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Yiwu, une ville attractive et intégrative : le cas des commerçants africains à Yiwu.

Abstract : Globalization makes immigration a lot easier and more efficient among people coming from different backgrounds and cultures. Interested in the lives of foreigners in China, we turned our attention to the African community in Yiwu. Why do these people come to Yiwu and more importantly, how do they adapt themselves to a society which is very different from their own? This thesis tries to find the origins of the city’s attractiveness and if it is immigrant-friendly. Numerous field trips have been made between 2015 and 2016, 81 international businessmen have been interviewed, 32 coming from Africa, with interviews as well as questionnaires. This population is mainly attracted by the commercial advantages of the city. These people are strongly focused on commercial activities, which is their most important immigration motivation. Once settled, they actively try to integrate into local society, as well as to devote themselves successfully to their commercial activities. However, these efforts are strictly limited in their professional life. On the one hand, the governments, both local and central, are not fully welcoming to foreign residents. Multiple administrative restrictions have been observed which prevent them from a better adaptation. On the other hand, important cultural and religious differences between the Africans and the local population create a spontaneous barrier which is practically impossible to exceed. Because of that, African businessmen tend to associate more with people from the same region and avoid the locals when seeking for a deeper connection. They usually stay within their own community in daily and social life. Even if outside-of-work exchanges exist, they are generally a way to enhance the business and therefore not efficient enough in terms of understanding and communication. In other words, real integration is rather an ideal state which still needs a lot of devotions, if it is possible at all.
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Can Cui. Yiwu, une ville attractive et intégrative : le cas des commerçants africains à Yiwu.. Géographie. Université Clermont Auvergne, 2019. Français. ⟨NNT : 2019CLFAL001⟩. ⟨tel-02088388⟩

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