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Expatriating is patriotic? The discourse on 'new migrants' in the People's Republic of China and identity construction among recent migrants from the PRC

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After 1978, the People's Republic of China (PRC) moved to (re-)legitimise, by both institutional and discursive means, allegiance to China in established overseas Chinese communities. In this article, I attempt to show how it has progressed to the next step: celebrating migration as a patriotic and modern act, and encouraging transnational practices among people who are in the process of leaving China. More specifically, I discuss how the state discursively constructs 'new migrant' culture; how it engages in imagining the transnational community of new migrants and operationalises imaginaries of the home province and the homeland. I also explore how identity construction among recent migrants is manipulated by elites that participate in this state-promoted imagining process.


Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: October 1, 2001

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