Chinese Immigrants in Italy

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May 29th 2012
Research Paper
This research paper investigates the interactions between Italian people and Chinese immigrants in everyday life and focuses on problems and complications that characterize this difficult “cohabitation”. It explores the general situation and conditions that Chinese immigrants have in Italy and the perception that the Italian country and its citizens have towards them. This open-viewed analysis focuses on the Chinese way of living in Italy and how this influences the Italian one. This shows the contradictions and the appalling conditions that lie underneath their relation and under the Chinese community itself in a foreign country. The study then goes in more depth, paying attention to a specific case: the Chinese community in Prato. This city is one of the provincial administrations in Tuscany and it is close to Florence. In this city, the Chinese presence is evident. You can find Chinese people that have been living there for generations; it is not like being in China Town, a neighborhood that every city has now, because it seems like that Italian people are the foreign ones. This paper gives depth to this research, taking into account some articles from e-newspapers and it also posits some points of reflection, taking into consideration the readings done in class, especially the readings from: Mobility, Migration and Minorities, as they stress the analysis of the case study (I think that the article of Gladney and the one of Tsuda are relevant for my research). The analysis of the case study is enriched with documentaries and video references about on this topic. I will give also offer my opinion relating to the situation that is present in my own town. Chinese immigration to Italy began almost a century ago. The People’s Republic of China was born in 1949: emigration from China was unfavorable because of its political closure. Since the policies were opened in the late Seventies, the migration flows started again. Chinese immigrants come mainly from the Chinese province of Zhejiang. Of particular interest is that this area is not a poor region in China, rather it is now facing great economic development. So what has driven thousands and thousands of young people of this region to seek their fortune abroad? It was probably the opportunity to make success and get rich easily, but it was unfounded. It was not poverty itself that has driven some many Chinese people to emigrate, but rather a lack of opportunity of a certain future. Unfortunately, those who have come here already know that immigrant life in the West is quite hard. It is hard because people do not trust foreigners, especially when they think that these foreigners are stealing their jobs or undermining their economy or country. In Italy there are 186,522 legal Chinese immigrants. But what are the reasons which prompted the Chinese immigration to Italy? The main driving factor for the Chinese immigration is economic development. Chinese adults who come to Italy have the aim to improve their economic conditions and those of their relatives. They are all entrepreneurs, they do not flee from conditions of poverty as other immigrants. In China economic wealth is not as rare as one would assume. Those who do not have the means to achieve success remaining in China, may try to do it by spending time and investing in business abroad. Compared to other foreign communities, China one is made ​​up of people who already live in relative comfort at home. Their journey is a business project supported by the economic resources of the parental network - both at home and in their country of destination. Another characteristic of the Chinese group is the tendency to be self-employed - it is extremely rare that a Chinese person works under an Italian or foreign boss – another being the strong trend to migrate with families. The last two are closely linked to specific entrepreneurial "familism", characteristic of the Chinese community which tends...
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