South Asians as Medical Scapegoats in British Columbia and the Pacific Coast States, 1900-1924
Wallace, Sarah Isabel
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This transnational study of the first-wave South Asian immigrant experience in British Columbia and the Pacific coast states shows how elected officials at all levels of government, bureaucrats, union leaders, physicians, members of the press, and the general public utilized purported public health concerns to justify South Asian exclusion and disenfranchisement. While all Asian groups living along the Pacific coast faced opposition to their immigration and settlement, India’s subordinate status within the British Empire, and a sustained western association of South Asians with disease, uniquely positioned North American discourse on South Asians at the intersection of colonial theory, Orientalism, and medicalized nativism in the first two decades of the twentieth century.