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Whilst all white expatriates are to some extent positioned by the legacy of empire,

British expatriates arrive in Hong Kong to inherit a particular nationality-based

relationship to the legacy of raced, classed and gendered attitudes, identities and

relations which were constructed during the colonial period. I am not talking here of

the dramatic or excessive acts of violence, injury or discrimination which punctuated

that epoch. Rather I am referring to the ways in which notions of hierarchy and social

order framed the colonial imagination, and as such informed the mundane routines

of everyday interactions. The white British have been perhaps particularly good at

this sort of everyday racism, tying it up with their very definitions and performances

of nationality, whiteness, gender and middle-classness. Whilst these performances

and attitudes have to some extent come under question in recent national debates

about the nature of Britishness, the ways in which these challenges play themselves in

other contexts, unbound by nation, is clearly also of importance in an increasingly

mobile world.