Min Zhou — Chinese Immigrant Transnational Organizations in the U.S. and Development in China

Min Zhou — Chinese Immigrant Transnational Organizations in the U.S. and Development in China
 

Please listen (above) to the Research Seminar given by Min Zhou on April 6th, 2010. We also encourage you to subscribe to our CCIS Podcast and listen to all of our research seminars for free!


This ongoing research project examines immigrant transnationalism via a close look at transnational organizations created by Chinese immigrants in the United States. It addresses the following questions: What are the scope, size, and nature of Chinese immigrant transnational organizations in the United States? Who is likely to actively participate in routine activities across national borders and why? How do these organizations interact with mainstream institutions in their hostland and homeland? What are the implications for immigrant incorporation to the United States and development in China? The study surveys a sample of 55 transnational organizations created by Chinese immigrants (out of an inventory of 1,370 ethnic Chinese organizations) in the United States and their effects on national and regional developments in the People’s Republic of China (PRC). The study also draws on field observations and in-depth interviews of organizational leaders in the U.S. and China, including interviews with Chinese officials in charge of overseas Chinese affairs at various levels of government. Preliminary results indicate that Chinese immigrant organizations in the United States exist in a variety of fields: civic, music/arts, sports, social service, political, alumni, educational, economic, professional, and a range of organizations based on common family or clan ties and places of origin. Consistent with existing research on Latin American immigrant organizations, the study finds that transnationalism is likely to be practiced by married men with U.S. citizenship status and relatively stable employment or self-employment. While the familiar patterns of hometown-oriented involvement among transnational immigrants continue to be highly visible, new patterns of high-tech and capital-intensive developments in major metropolises and state-designated development zones have emerged among highly educated and highly assimilated immigrants. Although immigrant transnationalism is enthusiastically endorsed and supported by the Chinese government, immigrant transnational organizations tend to operate independently of the Chinese state with dual purposes of facilitating immigrant incorporation to U.S. society and homeland development in China.

Min Zhou, Ph.D., is Professor of Sociology & Asian American Studies and the Walter and Shirley Wang Endowed Chair in U.S.-China Relations and Communications at the University of California, Los Angeles. She is also the Chang Jiang Scholar Lecture Professor in Sun Yat-Sen University, China. Her main areas of research include international migration; ethnic and racial relations; ethnic entrepreneurship, education and the new second generation; Asia and Asian America; and urban sociology. She has published more than 130 refereed journal articles and book chapters, some of which have translated and published in Chinese, Korean, Spanish, French, and Portuguese. She is the author of Chinatown: The Socioeconomic Potential of an Urban Enclave, The Transformation of Chinese America, and Contemporary Chinese America: Immigration, Ethnicity, and Community Transformation; co-author of Growing up American: How Vietnamese Children Adapt to Life in the United States; co-editor of Contemporary Asian America and Asian American Youth: Culture, Identity, and Ethnicity. Zhou is currently working on two book projects: Chinatown, Koreatown, and Beyond: How Ethnicity Matters for Immigrant Education and Los Angeles’ New Second Generation: Mobility, Identity, and the Making of a New American Metropolis). For more information, visit: http://www.sscnet.ucla.edu/soc/faculty/zhou/