First generation Chinese migrants and their association with the development of Liverpool's Chinatown

Soon, Su-Chuin
First generation Chinese migrants and their association with the development of Liverpool's Chinatown. Doctor of Philosophy thesis, University of Liverpool.

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My research aims to provide an in-depth understanding of first generation Chinese migrants and their changing connection to Liverpool’s Chinatown. Liverpool’s Chinatown is used as an angle from which I study the Chinese community, a holistic appreciation of the evolution of Liverpool’s Chinatown is first warranted. There are therefore two components to my research. For the historical portion, research driven by archival sources from the 1700s to date was conducted. For the contemporary portion of the research, 68 in-depth qualitative interviews with first generation Chinese migrants across the socio-economic spectrum were undertaken. In the historical part of my thesis, I will show that the construction and re-constructions of Liverpool’s Chinatown is a product of white political domination and context-specific economic factors underlie the power assertions. In the contemporary part of my thesis, I will show that Liverpool’s Chinatown, as characterised by Chinese associations and Chinese cuisine, will persist but not flourish. Liverpool’s Chinatown is currently associated with a Chinese community that is fragmented within itself and segregated from mainstream society. This fragmentation and segregation are accentuated by technological advancements in our contemporary world. In studying the developmental pathways of Chinatowns, scholars have argued that they will eventually die out (Lee, 1949) or become theme parks manipulated by hegemonic social groups (Laguerre, 2000; Lai, 2009). These conclusions are drawn without considering the agency of first generation Chinese migrants. With a focus on first generation Chinese migrants and especially on the ordinary Chinese for the contemporary part of my thesis, the primary aim of my research on the Chinese community will supplement studies on ethnic minorities in Britain as Chinese is a relatively less studied group compared to South Asian and Black populations in Britain. As a secondary objective, my research will also plug a gap in the academic discourse on Chinatowns.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctor of Philosophy)
Additional Information: Date: 2012-12 (completed)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Liverpool, Chinatown, Chinese, Migrants, Transnationalism
Divisions: Faculty of Science and Engineering > School of Environmental Sciences
Depositing User: Symplectic Admin
Date Deposited: 10 Feb 2014 12:29
Last Modified: 17 Dec 2022 01:35
DOI: 10.17638/00012533