At the Margins of the Chinese World System : the Fuzhou Diaspora in Europe, 1999-2001


Abstract copyright UK Data Service and data collection copyright owner.

Beginning in January 1999, this project started by gathering basic information on immigration, through-migration and employment patterns in selected European countries (Britain, Germany, France, the Netherlands, Italy, Spain, Hungary, Romania and Russia). Subsequently, exploratory research in Fujian province was carried out, including a survey conducted in Mingxi village, the summarised results of which are included in this data collection. During the second phase of the research from September 1999 until April 2001, the project focused on three countries in Europe (Britain, Hungary and Italy) selected on the basis of the exploratory research of the first phase. Interviews were conducted with persons of Fujianese origin living in these countries, the transcripts of which form the bulk of the data collection. Some interviews were also conducted with persons resident in Germany and the USA. Britain, Hungary and Italy occupy a prominent place on the Fujianese map of Europe. Britain, with the oldest and largest of the Chinese communities, became the destination of choice to many Fujianese in the 1990s. Its close links with other Anglophone countries that are major destinations for Fujianese migrants, such as the US and Australia, also ensured its popularity. Hungary, a gateway into southern and western Europe, occupies a pivotal place in the exploration of eastern Europe by Chinese migrants. Especially in the wake of the fall of the Soviet bloc in 1989-1990. Italy became the main Chinese destination country in southern Europe in the 1980s, also attracting many Fujianese in the 1990s. Its current transition to a much more restrictive 'northern European' immigration regime provides a template for developments elsewhere in what, to Chinese migrants, is the European periphery in the future.

Main Topics:

Topics covered in the interviews include: personal and family background, migrations within China, time and direction of migration(s) and decision making, development of occupation and/or entrepreneurship after migration, economic situation over time, employment patterns, distribution of family members abroad and family migration strategies, contacts with family members and friends abroad, boundaries of social space and identity, remittances to family at home and evaluation of the impact of migration. Reading notes collected by the researchers are also included in the data collection, which cover relevant documents, newspapers and secondary literature. They form a useful background to the project and provide further information on Fujianese immigration issues.

Purposive selection/case studies

Face-to-face interview

Telephone interview


Compilation or synthesis of existing material

Metadata Access
Creator Pieke, F., University of Oxford, Institute for Chinese Studies; Nyiri, P., University of Oxford, Institute for Chinese Studies; Thuno, M., University of Copenhagen; Ceccagno, A., Universita di Bologna
Publisher UK Data Service
Publication Year 2003
Funding Reference Economic and Social Research Council
Rights Copyright University of Oxford; <p>The Data Collection is available to UK Data Service registered users subject to the <a href="" target="_blank">End User Licence Agreement</a>.</p><p>Commercial use of the data requires approval from the data owner or their nominee. The UK Data Service will contact you.</p>
OpenAccess true
Language English
Resource Type Text
Discipline Economics; Social and Behavioural Sciences
Spatial Coverage British Isles; France; Germany (October 1990-); Hungary; Italy; Netherlands; Romania; Russia; Spain; China; United States