Immigrant entrepreneurship and transcultural dynamics – A study of Chinese businesses in the grocery and restaurant sectors in contemporary Panama and Belize
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AbstractThis paper focuses on Chinese dominance in the grocery and restaurant sectors in Panama and Belize. Drawing on data collected in 2015 and 2013 respectively, we examine emerging and expanding economic and social linkages between China and Central America. Rapid expansion of Chinese ownership in the grocery retail sector in Panama and Belize provides a focus to explore the conditions, practices and specific entanglements of transnational social, cultural, policy and economic links that shape the economic and social integration of recent Chinese immigrants in these two countries, and its impact on local people and society. First, we are interested in whether the scale of a Chinese enterprise operating across cultural boundaries influences business practices. Second, we are interested in how kinship networks, regional ties and dialectical origins affect migration decisions, and how these processes contribute to social, economic and political integration of Chinese immigrants in the host countries.
GrantingagencySocial Sciences and Humanities Research Council
Presented at an invited workshop on “Entrepreneurship, Artisans, and Traders: The Remaking of China-Latin America Economies”, May 2015.