Chinese Mexicans

Transpacific Migration and the Search for a Homeland, 1910-1960

By Julia María Schiavone Camacho

248 pp., 6.125 x 9.25, 11 halftones, 2 maps, 4 tables

  • Paperback ISBN: 978-1-4696-6410-1
    Published: October 2020
  • Hardcover ISBN: 978-0-8078-3540-1
    Published: May 2012
  • eBook ISBN: 978-0-8078-8259-7
    Published: May 2012

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At the turn of the twentieth century, a wave of Chinese men made their way to the northern Mexican border state of Sonora to work and live. The ties--and families--these Mexicans and Chinese created led to the formation of a new cultural identity: Chinese Mexican. During the tumult of the Mexican Revolution of 1910, however, anti-Chinese sentiment ultimately led to mass expulsion of these people. Julia María Schiavone Camacho follows the community through the mid-twentieth century, across borders and oceans, to show how they fought for their place as Mexicans, both in Mexico and abroad.

Tracing transnational geography, Schiavone Camacho explores how these men and women developed a strong sense of Mexican national identity while living abroad--in the United States, briefly, and then in southeast Asia where they created a hybrid community and taught their children about the Mexican homeland. Schiavone Camacho also addresses how Mexican women challenged their legal status after being stripped of Mexican citizenship because they married Chinese men. After repatriation in the 1930s-1960s, Chinese Mexican men and women, who had left Mexico with strong regional identities, now claimed national cultural belonging and Mexican identity in ways they had not before.

Published in association with the William P. Clements Center for Southwest Studies at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas

About the Author

Julia María Schiavone Camacho is associate professor of history at Goshen College.
For more information about Julia María Schiavone Camacho, visit the Author Page.


“Camacho’s use of twenty-seven oral interviews (which she conducted) yields insight into aspects of Chinese Mexican experiences previously unexplored by scholars. She captures nuances that are missing from the written record.”--American Historical Review

Chinese Mexicans demonstrates the racial, gender, sexual, and social mores that were forged in diaspora and forced Chinese Mexican expulsions.”--American Quarterly

“A pioneering and innovative study. . . . Utiliz[es] rare materials to illuminate new questions.”--Western Historical Quarterly

“An accessible book. It can be used well with undergraduate courses and is a good teaching tool for those in the field of oral history.”--Hispanic American Historical Review

"Recommended. All levels/libraries."--Choice

“The lucid prose and clear chronological structure will be appropriate for both general and specialized audiences.”--H-Boarderlands