International Migrants in China's Global City: The New Shanghailanders

1st Edition

James Farrer

Published January 10, 2019
Reference - 216 Pages
ISBN 9780815382638 - CAT# K339461
Series: Routledge Series on Asian Migration

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Long a source of migrants, China has now become a migrant destination. In 2016, government sources reported that nearly 900,000 foreigners were working in China, though international migrants remain a tiny presence at the national level. Shanghai is China’s most globalized city and has attracted a full quarter of Mainland China’s foreign resident population.

This book analyzes the development of Shanghai’s expatriate communities, from their role in the opening up of Shanghai to foreign investment in the early 1980s through to the explosive growth after China joined the World Trade Organization in 2000. Based on over 400 interviews and 20 years of ethnographic fieldwork in Shanghai, it argues that international migrants play an important qualitative role in urban life. It explains the lifestyles of Shanghai’s skilled migrants; their positions in economic, social, sexual and cultural fields; their strategies for integration into Chinese society; their contributions to a cosmopolitan urban geography; and their changing symbolic and social significance for Shanghai as a global city. In so doing, it seeks to deal with the following questions: how have a generation of migrants made Shanghai into a cosmopolitan hometown, what role have they played in making Shanghai a global city, and how do foreign residents now fit into the nationalistic narrative of the China Dream? 

Addressing a gap in the market of critical expatriate studies through its focus on China, this book will be of interest to academics in the field of international migration, skilled migration, expatriates, urban studies, urban sociology, sexuality and gender studies, international education, and China studies.

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