First published in 1999, this book is a political enthnography of recent migration from the People’s Republic of China into Europe. It argues that the very high mobility and intensive communications of Chinese migrants enable them to maintain a transnational community within which they easily shift countries and social roles - from student to trader to worker - if doing so is economically expedient. This makes them the natural beneficiaries and users of the Western globalization discourse, even more so that - contrary to culturalist explanations of global Chinese networks - anonymity, sovereign decision making and freedom from social pressures are at least as important in motivating migration as family connections. Yet their identity discourse expresses an authentic Chinese globalization. Chinese migrants see themselves not as local minorities but as a global majority attached to China by a deterritorialised nationalism. This nationalism is not only encouraged by China’s official discourse but also supported by the economic dependence of new migrants on cultural capital built up in China, which makes them less reliant on resources in their countries of residence.
Table of Contents
1. The Background: The Migration Scene in China and Conditions in Hungary at the Turn of the Nineties. 2. Formation of the Hungarian Chinese Community, 1989-95. 3. "The Chinese Cannot be a Minority": Consolidating a Community with a Global Discourse. 4. Between New Migrants and the PRC: Negotiating Power and Profit in Chinese Organisations.
Nyiri Pal is a senior lecturer and director of the Applied Anthropology programme at Macquarie University.
’...a richly textured case study in the most consequential development in international migration out of China since the coolie trade. NyÃri’s up-to-the-minute familiarity with the theoretical debate about new trends in ethnic identity, nationalism and transnational community in the age of economic globalization, themes that he skillfully and creatively incorporates into his analysis, makes his work far more widely relevant than its title might at first suggest.’ Gregor Benton, Cardiff University, UK ’...highly readable...’ Far Eastern Economic Review ’...this volume, the first ever written on this subject in English, will be of great interest to both sinologists and social scientists interested in international migration, and will surely generate further research and scholarly debate.’ Nationalism and Ethnic Politics 'The study provides an excellent model of a migrant population that has copied successfully with its new environment.' The Ethnic Conflict Research Digest '...presents a significant contribution to the literature on the changing patterns of international immigration and the transformation of overseas Chinese communities. Overall, this study is well thought out with a clear focus, and offers an interesting thesis illustrated by a particular case.' American Journal of Chinese Studies