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

Griffiths, Phil (2008) Containing discontent: anti-Chinese racism in the reinvention of Angus Cameron. Labour History: a Journal of Labour and Social History (94). pp. 69-88. ISSN 0023-6942


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.

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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: © 2008 Australian Society for the Study of Labour History. Permanent restricted access to paper due to publisher's copyright restrictions.
Faculty / Department / School: Historic - Faculty of Business - School of Accounting, Economics and Finance
Date Deposited: 26 Jul 2009 11:15
Last Modified: 02 Feb 2015 00:23
Uncontrolled Keywords: Chinese in Australia; Australian emigration and immigration; racism; immigrant social conditions; emigration and immigration law
Fields of Research : 21 History and Archaeology > 2103 Historical Studies > 210303 Australian History (excl. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander History)
16 Studies in Human Society > 1608 Sociology > 160803 Race and Ethnic Relations
16 Studies in Human Society > 1606 Political Science > 160602 Citizenship
Socio-Economic Objective: C Society > 94 Law, Politics and Community Services > 9402 Government and Politics > 940299 Government and Politics not elsewhere classified

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