Determinants of occupational choice : the case of the Chinese in Newcastle upon Tyne

Cheng, Michael Jak Lam (2008) Determinants of occupational choice : the case of the Chinese in Newcastle upon Tyne. Doctoral thesis, Northumbria University.

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Immigrant entrepreneurship is an important feature of the economy. With the growing numbers of visible ethnic minority communities, their presence in the labour market is of increasing importance in contemporary society. The Chinese are an under- researched group as documented by various authors and publications (Parker, 1994; Pang and Lau, 1998). The dissertation aims to address this failing. The Chinese are often associated with heavy concentration in the catering trade, in the form of restaurants and takeaways. The reason for this continued dominance is an interesting issue to explore. This thesis investigates the Chinese in Newcastle upon Tyne and their experiences, mainly within the catering trade, which offers both employment and self-employment opportunities. As will be revealed, this form of labour market participation can lead to social exclusion but at the same time, the creation of a stronger community. One possible element in the decision to enter self-employment is the existence of racial discrimination in the labour market. However, occupational choice is a more complex issue than simply an outcome of discrimination. The two principal research questions that guide this study are: 'Is self-employment a choice or a necessity?' and 'Does discrimination play a role in occupational choice?' An original and unique framework for analysis has been adopted based on prior knowledge held by the researcher by living the experiences as a member of the Chinese ethnic group. This stock of knowledge or indeed 'social capital' formed the basis for ideas and questions used in each of the three stages of research: self- completion questionnaires, semi-structured follow-up interviews and a focus group session. The implementation of these stages has been conducted in order to gain an understanding of the issues surrounding the two main research questions and to provide an insight into the experiences of the Chinese. However, due to the nature of voluntary responses in the chosen methodology, the research does not aim to generalise the Chinese community, as it remains a small-scale qualitative study.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Subjects: L100 Economics
N100 Business studies
Department: University Services > Graduate School > Doctor of Philosophy
Faculties > Business and Law > Newcastle Business School
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Depositing User: EPrint Services
Date Deposited: 22 Mar 2010 12:31
Last Modified: 17 Dec 2023 15:50

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