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Hyphenated-Chinese in China: Western-born second generation overseas Chinese’s ethnic “return” migration

Mingboupha, Nathalie (2019) Hyphenated-Chinese in China: Western-born second generation overseas Chinese’s ethnic “return” migration. PhD thesis, University of Sheffield.

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This thesis focuses on Western-born second generation overseas Chinese who “return” migrate to China, their ancestral homeland. Inscribed within the larger social processes and dynamics of Chinese contemporary society, this research aims to understand how their “homecoming” and socio-cultural integration experiences in the parental homeland’s society leads to the re-evaluation of their ethno-cultural identity(ies) and ethno-national attachments. My research uses a qualitatively-driven multimethod design. Data collection primarily consisted of semi-structured in-depth interviews with 58 ethnic remigrants in Beijing and Shanghai, as well as a variety of document analyses. Guided by the concept of social anchoring, this study thus sheds light on the role of ethnicity in channeling migration and in restructuring the remigrants’ identities in their ancestral country. By examining how this group of highly-skilled migrants’ definitions of self and home evolve along with their transition from being a racial minority in their birth country to a cultural minority in their ethnic homeland, this thesis uncovers the multi-layered experiences of socio-cultural integration (and lack thereof) that trigger unexpected identity questioning, as evidenced by remigrants’ social networks and every day interactions in the homeland. By exploring their integration experiences and overall migration journey, I find that many are in fact paradoxically integrated in China, causing them to experience various forms of emotional in-betweenness and double disconnection challenging the boundaries of their ethno-cultural identities.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Academic Units: The University of Sheffield > Faculty of Social Sciences (Sheffield) > School of East Asian Studies (Sheffield)
Identification Number/EthosID: uk.bl.ethos.767301
Depositing User: Nathalie Mingboupha
Date Deposited: 04 Mar 2019 08:57
Last Modified: 25 Sep 2019 20:06
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/23056

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