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Exploring Guanxi in a Cross-Cultural Context (探索跨文化语境中的“关系”)

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The Case of Cantonese-Speaking Chinese in Johannesburg (以约翰尼斯堡的粤语新华人为例)

image of Journal of Chinese Overseas

Using a case study of recently arrived Cantonese-speaking migrants, this article examines the role of guanxi in shaping Chinese newcomers’ economic activities and opportunities in South Africa. In Johannesburg, Cantonese-speaking migrants tend to be employed in restaurant and fahfee (gambling) sectors, which are partially inherited from the early generations of South African Chinese. Through narratives and stories, this article reveals that Cantonese newcomers often strengthen personal and employment relationships through the practice of guanxi, but that doing so can also constrain their employment decisions. Moreover, the ambiguous boundary between the act of bribery and the practice of guanxi may facilitate Chinese participation but can also result in the victimization of the newcomers.本文以新抵南非的粤语华人为研究个案,探讨了“关系”如何影响中国新移民的就业机会以及经济活动。在约翰尼斯堡,受到早期华人移民传承下来的影响,初到的粤语移民往往受雇于南非华人开设的的餐厅和开字花 (博弈游戏, 当地人称 fahfee)。透过他们的陈述和故事,本文认为,新移民通常透过“关系”来强化个人和雇佣关系,但也可能因此限制了选择。此外,贿赂行为与关系运作之间的灰色地带,虽能有助于新移民配合当地风气,但也可能让他们反受其害。This article is in English.

Affiliations: 1: PhD candidate (Anthropology) in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at Carleton University


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