Sociological discussions regarding the structural integration of immigrant descendants has gained increasing academic attention in recent years. Migrants around the world are experiencing inter-generational development in the societies to which they migrated, and this pattern is also evident among overseas Chinese. This research explores the structural integration of children of Chinese immigrants in France by examining their career development paths. The article begins with an analysis of the influence that various socialization factors have on the career development of second-generation Chinese immigrants. While the family serves as the most fundamental socialization agent in early individual development and primary education, the education system then begins to be a determining factor in individual development. During adulthood, the broader social sphere has a stronger impact than the education system and family. Delving into the characteristics of the career development of second-generation Chinese immigrants in France, the differences between the first generation and the second generation become apparent, with Chinese migrant youth more professionally adept in the French job market and enjoying higher mobility between France and China as middle men/women. This has resulted in multiple modes of structural integration that have been better than those of the previous generation.
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.