An unusual refuge: A case study of a South Asian and African multi-ethnic cluster in a Hong Kong rural walled village

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Abstract

This article explores an unusual multi-ethnic cluster in a walled village in rural Hong Kong. Once known for its exclusivity, the village, located in the New Territories, now houses hundreds of ethnic minority migrants, of whom one-third are South Asian and African. The article draws on 30 months of fieldwork between 2008 and 2011 and subsequent fieldwork in 2019–2020, including in-depth interviews with migrants and indigenous villagers in one walled village, to investigate the nature of these multi-ethnic clusters. The author critically examines the extent to which prevalent theories of ethnic clustering can be applied to the emerging phenomenon of growing multi-ethnic clusters in this rural part of Hong Kong. By examining the form and factors contributing to cluster formation, the author argues that the demographic characteristics, location, and constitution of such formations are not entirely consistent with existing studies in the West. Theories of the development of multi-ethnic clusters should therefore take into account their particular political, historical, and cultural context, as well as the socioeconomic characteristics of the location. Copyright © 2023 The Author. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-10
JournalJournal of Rural Studies
Volume98
Early online dateJan 2023
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2023

Citation

Ng, I. (2023). An unusual refuge: A case study of a South Asian and African multi-ethnic cluster in a Hong Kong rural walled village. Journal of Rural Studies, 98, 1-10. doi: 10.1016/j.jrurstud.2023.01.019

Keywords

  • Ethnic minority
  • Ethnic cluster
  • Rural walled village
  • Hong Kong
  • Asylum seekers
  • Refugees

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