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Bingyu Wang (王炳钰)

Abstract

Drawing on qualitative research with 45 Chinese 1.5 generation migrants in New Zealand, this paper examines how migration processes intersect with cosmopolitan manifestations at an everyday level. Theoretically, it takes shape within a growing body of literature on cosmopolitanism that provides new insights into understanding migration and mobilities. Empirically, it is situated within the context of a growing trend of Chinese migration to New Zealand, a country experiencing increasing ethnic diversity. Employing the concept of “rooted cosmopolitanism,” the paper explores how different degrees of a sense of rootedness interrelate with the strength of cosmopolitan openness to cultural others, as displayed in daily interactions. It demonstrates that rootedness and cosmopolitan openness are not mutually exclusive, but simultaneously coexist and even mutually strengthen each other. It argues that the process of becoming a rooted cosmopolitan is not straightforward but demands constant work to strategically negotiate the interacting dynamics between openness and its seeming counter-discourse–rootedness.

Diverging Opportunities

Chinese Migrants in the Transnational Immigrant Economy in Vienna

Kim Kwok (郭俭)

Abstract

This paper aims to explore firstly, the distribution of economic opportunities in the Chinese immigrant economy, and, secondly, how opportunities have gradually diverged among Chinese migrants against the backdrop of increased globalization and Chinese transnationalization. Conceptually, it departs from the literature of immigrant economy as well as transnationalism, in particular, Chinese transnationalism. Methodologically, qualitative and inductive methods including in-depth interviews and participant observation are employed. By revealing that some Chinese migrants enjoy economic opportunities induced by transnationalization process while some others are deprived of them, this paper questions the much-celebrated effects of the social mobility of immigrant economy. This paper sheds light on how unequal opportunities can be exported from China channeled by transnationalization, as unequal pathways of Chinese migrants in Vienna, among other cases in Europe, appear to extend the divergent experiences of winners and losers of the late-socialist economic reform in China.

Edited by Liu Hong and Zhou Min

Nexus of Mobility

Chinese Economic Migration to West Borneo, c. 1740–1850

Hui Kian Kwee (郭慧娟)

Abstract

In historical studies of Chinese diaspora, an increasing focus is currently being placed on Chinese “organizational genius,” that is, Chinese are said to have been adept at providing mutual aid and promoting economic ventures overseas, and also effective in governing their own internal affairs and fending off racial discrimination in the age of Euro-American imperialism. This paper examines Chinese migration to West Borneo in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. It argues that Chinese social imaginaries and organizational forms ultimately relied on two cardinal institutions: the Chinese deity cults and ancestral cults, with their associated rituals. By studying an early case of Chinese migration to Southeast Asia, this paper hopes to lay a foundation for comparative research on similar organizations developed by Fujian and Guangdong people in Taiwan, China and other parts of the world; and argues that the nexus of Chinese mobility and Chinese people’s relatively successful economic achievements should be located in these symbolic institutions.

Reassessing Chinese American Identities

How Adoptees and American Born Chinese (ABCs) Negotiate Chineseness

Andrea Louie (吕美玲)

Abstract

Comparing and contrasting two of my previous research projects, both of which focus on Chinese American youths, I examine the ways that the circumstances of their upbringings shape their relationships with China as a homeland, with the U.S. as their country of residence, and with their Chinese identities more broadly. In the process, I consider the future of diasporic relationships with the Chinese homeland as they are shaped by the politics of belonging in both the U.S. and the People’s Republic of China (PERC). The first project, conducted as multi-sited research during the 1990s, focuses on American-born Chinese Americans (ABCs) who participate in a Roots-searching program in the San Francisco Bay Area. The second project focuses on Chinese adoptees who, born in China, relinquished by birth families, and adopted, usually by white families in the U.S., share some similarities with ABCs in terms of the ways in which they are racialized in U.S. society.