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Periodical article Periodical article
Title:Chinese Attitudes toward African Migrants in Guangzhou, China
Authors:Zhou, Min
Shenasi, Shabnam
Xu, Tao
Periodical:International Journal of Sociology (ISSN 0020-7659)
Geographic terms:Africa
race relations
External link:https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/00207659.2016.1163984
Abstract:African migration to China has emerged as a significant sociological phenomenon only very recently. Africans in China are predominantly self-made entrepreneurs doing business face-to-face with Chinese entrepreneurs and living among local Chinese residents. Their encounters with the Chinese in local markets, residential neighborhoods, and on the streets offer a rare opportunity for exploring interracial dynamics beyond the Western black-white paradigm. In this article, we examine how Chinese perceive Africans vis--vis other foreigners and how contexts and conditions of Chinese-African encounters affect attitudes and racial formation. Our data suggest that the attitudes held by local Chinese residents in Guangzhou toward African migrants are ambivalent. The Chinese tend to perceive Africans negatively in general, but they also look upon Africans' overall presence in a positive way and express openness to interacting with them. Our findings indicate that the mechanisms of social exclusion and inclusion are shaped by the intersection between the types and levels of contacts and the social contexts in which intergroup encounters occur. While there is a rising awareness of racial differences among local Chinese in Guangzhou, the process of race-making differs from that in other immigrant gateway cities of the Global North. Theoretical implications for racialization are discussed.