Skip to Main Content
Have library access? Log in through your library
'We Need Two Worlds':

'We Need Two Worlds':: Chinese Immigrant Associations in a Western Society

Li Minghuan
Copyright Date: 1999
Pages: 301
  • Cite this Item
  • Book Info
    'We Need Two Worlds':
    Book Description:

    A highly informative report on Chinese immigrants in the Netherlands, We Need Two Worlds is a clear and well-structured dissertation which presents a considerable amount of new material to existing knowledge of Chinese associations and their role in the Netherlands. The situation in Amsterdam is comparable to Chinese societies in other major cities, e.g. New York and London. This comprehensive study will help Western students, academics, civil servants, politicians and journalists who have an interest in Chinese culture to gain a better understanding of the significance of their associations. It also illustrates how Chinese immigrants live together and operate within a western society. This title is available in the OAPEN Library -

    eISBN: 978-90-485-0362-9
    Subjects: Anthropology, History

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. I-IV)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. V-VI)
  3. Foreword
    (pp. VII-VIII)
    Jan Breman

    The presence in most western countries of ethnic minorities from faraway parts of the world clearly demonstrates that globalization is not a new phenomenon at all. The investigations carried out by Dr. Li Minghuan concern the Chinese migrants who have settled down in some of the major cities in the Netherlands from the beginning of the twentieth century onwards, what used to be a small colony initially, has rapidly grown in size during the last twenty-five years in particular. The more specific theme of study is the collective action taken by the people of Chinese origin to solve their problems...

  4. Acknowledgements
    (pp. IX-XII)
  5. CHAPTER I Introduction
    (pp. 1-26)

    The Chinese, with their ubiquitous restaurants, form a socially visible immigrant sector in the Netherlands. On the one hand, especially since the 1980s, their migration history, their cultural background and, more importantly, their internal social structure and the path their future development will take have been attracting some attention from Dutch society. On the other hand, as an immigrant group that has settled in the Netherlands but still maintains various contacts with their home community, their function as a broker for international trade and mutual cooperation between their receiving and sending societies has also been seriously taken into account in...

  6. CHAPTER II The Settlement of Chinese Immigrants in the Netherlands
    (pp. 27-52)

    Presenting a comprehensive historical overview of the settlement of Chinese immigrants in the Netherlands is an indispensable way to prepare for a more detailed study on the activities and structures of their associations.

    When and how did the Europe-oriented migration occur from some areas of China? l How have these areas been historically selected? How has this migration wave been shaped and reshaped in the 20th century?

    According to the documents I have studied, written from a Chinese perspective and focussing on different stages throughout the 20th century, the pattern of Chinese immigration to the Netherlands can be divided into...

  7. CHAPTER III A History of Chinese Associations m the Netherlands
    (pp. 53-84)

    The initiation of the Chinese voluntary association in the Netherlands can be traced back to as early as the 1910s. In reviewing the development of the Chinese associations in the 20th century, two great upsurges become clear: the first unfolded in the 1930s; the second extended from the mid-1980s to the 1990s. According to the materials I have collected, during the second half of the 20th century, more than one hundred Chinese associations have proclaimed their establishment in the Netherlands, although more than half of them are nominal or rarely organize any public activities.

    How have the Chinese associations in...

  8. CHAPTER IV Three Case Studies
    (pp. 85-114)

    According to the written documents I have collected, more than one hundred Chinese associations established themselves in the Netherlands between 1947 and 1997 (ef. Appendix III). In addition, 41 alter-school Chinese schools were set up.! It would be too ambitious a task to present an exhaustive study of all of these associations. Instead, in this chapter, I select three associations to provide a detailed illustration of the more general situation.

    The process I followed to select these examples can be divided into roughly three steps. First, in order to become acquainted with the overall situation of Chinese voluntary associations in...

  9. CHAPTER V To Have Dreams Come True: Organizational Motivations
    (pp. 115-148)

    The preceding three chapters have attempted to present a general picture of the Chinese immigration process and Chinese associations in the Netherlands. In the next three chapters, the study will focus on the following three topics: the initial founding motives behind the birth of the associations; the organizational structure of the associations; and the social roles played by the associations.

    What are the major motives to push the Chinese immigrants to organize their own ethnic associations? What factors have shaped their motives? Have their organizational motives been affected by the influences of mainstream society or their original society? These questions...

  10. CHAPTER VI Leadership and Membership: Organizational Structure
    (pp. 149-182)

    Chinese associations are readily observable entities that demonstrate some striking characteristics of the Chinese community. Every association has an official constitution, and most associations pursue a visible social position through various public activities. A variety of Chinese associations exist in the Netherlands. Neither the internal structure nor the external networks of each individual association are easily identified from the outside.

    How can you identify a leader of a Chinese association? Arc there any common socio-cultural characteristics of the leaders? Who is willing to join a Chinese association and why? What are the decision-making procedures within an association? Here I shall...

  11. CHAPTER VII A Bridge and A Wall between the Two Worlds: Organizational Functions
    (pp. 183-220)

    In the preceding chapters, we have studied why and how the Chinese associations are organized. What is the social consequence of the existence of these associations in the Netherlands today? Mort-over, what are the social roles or functions, either manifest or latent, that constitute the social reason for their existence and development? This chapter searches for answers to these questions.

    Associations derive their significance from organizing various social activities. It is quite common that an association will be distinguished more by its social functions than by its membership. Before going into a theoretical study, it is necessary to give some...

  12. CHAPTER VIII What is the future?
    (pp. 221-230)

    The Chinese immigrants’ organizational history in the Netherlands and their general characteristics have been discussed. In this last section, an outlook on its foreseeable future development will be presented.

    Chinese voluntary associations can be found wherever Chinese immigrant communities exist. From a global perspective, the ethnic Chinese associations first emerged in Southeast Asia and then spread to other continents. The Chinese associations in Europe are among the newly established associations but have quickly increased in number. A brief comparison between the Chinese associations in Europe and Southeast Asia or North America will help put their roles and dynamics in a...

  13. APPENDIX I Abbreviations
    (pp. 231-234)
  14. APPENDIX II Glossary
    (pp. 235-238)
  15. APPENDIX III List of Chinese associations in the Netherlands (1947-1997)
    (pp. 239-244)
  16. APPENDIX IV Bibliography
    (pp. 245-258)
  17. Notes
    (pp. 259-286)
  18. Index
    (pp. 287-289)