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Migration, the Chinese wholesale trade and ethnicity

Author(s): Débora Betrisey Nadali

Journal: Revista CIDOB d'Afers Internacionals
ISSN 1133-6595

Issue: 78;
Start page: 77;
Date: 2007;
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Keywords: Chinese | immigration | Spain | Madrid | trade | social conflicts

In the historical-social context of Spain, the ethnic-national identities of Chinese immigrants are not free from hierarchisation, given that they can tend to be sources of recognition and prestige, though also of discrimination. In recent decades, the presenceof Chinese people has become alternately or simultaneously an ambiguous resource to be celebrated by certain hegemonic groups as something positive in accordance with their cultural and economic contributions (“entrepreneurs”, “model traders”), or a dissonance thatis sufficiently complex to be accepted within the country. This article focuses on analysing Chinese immigrants working in the area of wholesale trading in the city of Madrid, and bears in mind the social processes by which these groups were constituted as different in cultural terms in the heart of social relations of inequality; it also examines to what extent and under what conditions these processes end up forming part of these traders’ self-image, determine
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