چرا مهاجران به خانه خود سفر می کنند: سرمایه اجتماعی و چشم انداز فرهنگ پذیری
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||تعداد صفحات مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی|
|4402||2013||10 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید|
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Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Tourism Management, Volume 36, June 2013, Pages 304–313
This paper presents an inductive analysis of the meanings and dynamics of immigrants' travel to their places of origin from the perspective of social capital and acculturation. The narratives from in-depth interviews with 20 informants with different backgrounds vividly portray the dynamic and subjective life experience of the Mainland Chinese immigrants in Hong Kong. The results thematically (re)presents their experience in terms of the “horizontal and vertical changes in social capital and its effects on travel decisions and acculturation, its influence on travel decisions, the effects of social capital on acculturation, and the influence of constraints on immigrants' travel.” Quintessentially, the inductive analysis sheds light on the meanings and dynamics of the immigrants' travel to their home places. For future studies, observations from this interpretive approach could be augmented by empirical testing and measurement of the interrelationships among social capital, acculturation, constraints, and travel decisions pertinent to Mainland Chinese immigrants traveling from Hong Kong to their places of origins.
Hong Kong is a society composed of immigrants. In terms of origin, approximately 33.5% of Hong Kong population are genealogically connected with Mainland China (Census and Statistics Department, 2007). Mainland China (hereafter referred to as the mainland) has been the major source of immigrants to Hong Kong since the 1940s. Historically, majority of the immigrants came from its neighboring Guangdong Province, which resulted in Cantonese being the primary dialect spoken among the residents in Hong Kong. Nowadays, the backgrounds of the immigrants in Hong Kong are diverse with people coming from different regions in the mainland. Record has shown that 43,400 Mainland Chinese immigrated to Hong Kong in 2011 alone (Census and Statistics Department, 2012). The number will continue to grow, with an average of 150 Mainland Chinese approved on a daily basis to immigrate to Hong Kong by the Special Administrative Region (SAR) government (Chief Executive Candidates Forum, 2012). The large number of immigrants resulted in the corresponding increase in travel activities between Hong Kong and the mainland. The daily average number of travelers at the Lo Wu Immigration Control is 250,000, rendering this control point the most popular border crossing station to and from the mainland (Baidu, 2012). However, this figure can reach 394,000 travelers on holidays, including day trippers and daily work migrants (Baidu, 2012). Adapting to a new place can be a stressful experience due to a variety of factors. Understanding the life experience of immigrants in the new environment, their connections to their home places via travel, and the influencing factors on their travel behavior and decision making could help policy makers formulate relevant strategies to facilitate their adaptation. Notably, majority of the previous studies on immigration focused on international movement from one country to another rather than the intranational immigration to another region within the same country. The Hong Kong SAR is distinct from other cities in China due to its independent constitution and political system. Because of these differences, relocation from the mainland to Hong Kong is commonly (and legally) regarded as immigration by the public. Thus, Hong Kong provides an interesting context for understanding the immigrants' experience in connection with their travel to their place of origins. The large number of Chinese immigrants in Hong Kong has stimulated research interest in immigration in this SAR. A wide range of topics have been explored, including the immigrants' social welfare and housing (Au, 1998; Lee, 2000), identity negotiation (Ho, 2006; Newendorp, 2010), coping and adaptation (Fung, 2005; Li, 1989; Man, 2001), and community integration (Hsueh, 1998; Sinn & Wong, 2005). However, little scholarly attention has been dedicated toward understanding the immigrants' trips to their places of origin and the influencing factors in their travel decision making. Such an understanding will definitely shed light on the immigrants' life experience in the SAR, which is essential in formulating the corresponding strategies to help them adapt to the new society. Thus, the present study examines the Mainland Chinese immigrants' life experience in Hong Kong and identifies the factors that affect their travel decisions to their place of origins.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
This study is the first attempt of its kind to understand the social capital and acculturation of mainland Chinese immigrants in Hong Kong in relation to the dynamics and meanings they attach to these travels to their places of origin. Based on in-depth interviews, the study finds that, for these participants, their social capital changes at both horizontal (composition) and vertical (extent) dimensions as a consequence of their relocation or difference in social space. Notably, social capital is reported to be more robust in kinship than in friendship in relation to the immigrants' travel to their places of origin, which is primarily motivated by their need to strengthen social capital at the family level. Various acculturation challenges have been identified in this study among the immigrants. These challenges reveal the hardships the immigrants face in Hong Kong and their difficulties in adapting to the new society. The need for social acceptance or approval and self-consistency results in the preference to interact with the other immigrants in the new society, to befriend other immigrants, and to travel back to their places of origin. The present study's contributions are twofold. First, from a theoretical standpoint, this inductive analysis reports on the meanings and dynamics of (and identifies the factors associated with) the immigrants' travel to their places of origin. In this regard, social capital plays an essential role in their travel decisions. Going back to where one came from is characteristic of an immigrant engaged in a family-oriented trip where the study participants desire to experience family togetherness and to consolidate family values. The composition of the social capital appears to have changed after these mainland Chinese immigrants moved to Hong Kong, with more established friendships in the new society and gradually fading friendships in their hometowns. Although the immigrants gradually accumulate social capital in Hong Kong, they also strive to consolidate their family social capital via traveling to their places of origins. In addition to the social capital, their level of acculturation to the new society also affects the immigrants' travel decisions. For those at the lower end of the acculturation continuum, their hometown culture may still play a dominant role in their identity and adaptation. Because cultural identity acts as a source of security, immigrants strive to maintain a stable and consistent self-concept, and their behavior revolves around maintaining and/or protecting their self-concept (Swann et al., 1994). In other words, people tend to be congruent in their behavior with their self-identities (Mannetti, Pierro, & Livi, 2004). Furthermore, relocation to a new place may result in a feeling of loss of the personal and social identities and a sense of instability for the immigrants who experience a lower degree of acculturation. Traveling back to their places of origins may help them restore equilibrium and stay in line with their identity or self-concept. Contextually, social capital appears to influence the acculturation of the immigrants. Factors such as discrimination, language competence, and length of stay have been identified in prior acculturation studies (Berry & Sabatier, 2010; Margolies, 2008; Shelley et al., 2004). These factors reveal new challenges for the immigrants, which may prevent them from better adapting to their new place of residence. The participants of the study also reported a number of challenges in their adjustment to Hong Kong, including the change in neighborhood relationships, discrimination from the locals, language differences, financial difficulties, and the need to establish new social capital in Hong Kong. Social acceptance or approval is a public domain where people behave as a social being or agent that responds to the perceptions of the others (Sirgy, 1986). For these immigrants, rejection of the locals and their lack of social capital make them feel like “outsiders” of their new place of residence, and consequently, they achieve a lower degree of acculturation. Moreover, the constraints for immigrants to travel back to their places of origin are often characterized by their busy work schedule, financial situations, and family obligations. Similar to the result by Jackson and Scott (1999), these travel constraints reduce their ability to maintain travel frequency and consequently negatively affect their social capital and acculturation. Future studies should develop constructs to examine the immigrants' travel constraints in quantitative measures. Second, in practical terms, this study reported on the barriers to the immigrants' adaptation to their new culture and society. Whereas some issues (e.g., limitation in housing) are common to both new immigrants and locals, other barriers can be reduced with proper policies and practices put in place. For instance, discrimination by locals is often encountered by new immigrants, which adversely affects their accumulation of social capital and acculturation to the new place. Such discrimination can be eliminated with public education on multiculturalism and diversity. Various promotions of multiculturalism, mutual understanding and cultural respect, and accommodation and tolerance through, for example, advertisements on television or in train stations, can be used to enhance Hong Kong as a harmonious community and a liberal society for immigrants. With the influx of new immigrants to Hong Kong every year, such public education campaigns are necessary to reduce conflicts among different ethnic groups. Orientations and/or community classes could also be provided to new immigrants to help them settle down and adapt to their new place of residence. In these sessions, the immigrants could be introduced to the language, culture, history, and geography of Hong Kong. Various job opportunities and/or trainings should also be provided to immigrants for them to go through the hard times and/or to reduce their financial instability. In a positive light, with their understanding of both places, the immigrants in Hong Kong are in an privileged position to promote their hometowns to Hong Kong tourists. Many places in Mainland China are now exploring new visitor markets in Hong Kong. Destination marketing organizations in their places of origins can make use of these immigrants in Hong Kong, e.g., by including the “hometown” immigrants in their marketing team to formulate effective promotion strategies to attract tourists from Hong Kong. Immigrants could also be recruited by the organizations as tour guides to introduce their hometowns to Hong Kong visitors. The benefits of doing this are twofold: 1) to provide job opportunities for the immigrants, and 2) to facilitate their frequent travel to their places of origins. With their knowledge on both cultures and possession of dual languages (or dialects), immigrants are tourism ambassadors for both their origins and destinations. Finally, despite the notable differences between Hong Kong and the mainland, this SAR is a Chinese-dominated society with 95% of its population being Chinese. Its cultural and geographical proximity to the mainland makes it different from other immigration countries or regions. Consequently, the difficulties encountered by the mainland immigrants to Hong Kong, their acculturation, and the meanings and dynamics of their home-bound travel may also differ from those in other countries or regions. More research has to be conducted to investigate these issues in other immigration societies. Future studies may also need to investigate further the relationships between the immigrants' social capital, acculturation, and travel intentions. As a note of limitation, this study conveniently recruited participants from immigrant associations for in-depth interviews to look inductively into their life experience in Hong Kong and their behavior of travel to their places of origins. Future studies could depart from the current research design by recruiting representative samples for post-positivist reports and interpretations on immigration and tourism across the Hong Kong–China border.