COVID-19 - Coronavirus disease 2019

Chinese migration in France facing Covid-19: the emergence of new forms of solidarity in times of crisis – MigraChiCovid

Submission summary

This project aims to analyse the representations, perceptions, attitudes and behaviours related to Covid-19 through the prism of Chinese migration in France. Some of them - medical experts, journalists, association leaders, researchers - are, as of January 2020, actively involved in the organization of care, the sharing and circulation of information, the diffusion of expert knowledge, and humanitarian aid in the supply of health equipment; while others are experiencing the discrimination and anti-Asian racism linked to Covid-19, which appeared in their country of origin, particularly at the beginning of the epidemic. Thus, two social realities coexist: on the one hand, national and transnational solidarity dynamics fighting against Covid-19, in which Chinese leaving in France participate; and on the other, discriminatory acts at their destination and subsequently, the fight against such discrimination, racism, exclusion and stigmatization. It is on the tensions between these two social realities that this proposal is based, and it is divided into three Work Packages (WPs): (1) studies of the professional practices carried out by doctors and biologists of Chinese origin in France facing Covid-19 (WP “MEDIC”); (2) analyses of the experiences of discrimination and anti-Asian racism related to Covid-19 and the struggle against these differentiated treatments (WP “DISCRI”); (3) studies of the changes of relationship with the PRC among Chinese migrants having cultural and/or economic capital and their transnational civic responsibilities in the fight against the epidemic (WP “TRANSNA”). Based on both online and offline ethnography (initiated in December 2019) and on qualitative surveys (interviews and participant observations) to come, this proposal will allow to question the emergence of new forms of solidarity at the national and transnational scales, to which Chinese migrants and their descendants contribute, at a time of global health crisis. With the complementary skills and specializations of each other, the team members will ensure the production of scientific results and "general public" results (three short films from three WPs and a photographic exhibition on the daily life of ordinary actors of Chinese origin in France at the time of Covid-19). The full knowledge of three languages (Chinese, French and English) of almost all the members (8 out of 9) is a real asset for the achievement of this project. The expected results of this proposal go beyond the scientific community and target also medical institutions, public policies, associations and general public. The detailed and solid knowledge on the case of Chinese migrations in France facing Covid-19 that will be acquired through this proposal, will allow international comparisons with the cases of Chinese migrations in other European and North American countries, as well as with the experiences of crisis management in the PRC.

Project coordination

SIMENG WANG (Centre de recherche médecine, sciences, santé, santé mentale, société)

The author of this summary is the project coordinator, who is responsible for the content of this summary. The ANR declines any responsibility as for its contents.


CERMES3 Centre de recherche médecine, sciences, santé, santé mentale, société

Help of the ANR 199,377 euros
Beginning and duration of the scientific project: April 2020 - 18 Months

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