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Transnational entrepreneurship and immigrant integration: New chinese immigrants in singapore and the United States

  • Author(s): Zhou, M
  • Liu, H
  • et al.
Abstract

Purpose - The study aims to examine the causes of the divergent patterns of contemporary transnational engagement with China among new Chinese immigrants and the effect of transnational entrepreneurship on migrants' integration into their host societies. Methodology/approach - It is based on a multi-sited ethnographic study that contains interviews, participant observations, and analysis of relevant event coverage and commentaries by the media, which were conducted between 2008 and 2013 in Singapore, the United States, and China. Findings - The study finds that different migration histories, structural circumstances in both sending and receiving societies, and locations in the transnational social field give rise to divergent patterns of economic transnationalism, and that the rise of China has opened up new avenues for transnational entrepreneurship, which has not only benefited hometown development in China but also created economic opportunities for Chinese immigrants, leading to desirable mobility outcomes. In particular, transnational entrepreneurship has promoted deeper localization rather than deterritorialization and contributed to strengthening the economic base of the existing ethnic enclave, which in turn offers an effective alternative path for migrants' integration in their host societies. Research limitations - The study is exploratory in nature. As with all ethnographic studies, its generalizability is limited. Social implications - The study suggests that, when transnational entrepreneurship is linked to the existing ethnic social structure in which a particular identity is formed, the effect on the group becomes highly significant. The comparative approach of the study can help unveil different dynamics, processes, and consequences of transnationalism and complex factors behind variations on diasporic development and immigrant integration. Originality/Value - Looking at entrepreneurship beyond nation-state boundaries and beyond the economic gains of individual migrants.

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