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Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter 2020

Highly skilled Chinese immigrants in France: Career choices, marriage behavior and political participation

From the book Chinese Immigrants in Europe

  • Wang Simeng


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.

© 2020 Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin/Munich/Boston
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