Reconceptualizing a Displaced People: Analyzing the Socio-economic Disparities and De-Facto Segregation of Taipei’s Austronesian Peoples Through an Urban Settler Colonial Lens

Authors: Alexandria Miramontes*,
Topics: Urban Geography, Asia, Indigenous Peoples
Keywords: Austronesian, Taipei, Urban Settler colonialism, Settler Colonialism
Session Type: Virtual Paper
Day: 4/8/2021
Start / End Time: 1:30 PM / 2:45 PM
Room: Virtual 19
Presentation File: No File Uploaded

This paper examines the contemporary effects of urban settler colonialism on the indigenous Austronesian population in Taipei, Taiwan. There has been significant academic exclusion regarding Taiwan as a settler colony because it is predominantly considered “postcolonial,” which does not acknowledge the continuous effects that colonialism has on the indigenous population. As a result, there has been little research conducted on the enduring influence of colonialism in Taiwan’s urban, political, and socioeconomic structure. I aim to build on this academic blind spot by bridging the gap between preexisting theoretical research with my analyses of the indigenes’ spatial distribution and quality of life. By utilizing Demographic data from Taiwan’s Ministry of Interior, I spatialized the disbursement of the Indigenous people within Taipei’s twelve districts. My first major finding indicates that the indigenous population suffers an immense disparity in education, employment, and income distribution in comparison with Taipei’s predominantly Han Chinese population. The second major finding reveals that the least amount of indigenous people resided in Taipei’s districts Da’an, Zhongzheng, and Xinyi which comprises the city’s “affluent core.” These two findings illustrate that the indigenous people are still experiencing the adverse socio-economic and historical impacts of settler colonialism.

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