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Multi-ethnic Macao: from global village to migrant metropolis

Multi-ethnic Macao: from global village to migrant metropolis In the past 20 years, Macao has experienced phenomenal economic growth driven by the liberalization of its casino sector. This growth has been enabled by massive influxes of foreign capital and migrant labor that have dramatically altered the city’s ethnic landscape. In this paper, the author examines the demographic changes Macao has experienced as a result of the casino boom, and situates the city’s current economic growth and ethnic diversification within its long history as a multi-ethnic city.Design/methodology/approachBuilding on Nancy Foner’s notion of “contexts of settlement,” the study draws on census materials, policy statements, newspaper articles and ethnographic materials to examine how changing ideologies of globalization help shape the categories through which ethnic diversity itself is conceptualized.FindingsThe paper has three main findings. First, despite the Macao government’s multicultural rhetoric, its labor and residency policies that prevent migrant workers from settling in Macao may paradoxically serve to maintain the ethnic status quo ante. Second, the new contexts of settlement engendered by Macao’s casino globalization may be amplifying fissures within the ethnic category “Chinese.” And third, discourses of globalization, regulations on immigration, and classificatory systems governing ethnic diversity that were instituted under Portuguese rule have both helped shape these new contexts and been reworked in the process.Originality/valueAs the processes of urbanization, economic integration and transnational migration continue to accelerate throughout East Asia, the goal of creating inclusive, equitable multi-ethnic urban societies will require closer examination of the relationship between particular modes and ideologies of “global” engagement, patterns of and policies toward migration and the concepts and categories through which diversity is measured. This approach to understanding multi-ethnic Macao may serve as an example. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Social Transformations in Chinese Societies Emerald Publishing

Multi-ethnic Macao: from global village to migrant metropolis

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
© Emerald Publishing Limited
ISSN
1871-2673
DOI
10.1108/stics-01-2019-0003
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

In the past 20 years, Macao has experienced phenomenal economic growth driven by the liberalization of its casino sector. This growth has been enabled by massive influxes of foreign capital and migrant labor that have dramatically altered the city’s ethnic landscape. In this paper, the author examines the demographic changes Macao has experienced as a result of the casino boom, and situates the city’s current economic growth and ethnic diversification within its long history as a multi-ethnic city.Design/methodology/approachBuilding on Nancy Foner’s notion of “contexts of settlement,” the study draws on census materials, policy statements, newspaper articles and ethnographic materials to examine how changing ideologies of globalization help shape the categories through which ethnic diversity itself is conceptualized.FindingsThe paper has three main findings. First, despite the Macao government’s multicultural rhetoric, its labor and residency policies that prevent migrant workers from settling in Macao may paradoxically serve to maintain the ethnic status quo ante. Second, the new contexts of settlement engendered by Macao’s casino globalization may be amplifying fissures within the ethnic category “Chinese.” And third, discourses of globalization, regulations on immigration, and classificatory systems governing ethnic diversity that were instituted under Portuguese rule have both helped shape these new contexts and been reworked in the process.Originality/valueAs the processes of urbanization, economic integration and transnational migration continue to accelerate throughout East Asia, the goal of creating inclusive, equitable multi-ethnic urban societies will require closer examination of the relationship between particular modes and ideologies of “global” engagement, patterns of and policies toward migration and the concepts and categories through which diversity is measured. This approach to understanding multi-ethnic Macao may serve as an example.

Journal

Social Transformations in Chinese SocietiesEmerald Publishing

Published: Nov 29, 2019

Keywords: Globalization; Immigrants; Migration; Macao; Urban citizenship

References