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Document Type

Honors Thesis


This paper examines the historical phenomenon of picture or mail-order marriages during two periods; the first period is the era of Asian exclusion at the turn of the twentieth century and the second period is the rise of online dating at the turn of the twenty-first century. This research project examines oral testimonies, government reports, and products of popular culture to suggest that women have used their own agency to make these marriages beneficial as often as the marriages have been exploitative. In the era of Chinese exclusion, marriages help to sustain Asian communities especially in light of serious racial prejudice. While most imagine the marriage of an Asian female – white male in the second period as problematic for the women, this research in both the first and second periods suggests that women have pursued these marriages for the economic and social advantages that the marriages bring.

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