• Melisa Estefania Samaruga
The Chinese diaspora account for almost 120.000 people in Argentina, and they represent the fourth largest foreign community in the country. Not only the newcomers needed to adapt to the Argentinian culture, but also the host members needed to adjust to the new culture they were receiving. This thesis aims at explaining how both, the Chinese diaspora members and the Argentinians experienced the acculturation processes as a result of the interaction of the two cultures. The Chinese immigrant situation in the country is considered through a broad framework including economic, social and cultural aspects. The acceptance and interest of the Argentinians towards the Chinese culture is analyzed from the participation of the host members in activities, institutions and celebrations that used to be exclusively for the Chinese community. Both situations are examined under relevant theoretical concepts within the
Acculturation studies with special focus on the work of John Berry (2005), Young Kim (1977, 1982) and Annie Montreuil & Richard Bourhis (2001, 2004).
The paper concludes that the Chinese people in Argentina is considered as “valued” immigrants, specially compared to Bolivians, Paraguayans and Peruvians, who represent the three largest foreign communities in the country and are considered as “devalued” immigrants. Moreover, the most difficult obstacle to overcome for this diaspora was the language barrier, followed by the acquisition of a local social network. From the acculturation strategies developed by Berry (2005), it can be inferred that the Chinese immigrants who arrived to Argentina when they were still young, were more likely to endorse acculturation strategies such as integration. In contrast, immigrants who arrived in Argentina when they were already adults, usually followed acculturation strategies such as separation. Finally, from the perspective of the host society and following the five acculturation orientations presented by Montreuil & Bourhis (2001, 2004), it can be induced that Argentinians are more likely to endorse orientations such as integrationism or individualism towards the Chinese diaspora settled down in the province of Buenos Aires, rather than segregationism, assimilationism or exclusionism.
SpecialisationChina and International Relations
Publication date20 May 2014
Number of pages86
ID: 197844902