Disharmonious Chinese ethnic business: intergroup stereotypes among Chinese migrant employees in Australia

Yao-Tai Li*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


This article focuses on perceptual divisions in the ethnic businesses and how PRC-Chinese and Taiwanese employees navigate and contest ethnic stereotypes within Chinese workplaces in Australia. Literature has highlighted internal ethnicity in the overseas Chinese ethnic businesses; but there has been little examination of the structural and symbolic aspects that lead Chinese migrant employees to generate specific ethnic stereotypes of other subgroups. Relying on sixteen months of fieldwork and in-depth interviews with thirty-two Chinese migrant employees, this article shows that the stereotyping of ethnic Chinese bosses as an integrated group and sub-ethnic stereotypes of PRC-Chinese or Taiwanese employers are symbiotic. Chinese ethnic workplaces in Australia are internally divided along sub-ethnic lines and refracted through employment relationship. Meanwhile, group interactions in the workplace reveal an awareness of ethnic differences and present specific ethnic stereotypes of others.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)732-750
Number of pages19
JournalEthnic and Racial Studies
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 15 Mar 2020

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • Anthropology
  • Sociology and Political Science

User-Defined Keywords

  • Australia
  • Chinese
  • Ethnic business
  • ethnic stereotype
  • intergroup perception
  • internal ethnicity


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