Rethinking “Chinese Community” in the Context of Transnationalism: the Case of Chinese Economic Immigrants in Canada
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The current research on transnationalism has paid little attention to the impacts of immigrants’ sustained ties to their homelands on their relationships with ethnic communities in the host countries. Drawing on data from a qualitative study of economic immigrants from China to Canada, this article explores the new generation of Chinese immigrants’ definitions and perceptions of and experiences with the “Chinese community” as both an ideational and an empirical entity. Having faced various barriers to settlement and integration in Canada, these individuals tend to see China as “closer” to them than the established ethnic Chinese communities in Canada when it comes to fulfilling their needs for economic security, social support and, even, a sense of belonging. The findings suggest the urgent need to understand the relationship between the new waves of immigration, the ethnic community, and transnationalism, and to reflect on the mosaic multicultural approach to ethnicity and immigrant governance in the context of diversification of diversity.
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