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Chinese Adaptations: African Agency, Fragmented Community and Social Capital Creation in Ghana

Chinesische Anpassungen: afrikanische Agency, fragmentierte Gemeinschaft und Sozialkapitalschaffung in Ghana
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Lam, Katy N.

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Abstract "Chinese migrant entrepreneurs in Ghana perceive themselves as vulnerable, as regularly they encounter problems and their businesses fail. The adaption experiences of Chinese entrepreneurs in Africa, especially non-traders, remain largely unstudied. By looking at the interactions of newly arrived and established Chinese migrants with institutional actors, partners, local employees and other Chinese in Ghana, this paper shows the multiple dimensions of how Chinese entrepreneurs' migration adaptation evolves, and how they create social capital to develop their businesses in Ghana. From the Chinese perspective, established entrepreneurs condemn the recent numerous 'new' Chinese in Ghana as part of the root cause of problems, on account of their 'poor quality and bad behaviour'; by comparison, the newly arrived Chinese attribute their challenges to deficiencies in the local people and institutions of the host country. The negative experiences of Chinese entrepreneurs in Ghana provide further evidence for, not only African, but also local Chinese agency from below, and suggest that the rising Chinese presence does not necessarily improve the social status of Chinese entrepreneurs or create a stronger, more unified Chinese community on the continent." (author's abstract)
Keywords China; Ghana; migration; social capital; Chinese; entrepreneur; wedding; adaptation; developing country; West Africa; English-speaking Africa
Classification Sociology of Developing Countries, Developmental Sociology; Migration, Sociology of Migration
Document language English
Publication Year 2015
Page/Pages p. 9-41
Journal Journal of Current Chinese Affairs, 44 (2015) 1
Issue topic The Chinese presence in Africa: a learning process
ISSN 1868-1026
Status Published Version; peer reviewed
Licence Creative Commons - Attribution-NoDerivs