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Article
Publication date: 21 August 2019

K. Kwok

This paper aims to explore how immigrant small business owners construct entrepreneurial identities by deploying strategies of boundary making in Hong Kong.

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to explore how immigrant small business owners construct entrepreneurial identities by deploying strategies of boundary making in Hong Kong.

Design/methodology/approach

Conceptually, it departs from the theoretical discussions of immigrant economy and ethnic boundary making. The analyzes are based on qualitative data collected from in-depth interviews and participant observation primarily in the South Asian immigrant economies in Hong Kong in the period 2014-2017.

Findings

Four strategies of boundary work including blurring boundaries, inversion of boundaries, personal repositioning and reconfirming of boundaries are identified. They bring to light that small immigrant entrepreneurs in Hong Kong still encounter considerable obstacles in the process of social integration. Boundary work serves as strategies to release sentiments that would symbolically bring them closer to the mainstream society. Following the “city as context” framework (Brettell, 1999; Foner, 2007), this paper argues that the various boundary making strategies have been shaped by the legacies of racism, neoliberal governance of integration and urban work ethos highlighting problems and individual responsibilities in Hong Kong.

Originality/value

This paper contributes to the literature of the immigrant economy and social integration. First, it sheds light on the role of symbolic meanings and non-economic gains of immigrant entrepreneurship in social integration. Second, it illuminates our understanding that immigrant economy can provide a channel for advancing and weakening social status, thus reminding us not to assume the path of social integration as a straightforward and positive one.

Details

Social Transformations in Chinese Societies, vol. 15 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1871-2673

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Article
Publication date: 8 July 2014

Angela Kachuyevski and Ronnie Olesker

The purpose of this paper is to develop a conflict analysis framework that better captures the complexity of conflicts in divided societies by including the differing…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to develop a conflict analysis framework that better captures the complexity of conflicts in divided societies by including the differing perceptions of identity boundaries between ethnic majorities and minorities in divided societies.

Design/methodology/approach

The analysis draws on the social boundaries and societal security literatures to develop a typology representing four dyads of perceived identity boundaries that illustrate the different dynamics of ethnic relations in divided societies.

Findings

The exploratory cases illustrate how the perceptions of identity boundaries have implications for conflict dynamics that call for different conflict management strategies.

Research limitations/implications

The empirical cases serve to illustrate the application of the theoretical framework. Policy makers devising conflict management strategies in these deeply divided societies are likely to err if differing perceptions of social boundaries are not taken into consideration. Thus, the authors provide explicit policy recommendations for conflict management in each of the dyads presented in the typology.

Practical implications

Using the framework that incorporates differing perceptions of identity allows analysts to account for the impact of external actors in shaping and maintaining identity boundaries and allows for a consideration of the possible differing interpretations of the boundary held by different groups as well as the implications this has for conflict analysis and management.

Originality/value

The authors develop a model that accounts for the perceptions of both the majority and the minority of the identity boundaries that separate divided societies. They account for the implications for conflict dynamics and thus for conflict management strategies of differing perceptions of identity boundaries, which provides a perspective that is both theoretically significant and policy relevant, as most policy makers assume that ethnic minorities and majorities see the social boundary between them in similar terms.

Details

International Journal of Conflict Management, vol. 25 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1044-4068

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Article
Publication date: 13 August 2019

Michiel Verver, David Passenier and Carel Roessingh

Literature on immigrant and ethnic minority entrepreneurship almost exclusively focusses on the west, while neglecting other world regions. This neglect is problematic not…

Abstract

Purpose

Literature on immigrant and ethnic minority entrepreneurship almost exclusively focusses on the west, while neglecting other world regions. This neglect is problematic not only because international migration is on the rise outside the west, but also because it reveals an implicit ethnocentrism and creates particular presumptions about the nature of ethnic minority entrepreneurship that may not be as universally valid as is often presumed. The purpose of this paper is to examine ethnic minority entrepreneurship in non-western contexts to critically assess two of these presumptions, namely that it occurs in the economic margins and within clear ethnic community boundaries.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors draw on academic literature (including the authors’ own) to develop two case descriptions of ethnic minority entrepreneurship outside the west: the Mennonites in Belize and the Chinese in Cambodia. For each case, the authors describe the historic entrepreneurial trajectory, i.e. the historical emergence of entrepreneurship in light of relevant community and society contexts.

Findings

The two cases reveal that, in contrast to characterisations of ethnic minority entrepreneurship in the west, the Mennonites in Belize and the Chinese in Cambodia have come to comprise the economic upper class, and their business activities are not confined to ethnic community boundaries.

Originality/value

The paper is the first to elaborate the importance of studying ethnic minority entrepreneurship outside the west, both as an aim in itself and as a catalyst to work towards a more neutral framework.

Details

International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behavior & Research, vol. 25 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1355-2554

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Book part
Publication date: 16 August 2014

Eivind Å. Skille

Purpose – This chapter explores how various types of sports provided by the Sámi sport organisation in Norway (SVL-N) contribute to the construction of Sámi ethnic

Abstract

Purpose – This chapter explores how various types of sports provided by the Sámi sport organisation in Norway (SVL-N) contribute to the construction of Sámi ethnic identity.

Design/methodology/approach – Analysis of policy documents and literature of Sámi sport, and field work into Sami sport contexts were conducted. Based on the theoretical framework of identity as a result of ethnic boundaries, the analysis focuses upon identity work within Sámi contexts, compared with identity work across Sámi and Norwegian contexts.

Findings – Both unique Sami sports, such as reindeer racing and lassoing, and ‘universal sport’, such as football and cross-country skiing, provide opportunities for the construction of ethnic identity. Identity work within Sámi contexts focused on the internal cultural elements, while identity work in universal sports focused on the differences in comparison with Norwegian sport. However, refinements were revealed.

Research limitations/implications – The main limitation of this study is lack of empirical evidence provided by the athletes in Sámi sports.

Originality/value – This chapter provides an overview of Sámi sports and various approaches to ethnic identification through sport. The emphasis is on how a theoretical approach focusing on ethnic boundaries is supplemented by an approach acknowledging the cultural material within specific ethnic contexts.

Details

Native Games: Indigenous Peoples and Sports in the Post-Colonial World
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78190-592-0

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Book part
Publication date: 14 December 2017

Dan Lainer-Vos

This paper examines the construction of ethnic ties between immigrants from different counties in Ireland in New York City. Specifically, it explores an attempt to foster…

Abstract

This paper examines the construction of ethnic ties between immigrants from different counties in Ireland in New York City. Specifically, it explores an attempt to foster Irish unity and pride through the playing of Gaelic sports in New York City (1904–1916). Rather than treating Gaelic sport as a cultural resource that ethnic entrepreneurs harnessed, the paper treats both Gaelic sports and Irish ethnicity as delicate organizational accomplishment. This paper traces a delicate process of experimentation, spanning more than a decade, at the end of which the organizers of the sport managed to produce gripping, but friendly, rivalries between the different teams. This accomplishment created ethnic institutional scaffolding within which immigrants were more likely to see themselves as Irish Americans rather than merely immigrants from particular counties on the island.

Details

On the Cross Road of Polity, Political Elites and Mobilization
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78635-480-8

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Book part
Publication date: 22 November 2012

Fatima Regany, Luca M. Visconti and Marie-Hélène Fosse-Gomez

The notion of “boundary” is central in both consumer acculturation research and migrants’ daily experience within and beyond the market. Yet, scholars have rarely…

Abstract

The notion of “boundary” is central in both consumer acculturation research and migrants’ daily experience within and beyond the market. Yet, scholars have rarely questioned this concept and thus made it a taken for granted that conceals more than it reveals. Our study aims at moving from the etic notion of boundary we use as consumer acculturation scholars to an emic notion of boundaries, here grounded on an ethnographic inquiry of Moroccan mothers and daughters in France. This chapter shows that (1) the notion of boundary is much more articulated than expected, since migrants may use up to five different typologies of boundaries (national, ethnic, religious, biographical, and generational) in order to organize their experience; (2) first and second generations tend to attribute different meanings to these boundaries; and (3) boundaries represent problematic conceptual references in migrants’ life, which ask for specific coping strategies (crossing the borders, melting the borders, and pushing the borders). Overall, this chapter provides a more sensitive, blurred, and critical representation of boundaries, which – we hope – will stimulate sounder acculturation research. With reference to the limitations of our work, while we identify the variety and interpretive heterogeneity of boundaries migrants use to frame their experience, we limitedly address how such boundaries are performed.

Details

Research in Consumer Behavior
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78190-022-2

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Book part
Publication date: 31 March 2015

Elizabeth Miller

Tribeca is a predominantly wealthy, white neighborhood in New York City and is a microcosm of the service-and-information-based economy that characterizes many communities…

Abstract

Purpose

Tribeca is a predominantly wealthy, white neighborhood in New York City and is a microcosm of the service-and-information-based economy that characterizes many communities in global cities today. Tribeca residents are mostly affluent and work in high-end, service-oriented professions, consuming low-end personal services produced locally. Many of the people who provide these personal services in Tribeca are foreign-born. This chapter explores the nature of intergroup contact between native residents and immigrant service workers to understand how they navigate social boundaries of race/ethnicity, nation-of-origin, occupation, and social class.

Methodology/approach

This chapter is based on six years of ethnographic data collection and participant observation, in addition to interviews with 66 informants, including both immigrant service workers and Tribeca residents.

Findings

This research highlights the importance of local contextual factors in shaping how people perceive one another and interact. Although in Tribeca this intergroup contact fails to alter boundaries of race, class, and nation-of-origin, residents and immigrants still have meaningful interpersonal contact, which is the result of bridging, or overlooking, existing social boundaries.

Originality/value

The results of this research challenge the assumption that relations between natives and immigrants in stratified settings are characterized by resentment or hostility. Instead, contextual factors in Tribeca shape intergroup perceptions and contact in a way that allows for positive interpersonal, albeit largely superficial, relationships to take root.

Details

Immigration and Work
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78441-632-4

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Article
Publication date: 1 March 2004

Tara Christopher Crane, Jean A. Hamilton and Laurel E. Wilson

This research focuses on the ways in which individuals play out their Scottish ethnic feelings and on the role of dress in this process. Using the grounded theory…

Abstract

This research focuses on the ways in which individuals play out their Scottish ethnic feelings and on the role of dress in this process. Using the grounded theory approach, participants defining themselves as ethnically Scottish were interviewed for this study. The findings indicate that respondents vary greatly in the emphasis they place on Scottish ethnicity when defining their self‐identities. Additionally, respondents differ in the degree to which they feel complete in their Scottish identity. Those who find their Scottish ethnicity to be salient to their definition of self put more effort into the construction of that identity. Oftentimes, ethnic dress symbols play a prominent role in this construction process – the importance of dress diminishes as feelings of identity completeness increases.

Details

Journal of Fashion Marketing and Management: An International Journal, vol. 8 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1361-2026

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Article
Publication date: 12 August 2019

Donghui Zhang

The purpose of this paper is to examine the life worlds of Tibetan students who participate in China’s inland boarding programs and seek to understand the social networks…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine the life worlds of Tibetan students who participate in China’s inland boarding programs and seek to understand the social networks they develop in the Han-culture dominant school settings.

Design/methodology/approach

This study is based on ethnographic fieldwork with two Tibetan students (Dorji and Lhamo) in a Beijing inland boarding high school.

Findings

This study found that the Tibetan students are capable social actors who construct two kinds of social networks, the “we” group (co-ethnics) vs the “they” group (cross-ethnics), and mobilize different social capitals strategically. The former provides them with emotional support, cultural affinity and a sense of belonging, while the latter helps them achieve instrumental outcomes, such as Mandarin proficiency, academic improvement and broadened horizons.

Research limitations/implications

However, the group boundary they draw between the two kinds of networks reflects the futility of government efforts to promote interethnic integration through the inland schools.

Originality/value

The issue of minority students as active agents in constructing social networks and mobilizing social capital in unfamiliar sociocultural settings is a relatively new research area (Reynolds, 2007; Holland et al., 2007), whereas the Tibetan students in China are among the least known in the existing scholarship.

Details

International Journal of Comparative Education and Development, vol. 21 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2396-7404

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Book part
Publication date: 7 October 2019

Mustafa Yavaş

How do heretical social movements build and negotiate their collective identities? This chapter tackles this question by examining the case of an emerging social movement…

Abstract

How do heretical social movements build and negotiate their collective identities? This chapter tackles this question by examining the case of an emerging social movement, the left-wing Islamists in contemporary Turkey, that cuts across the durable divide between Turkey’s left and Islam. Drawing on four months of fieldwork in Turkey, I argue that, in addition to activating the typical “us versus them” dynamic of contentious politics, the left-wing Islamists also rely on blurring the social and symbolic boundaries that govern political divides in the course of building their collective identities. Their social boundary blurring includes facilitating otherwise unlikely face-to-face conversations and mutual ties between leftists and Islamists and spearheading alliances on common grounds including anti-imperialism and labor. Their symbolic boundary blurring includes performing a synthesis of Islamist and leftist repertoires of contention and reframing Islamic discourse with a strong emphasis on social justice and oppositional fervor. The case of Turkey’s left-wing Islamists illuminates the process of boundary blurring as a key dimension of collective identity and alliance formation across divides.

Details

Bringing Down Divides
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78769-406-4

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