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The Changing Fate of the Eurasians

The questions of the origins, status and fate of the Eurasians follows on from the previous topic. What place did Eurasians (or Anglo-Indians or East Indians) come to occupy in the early colonial order and how did this shift, especially between the 1790s and 1830s, as European society became more racially exclusive? In some colonial societies people of mixed race were important social and cultural go-betweens between white and non-white society: why in India did they rapidly lose status? Or did they retain a peculiar, if not very prestigious, intermediary role up until the early 20th century? And is the ‘Eurasian’ category anyway misleading in as much as it contained very different social/ethnic elements and questions can anyway be raised about how watertight such racial categories were (on this later point, see Ann Stoler’s Race and the Education of Desire [18] and her (and Fred Cooper’s) Introduction to the Tensions of Empire volume [34]. For background try Furber [42], then Hawes’ Poor Relations [46].