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Understanding Canton – Rethinking Popular Culture in the Republican Period - Oxford Scholarship Online
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Understanding Canton: Rethinking Popular Culture in the Republican Period

Virgil Ho


This book critically examines six aspects of the popular culture of early and mid-Republican (1912-38) Canton: common perceptions of the city, popular attitudes towards the West, Cantonese opera, opium smoking, gambling, and prostitution. Misunderstandings and biased assumptions about these social phenomena as portrayed in much contemporary as well as present-day official or ‘socially conscientious’ literature are redressed. Contemporary folk materials reveal that the common people were much more pro-Western than xenophobic in attitude; the alleged social and political ‘calamities’ of gambling ... More

Keywords: Republican Canton, popular attitudes, opium smoking, gambling, prostitution, Cantonese opera

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2005 Print ISBN-13: 9780199282715
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: February 2006 DOI:10.1093/0199282714.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Virgil Ho, author
Hong Kong University of Science & Technology