Connotations of ancestral home: an exploration of place attachment by multiple generations of Chinese diaspora

Li, Tingting Elle and Chan, Eric Tak Hin (2018) Connotations of ancestral home: an exploration of place attachment by multiple generations of Chinese diaspora. Population, Space and Place, 24 (8) , e2147. ISSN 1544-8444 [Article] (doi:10.1002/psp.2147)


This paper explores the connotations of ancestral home by investigating how multiple generations of Chinese migrants sustain their place attachment to China. Based on 50 in‐depth interviews with Chinese migrants from the first to the sixth generation, we unpacked the meanings of ancestral home from the “place,” “person,” and “process” dimensions and identified 3 types of connections: personally attached to ancestral home, cognitively connected to a generic China and the Chinese culture, and spiritually connected to a symbolic China. Factors were identified in each type of place attachment in illustrating how Chinese diaspora members sustain their ancestral home connections. The personally attached group ground their attachment in strongly valued personal involvement with the physical and social ties. They are more sensitive to migration background, social relationships, and home return mobility. The cognitively connected group, in contrast, is more aware of the influence of their own families and the Chinese communities and embed their connections in understandings, knowledge, and Chinese cultural practices. The spiritually connected group maintain their connection through collective memories, sense of pride and appreciation for family ancestry, and interests in personal past. The findings suggest that the meanings of ancestral home are diverse and dynamic, reflecting both individual and family's migration history, personal experiences, cultural exposures, social relationships, and mobility. This study offers empirical insights into diaspora members' experiences of engaging with their place of origin and contributes to the understanding of place attachment by integrating a generational view.

Item Type: Article
Research Areas: A. > Business School
Item ID: 24804
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Depositing User: Jisc Publications Router
Date Deposited: 17 Aug 2018 09:56
Last Modified: 24 Oct 2019 19:57

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