Containing discontent: anti-Chinese racism in the reinvention of Angus Cameron

Article


Griffiths, Phil. 2008. "Containing discontent: anti-Chinese racism in the reinvention of Angus Cameron." Labour History: a journal of labour and social history. 94, p. 69–88.
Article Title

Containing discontent: anti-Chinese racism in the reinvention of Angus Cameron

ERA Journal ID34266
Article CategoryArticle
Authors
AuthorGriffiths, Phil
Journal TitleLabour History: a journal of labour and social history
Journal Citation94, p. 69–88
Number of Pages20
Year2008
PublisherLiverpool University Press
Place of PublicationUnited Kingdom
ISSN0023-6942
Web Address (URL)https://www.liverpooluniversitypress.co.uk/doi/10.3828/27516271
Abstract

Angus Cameron is usually remembered as one of the pioneers of labour representation, a carpenter elected to the New South Wales parliament in 1874 who became a leading advocate for legislation to stop Chinese immigration. Historians have seen this link as evidence that racism was pushed from below by the working class. This article shows that Cameron turned to anti-Chinese agitation at the very point he broke with the labour movement, and argues that he most likely did so in the hope of saving his political career. In particular it looks at Cameron's infamous Select Committee Report into Common Lodging-houses, and the crisis in Cameron's parliamentary career that preceded the establishment of the select committee. It also suggests that key members of the Sydney ruling class had an interest in deflecting attention from the appalling condition of rental housing in Sydney, and that Cameron's report relieved some of the pressure on them.

KeywordsChinese in Australia; Australian emigration and immigration; racism; immigrant social conditions; emigration and immigration law
ANZSRC Field of Research 2020430302. Australian history
441013. Sociology of migration, ethnicity and multiculturalism
440802. Citizenship
Public Notes

© 2008 Australian Society for the Study of Labour History. Permanent restricted access to paper due to publisher's copyright restrictions.

Byline AffiliationsSchool of Accounting, Economics and Finance
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