Chinese-Canadians, Canadian-Chinese Coping and Adapting in North America

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This work examines how Mainland Chinese Refugees (MCRs), under diaspora conditions, identify themselves and adapt to their new environment in Canada. It probes how MCRs draw upon and reflect transnational social fields or imagined communities. As a study of ethnicity and coping strategies, it describes the MCRs in terms of who they are and where they come from in China; why these individuals became MCRs; why they chose Canada, and many other variables.


“Tian’s study is a significant contribution to the understanding of the current global migration of Chinese, their aspirations, adjustment problems, and identity. . . . an interesting read for anthropologists, historians, sociologists, public policy makers, educators of MCR students and the MCR communities themselves.” – China Information

Table of Contents

Table of Contents:
1. Introduction and Review: Statement of the Problems and Objectives; Background to the Research; The Refugee Policy Debate in Canada; Outline
2. Theoretical Frameworks and Literature Review: Conceptual Issues (Refugee, Immigrant and Diaspora; Migration and Adaptation); Theoretical Orientation (Self, Self Presentation and Identification, Ethnicity, Ethnic Identities and Adaptation; Stress, Coping and Adaptation); Related Chinese Sociocultural Values (Kinship and Family in the Process of Adaptation; Self, Society and Social Relation-construction); Chinese Migration and the Overseas Chinese Communities (Chinese Diaspora – Migration and Dynamics; Diaspora Chinese Identities and Ethnic Boundaries; The Traditional Chinese Communities; The Transition of Overseas Chinese Communities)
3. Methodological Issues and Discussions: From Curiosity to Fieldwork – Doing Anthropology among MCRs (Rapport with the Target Group; Interaction with the MCRO); Methodology (Sampling; Interview and Questionnaire Survey; Observation and Library Research; Variables and Measurements; MCRs Adaptation as a Process); Research Questions
4. From China to Canada – Refugees or Immigrants: The Impact of Reforms and ‘Open-Door’ Policy in Contemporary China; The Influences of Reforms and ‘Open Door’ Policy on Chinese International Migration; Tashang Buguilu (Get On One-Ended Road) – Refugees or Self-Selected Immigrants; Experiencing Culture Shock – Immediate Response and Reaction in Canada
5. Experiencing Changes: Self Identification and Presentation in Canadian Context: Realising New Self (Do Shenme Shan Chang Shenme Ge/Singing Different Songs at Different Mountains); The Chinese (old) Self; The Westernized (new) Self; Change and Constancy of Self-identification (Self Identities in China; Self Identification in the Canadian Context); Self-Presentations in Canadian Society
6. Struggling for Acceptance: Interactions with the Larger Society and Chinese Communities : MCRs as Third Class Citizens (Self Images in Mainstream Society); The Second Class Chinese (Relationships with Chinese Communities); The Differences between MCRs and Other Chinese; MCRs’ Experiences within the Chinese Communities; Fighting for Acceptance – a Case of Ethnopolitical Mobilization.
7. Coping with Stresses and the Desire to Adapt: Pomie de Meimen (Shattered Dreams): Stressors and Stress (Conflict between Expectations and Realities; Uncertainty of Legal Status; Separation from Families; Nostalgia; Perceived Discrimination; Loss of Achievements in China; Lack of Social Skills. Miandui Xianshi (Facing Reality); Stress and Coping ( A Classification of the Stressors; Stress, Appraisal and Coping; Coping Resources and Strategies. Guishu Jianada: (Belong to Canada): Coping and Adaptation (MCRs Coping-Adaptation Model; Socioeconomic Adaptation; Sociocultural Adaptation)
8. Summary and Conclusions: Understanding MCRs (Main Findings of the Research and Discussion); Implications for Refugee Studies and Public Policy; The Future of MCRs and Recommendations for Further Research

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