'Brain Circulation' and the American Chinese Diaspora

Document Type

Grant Proposal

Date Accepted

Summer 2009

Project Description/Abstract

A growing literature documents the characteristics of the so-called 'bamboo network,' the tightly woven communities of ethnic Chinese doing business around the world and the ongoing linkages such groups have maintained with their ancestral homeland. To date, most academic inquiry has focused on the economies of Southeast Asia, where the largest overseas populations reside and where the impact of strong family dominated businesses has been the most pronounced. The proposed study will examine the business networks of the American Chinese diaspora, contrasting their characteristics and connections to mainland China with those of overseas Chinese communities in other parts of the world. It will focus on the networking patterns among American Chinese professionals, including those that have most recently emerged in the high tech sector. A primary objective is to determine whether a different type of business network pattern has evolved in the American context, one that is less reliant on the traditional pillars of family, language and culture, and more on intellectual capital. Data will be derived from a variety of sources, including a survey instrument, interviews with individuals in the U. S. and China, articles and government web sites.

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