful Asian empire. The intercultural interaction in Canton took place in a very small space. This environment, in a restricted space, under Asian control, with many different groups, made for special relations among the foreign traders, and between the foreigners. This is particularly clear when focusing on the everyday life. I have studied the daily life Swedish employees in terms of how they acted as parts of groups, how they lived in this cramped space, their communication (amongst themselves and with others), their consumption and material practices, and finally which practices and strategies they used to establish trust.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. Vol. 27, no 4, 798-802 p.
Keyword [en]
Canton, Macao, Swedish East India Company, everyday life
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URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-124379DOI: 10.1177/0843871415610289ISI: 000367254700013OAI: diva2:885666
Available from: 2015-12-20 Created: 2015-12-20 Last updated: 2016-01-18Bibliographically approved

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Hellman, Lisa
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