Wenzhou Restaurants in Paris’s Chinatowns

A Case Study of Chinese Ethnicity Within and Beyond the Linguistic Landscape


In: Journal of Chinese Overseas
Caroline Lipovsky University of Sydney

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Wei Wang (王玮) University of Sydney

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In light of the large number of Chinese immigrants in Paris originally from the Wenzhou region in China’s Zhejiang Province, this research focuses on two case studies of Wenzhou restaurants situated in different Paris Chinatowns. It seeks to identify the ways in which the Wenzhou owners mark their presence in the Parisian linguistic landscape through the signage of their shopfronts and premises. By infusing existing multimodal analysis with ethnographic linguistic landscape analysis (ELLA), this study examines the ways in which two Wenzhou restaurateurs display their specific cultural and ethnic identity in the linguistic landscape. The analysis of the signage of their premises, combined with ethnographic interviews, unveils the restaurateurs’ strategies to enact their cultural and ethnic Wenzhou identity through their shopfront signs, menus and premise decorations, and how they distinguish themselves from their Chinese competitors.

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