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Encountering Strangers in an Emerging Global City: Chinese Attitude toward Africans in Guangzhou, China

February 17, 2012 - 12:00pm
Philippines Conference Room, Encina Hall, 3rd Floor


Min Zhou Professor of Sociology and Asian American Studies and Walter and Shirley Wang Endowed Chair in US-China Relations and Communications, University of California, Los Angeles

Abstract: Unlike many countries in West, China has never been a nation of immigrants.  Human movements out of or into China has been strictly controlled. In the past 10 years, however, major capital cities such as Beijing and Shanghai and certain smaller cities such as Yiwu have witnessed the growing presence of international migrants. In Guangzhou, there has been a rapid increase of African migrants. These newcomers are independent merchants and traders doing business with local Chinese merchants and small business owners. They do not live in upscale quarters reserved for foreigners but in neighborhoods amongst local residents. In the past 10 years, Africans have formed visible African enclaves, in which foreigners and locals live side by side. The encounter of a racially different group of foreigners at the local level offers an opportunity for exploring the conceptions of race beyond the classic black-white paradigm. This study focuses on exploring interracial dynamics and the racial attitudes via surveys, in-depth interviews, and field observations. Data analysis is still ongoing.

Free and open to the public

Event Sponsor: 
The Center for East Asian Studies, the Department of Sociology, the Faculty Diversity Initiative and the Center for African Studies.
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