This essay investigates the experiences and practices of transnational mobility among Chinese middle-class people. It examines the extent and manner in which such mobility is related to shifts in the socio-cultural organization of Chinese intergenerational family relationships. In doing so, it develops the concept of moral grammar to draw attention to the culturally situated negotiation of norms, values and beliefs pertaining to family life, and highlights the ways in which such normative systems may be transformed in the context of families’ changing structural situation. The essay’s argument is grounded in a qualitative case study, involving 40 in-depth interviews with young Chinese middle-class professionals in the UK and their parents in China. Participants in the UK were between 22 and 38 years old and had originally moved to the country to pursue higher studies at British universities. The parents who were interviewed were between 51 and 68 and employed in white-collar jobs. Most of them had not yet reached retirement age. The evidence from these interviews indicate the persistence of filial piety as a shared frame of reference to make sense of parent-child relationships. At the same time, they point to complex modulations of understandings of reciprocal support and care, to account for the transnational extension of family life.
Historically, overseas Chinese have been described as a silent ethnic group in terms of their political participation. This article establishes the manner in which this perception has undergone a profound change in recent years, especially in European countries that have been the preferred host countries for new migrants from China since the Reform and Opening-up Policy of their country in the late 1970s. This article demonstrates how the increasing motivation towards political engagement is closely related to the Chinese perceiving a neglect of their interests in the political sphere. It outlines the particular ways in which overseas Chinese engage in politics, including their active participation in elections strongly influenced by their ethnic roots as well as their motivations for being politically active.
The objective of this paper is to demonstrate the manner in which the development of China is connected to the rearticulation of economic and political links of the Chinese diaspora with France and also with China. The economic reforms in China since the late 1970s took place with the concurrent liberalization of the conditions of emigration abroad. It resulted in a resumption of migration from China, in particular from historic regions of departure - especially the Wenzhou region. These migrants arrived in France to sustain the Chinese ethnic labor market and led to the growth of businesses in various sectors. Rising imports of Chinese products led to the emergence of new Chinese commercial districts in France as well as the transformation of a few older ones. On the political level, too, links began to be rearticulated with new links developing with the diplomatic corps that were quasi-non-existent before.