Negative social capital and conflicts: Asian entrepreneurs in New Zealand agriculture (1870s -1920s)

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Abstract

This paper focuses on negative consequences of social capital formation within ethnic business groups using historical evidence on three distinct farming protests involving ethnic groups in rural New Zealand. The paper begins by analysing some of the key debates relating to the role of ethnic business networks, ethnic social capital and its potential negative consequences. In particular, the paper discusses the recursive effects that the strong ethnic community solidarity can have in causing negative reaction and overt conflict between ethnic and local business groups.Highly organised Asian communities in New Zealand agriculture showed a strong intra-group orientation within their businesses, and formed social structures for the intra-group mobilisation and distribution of resources. Such ethnic solidarity in business was stereotyped negatively by the host business groups, and in conjunction with some other factors has led towards anti-Asian protests in rural New Zealand, such as in Otago during the late 1870s and the early 1890s, and particularly in Pukekohe in the mid 1920s.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)286-298
Number of pages13
JournalRural Society
Volume17
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2007

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