Integration of Newcomers into Local Communities: An Analysis of New Chinese Immigrants in Zimbabwe

  • Xiaolei Shen


New Chinese immigrants began to arrive in Zimbabwe in significant numbers in the middle of the1980s. Since then, they have made an important contribution to Zimbabwe’s local and national economic development. But up till now, their social integration into the local communities that receive them has beens fairly slow. In recent years, however, new Chinese immigrants have started forming associations and developing the Chinese-language media despite the geographic dispersion of their living and commerce. As the Chinese community in Zimbabwe has gradually matured, the immigrants have become more involved in their internally-oriented social environment, which offers them greater social support but decreases their motivation and ability to integrate into local communities. In the process of interaction with local Zimbabweans, they encounter negative stereotyping. As a result, it’s difficult for them to consider Zimbabwe as their second home and for Zimbabweans to truly accept them. To promote social integration, new Chinese immigrants have carried out a series of activities through their associations, including helping each other adapt to local behavioral patterns, fulfilling social responsibilities, and engaging locals by organizing large-scale cultural or sports activities. To date, those activities have made some progress. However, their full integration into local Zimbabwean communities has a long way to go.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Xiaolei Shen
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of West-Asian and African StudiesChinese Academy of Social SciencesBeijingChina

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