In Global Hakka: Hakka Identity in the Remaking Jessieca Leo offers a needed update on Hakka history and a reassessment of Hakka identity in the global and transnational contexts. Leo gives fresh insights into concepts such as ethnicity, identity, Han, Chineseness, overseas Chinese, and migration in relation to Hakka identity.
Globalization, transnationalism, deterritorialization and migration drive the rapid transformation and reformation of Hakka identity to the point of no return. Dehakkalization through cultural adaptation or genetic transfer has created an elastic identity in the global Hakka and different kinds of Hakka communities around the world.
Jessieca Leo convincingly shows that the concept of ‘being Hakka’ in the twenty-first century is better referred to as Hakkaness – a quality determined by lifestyle and personal choices.
"Among the Chinese, tradition long resisted the idea of migration. In practice, however, there were many layers of adaptation to different circumstances. The Hakka have been exceptional in having always been conscious of their migratory successes. This book explores with great sensitivity how Hakka history outside China influences the way they respond to the new global environment. Combining careful scholarship with self-discovery, Jessieca Leo captures the processes by which one group of Chinese became migrants who consider migration as normal. Her fascinating and original work takes the study of the Hakka to a higher level and offers fresh insights for understanding how other migratory Chinese are transforming tradition today."
Professor Wang Gungwu, National University of Singapore
Jessieca Leo, departing from her Chemistry and Economics background (BSc from the University of Canterbury, Christchurch), journeyed on to receive her MA and PhD (2013) in Chinese Studies from the Ludwig Maximilian University, Munich. Leo’s areas of research include Chinese Art and Archaeology, Mongolian Studies, and History of Chinese Medicine. She is the author of Sex in the Yellow Emperor’s Basic Question: Sex, Longevity, and Medicine in Early China (2011).
"[...] this case study provides a vivid example of the reconstruction of Hakka identity by a member of the group and sets the stage for a wider critical study and understanding of Hakka migration and identity around the world in the twenty-first century."
– Chen Li-hua, National Tsinghua University, in Journal of Chinese Overseas 13 (2017).
Illustrations and Photos
1. Hakka Identity Going Global: Methodology and Problematics
2. Hakka Research and Identity-Making in Hakka Texts
3. Migration Models
4. Ethnicity, Han, Chineseness, and Overseas Chinese
5. Hakka Identity Past, Present and Future
6. Hakka Cultural Markers
All interested in the history of the Hakka as a cultural group and how their identity has gone global, and been reduced to a personal quality better described as Hakkaness.