Skip to main content Accessibility help
  • Cited by 15
Cambridge University Press
Online publication date:
January 2020
Print publication year:
Online ISBN:

Book description

Chinese Diasporas provides a concise and compelling new history of internal and external Chinese migration from the sixteenth century to the present day. Steven B. Miles places Chinese migrants and their families at the center of his narrative through a series of engaging case studies taking readers from the heart of Ming China to the global property markets of the twenty-first century. The focus on individual migrants and their descendants reveals the ways in which the 'Chinese diaspora' has consisted of distinct paths of migration from specific emigrant communities to targeted destinations both within China and abroad. This is essential reading for those interested in the history of the Chinese diaspora and the overseas Chinese, and for those interested in the role of migration in the making of the modern world.


‘Covering internal and international Chinese migration from EARLY modern history to contemporary and armed with rich texts, notes, graphs, maps and tables, Chinese Diasporas offers insightful analyses and deep knowledge of the global Chinese diasporas. Miles' book is excellent for both scholarly reference and classroom teaching.'

Wei Li - Arizona State University

‘Brilliant and accessible, this sits on top of a growing list of books on the Chinese diaspora because Miles is the first historian to examine both internal and external migration in one grand, global narrative on Chinese mobility over 500 years. Microhistories of migrants move the analytical scale from local to regional, national and transnational.'

Evelyn Hu-DeHart - Brown University, Rhode Island

‘Miles expertly distills a huge and complex literature on Chinese migration into a clear and persuasive narrative enlivened by unforgettable stories of individuals and families. Encompassing mobility past and present, internal and international, this is the best introduction to the history of Chinese diasporas available.'

Michael Szonyi - Harvard University, Massachusetts

‘This sweeping, half-millennia history grounds global Chinese migrations in illuminating family stories and historical documents, thereby foregrounding the agency of individual Chinese and their family and native-place networks in developing a tremendous diversity of diasporic flows over time and a range of distances and economic circumstances. Miles presents the long trajectories of how changing communications and political systems shaped such flows, while demonstrating that amid striking continuities in aspirations and organizational strategies, the adaptiveness of Chinese migrants and their descendants have produced countless variations of localized and differentiated ethnic identities and cultures.'

Madeline Hsu - University of Texas

‘Miles (Washington Univ.) provides readers with a thoughtful, well-researched, comprehensive study of the history of Chinese migration … This book will interest readers from many fields well beyond, but including, China studies.’

M. C. Brose Source: Choice

‘Chinese Diasporas is an ambitious effort to recount 500 years of overseas migration, flitting from locales such as Depression Era Chicago to British Malaya from one paragraph to the next.’

Selina J. Gao Source: Canadian Journal of History

Refine List

Actions for selected content:

Select all | Deselect all
  • View selected items
  • Export citations
  • Download PDF (zip)
  • Save to Kindle
  • Save to Dropbox
  • Save to Google Drive

Save Search

You can save your searches here and later view and run them again in "My saved searches".

Please provide a title, maximum of 40 characters.


  • 1 - Early Modern Patterns, 1500–1740
    pp 20-51


Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Book summary page views

Total views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between #date#. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed.