From China to Zambia| The new Chinese migrants in Africa under global capitalism

by Beibei Yang

Institution: Southern Methodist University
Year: 2016
Keywords: African studies; Cultural anthropology; Asian studies
Posted: 02/05/2017
Record ID: 2069490
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The Chinese presence in Africa is an increasingly notable phenomenon in the past two decades. Based on the ethnographic data from a fieldwork conducted in Zambia, this dissertation documented the migratory experience of new Chinese migrants to Zambia, which is a non-traditional destination country for this group. The new Chinese migrants include the SME (small and medium sized enterprises) migrants who are self-employed businessmen and the SOE (state-owned enterprises) migrants who are affiliated with large-scale state-owned Chinese companies. This study explores Chinese migrants’ migratory motivation, settlement, life satisfaction, and inter-ethnic social encounter with the local Zambians. Moreover, this dissertation discusses health and health management strategies among ethnic Chinese migrants in Zambia. By examining the influence of migration processes on Chinese migrants’ health and health management in Zambia, this study further investigates how health inequality amongst Chinese migrants is shaped by structural factors as well as individual agency. My research reveals that despite the existence of various healthcare options, Chinese migrants’ healthcare seeking is restricted by multiple factors including their employment patterns, the availability of their social capital, and even the legality of their immigration status. This research seeks to expand the existing empirical knowledge of contemporary Chinese migrants in sub-Saharan Africa, a relatively understudied and undertheorized topic in the broader migration literature. It also endeavors to broaden our knowledge of the intersection between migration and health, a subject that is beginning to draw attention within medical anthropology.