The Social Networks of Chinese Students Studying in France (中国留学生在法国的社会关系)

In: Journal of Chinese Overseas
Author: Julia Carnine1
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  • 1 LISST CERS, University of Toulouse Jean Jaurès

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Today close to one third of the world’s internationally mobile student population is from China, and as the trend for Chinese to study abroad grows exponentially, newer destination countries are added, some of them non-Anglophone, such as France. Regardless of where they study, Chinese students have a reputation for sticking together when abroad and for not mixing with locals. Yet what types of relationship actually come into being now that Chinese are going abroad in such unprecedented numbers? This paper is based on a broader empirical study conducted in 2011-12 from fieldwork in France, the United States, and China (N = 180) and again in 2015 in France (N = 10). The study uses a mixed-method approach based on quantitative Social Network Analysis (sna) and 25 qualitative interviews to analyze the composition of students’ social networks. The paper focuses on Chinese studying in France (N = 55). By examining different types of relationships, how they are initiated, and how resources are shared, the paper discusses how internationally mobile Chinese students interact socially, on the one hand with non-Chinese (French nationals or other international persons) and, on the other, with local Chinese immigrants. The results show that students form strong co-national relationships among themselves but not with established ethnic and migrant Chinese communities in France. As for transnational relationships, individual will and the institutional frameworks for studying abroad that underpin language and accommodation choices are found to play crucial roles in fostering local contacts with non-Chinese.

今天跨国流动的学生总人数中有三分之一来自中国。然而,中国留学生有自我封闭,不同所在国当地人交往的名声。由此提出了在庞大的海外中国留学生群体中,他们的社会关系类型的问题。基于社会网络分析 (sna) 方法,我们于 2011-12 年在法国,美国和中国,2015 年在法国进行的实证研究,运用混合方法来分析中国留学生的社会网络构成。本文侧重分析中国留学生样本 (N = 55) 在法国的情况,讨论中国留学生内部,他们与其他国际学生,他们并与当地华人移民的社会交往互动。结果表明中国留学生内部之间频繁的合作关系起着关键作用,但它并不属于传统上意义上的海外华人网络。中国留学生跨国关系的形成有赖于他们的个人意愿和留学制度框架,并对他们同当地非华人的接触交往起到了至关重要的促进作用。

This article is in Chinese Language

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