Cityscapes of Diaspora: Images and Realities of London’s Chinatown

Research Team: Professor Rosemary Sales, Dr Xiujing Liang, Dr Panos Hatziprokopiou, Professor Flemming Christiansen, Dr. Nicola Montagna, Alessio D’Angelo, Xia Lin.

This research project was funded by the AHRC through its Diasporas, Migration and Identities programme, sought to provide a critical understanding of the relationship between Chinatown and diasporic identities and practice. It addressed two main questions:

• What role does Chinatown play for London’s Chinese communities?

• What images of the Chinese diaspora are portrayed in and through London’s Chinatown?

A key theme was the exploration of tensions, conflict and accommodation across a number of dimensions: between different generations and groups of Chinese migrants; between different ‘stakeholders’ in Chinatown; between different uses of its space; and between different notions of, and relations to these different notions of a Chinese ‘homeland’.

The 18-months research project combined quantitative and qualitative methods to map Chinatown and to explore its meaning for Chinese people in London. The fieldwork included a range of techniques including interviews, surveys and ethnographic observation.

Cityscapes of Diaspora: Images and Realities of London’s Chinatown