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Abstract

This paper focuses on highly skilled Chinese immigrants in France, who were born in China and partly educated there then came to France in the 2000s with the intent of pursuing higher education. Once they graduated, they became migrants when they chose to change their administrative status. Compared with other categories of Chinese immigrants in France, such as undocumented migrants, unskilled economic migrants and political refugees, this group of highly skilled people is rapidly growing in number, although it remains understudied. Based on qualitative fieldwork studies conducted since 2010 in the Paris region, this paper sets out with an introduction to the history of Chinese immigration in France and a presentation of the social characteristics of highly skilled Chinese immigrants. The article is then organized around three thematic parts: career choices, marriage behavior and political participation. Using this three-step analysis, this paper aims to paint a picture of the varied living conditions of highly skilled Chinese immigrants in France and to explore how they interact with other Chinese sub-groups living in France (such as low-skilled economic migrants and French-born Chinese) and with the rest of the French population including other ethnic groups. This paper also examines how these highly skilled immigrants play a role with their transnational practices and contribute to the transformation of Chinese society.

Abstract

This paper focuses on the mutation of personal identity in the migration process in order to understand the international mobility experience of today’s Chinese students. Considering the myth of self-starters and the ideals of success that are at the origin of the mobility project of young Chinese, the new social conditions that they face in the new country to which they migrate to, in this case, France, often render their project ineffective, causing an identity crisis. This chapter analyzes the causes, the forms of expression and their attempts at resolving the identity crises through a study on the biographies of Chinese graduates working in France after their university training.

Abstract

Migration has broad consequences for three affected communities: the society of origin, the society of destination and the migrants themselves. Chinese migrants are the biggest Asian group in Germany with their numbers increasing rapidly in recent years. This research investigates the daily lives of Chinese immigrants in Germany with a focus on their daily activities across socio-cultural borders. Drawing from empirical fieldwork, this article delves into the complex lifeworld of Chinese immigrants in Germany. Qualitative methods involving a combination of multi-sited ethnography and participant observation are employed to discover how these migrants cope with the differences between China and their host country as transnational actors. This article also examines the manner in which they find diverse resources (e.g. legal context in Germany, social network, ethnicity etc.) and use them in order to optimize their living situations and the implications for their self-perception.

Abstract

This article illuminates the multiple factors that shape the formation of cultural identity among second-generation Chinese immigrants. The massive movement of migrants from China to Europe began in the nineteenth century and, since then, Chinese migrants to Europe have shaped new migration paths and built their own communities. With a presence in many European countries, Chinese migrants have not only crossed national borders but also overcome a multitude of challenges, including cultural and linguistic differences. This article outlines the long-term impact that these numerous challenges have had on second-generation Chinese immigrants. Though most of these migrants were born in Europe, they constantly face cultural conflicts and experience differences in family structures from the host country that make the process of developing a stable and strong cultural identity for themselves difficult. The shaping of a personal cultural identity embodies self-assertion and is vital to identity formation in cultural and ethnic conflicts, especially in times of globalization. This article delves into the multiple threads of cultural identity formation and the personal lives of second-generation Chinese migrants. Investigating the self-perception of this group, it also delineates their understanding of belonging and cultural difference in Europe.

Abstract

The present essay examines literary discourse regarding Chinese migration to Germany and Switzerland in the early and late twentieth century. The analysis begins by examining reports by Joseph Roth and Anna Seghers from the 1920s and 1930s as well as Anna Segher’s novel Die Gefährten of 1932, followed by reports and memoirs of Chinese migrants such as M. Tseng Ching, Feng Zhi and Han Sen from the 1930s. Following this, the analysis shifts its focus to the 1980s and 1990s, when a new wave of migration from China took place. This wave finds itself represented in the characters in the book published by Wei Zhang Zwischen den Stühlen: Geschichten von Chinesinnen und Chinesen in der Schweiz in 2006. The literary characters in the narrative volume Nachtschwimmen im Rhein (2008) and the novel Die chinesische Delegation (2007) by Luo Lingyuan also reflect the migrations of the time. Finally, this research examines questions of belonging, loss or gain of home and language, and political or professional commitment in the literary texts as well as descriptions of everyday life in big cities like Berlin to reveal narratives around Chinese migrants in the early and late twentieth century.

Abstract

In 1992, a group of middle-aged people from Jian’ou, a remote county in South China, entered Russia looking for opportunities for work, which ushered in a migration wave between Jian’ou and Moscow, Almaty and Osh in the decades that followed. This paper discusses their migration experience and tracks the historical development of the migration paths. It also analyses the logic behind the migration practice and the construction of the transnational space. In this space, different forces work together: traditional family networks, female friendships, voluntary associations and the authorities of local and sending societies. Among them, voluntary associations, e.g. the Minbei Chinese Association in Moscow and the Moscow Entrepreneurs’ Association in Minbei, have played a critical role by coordinating these forces and constructing the transnational corridor.