Synopsis of Research in Shanghai (February 3 - May 22):
Lu's dissertation focuses on the intersection of two migration flows: the internal migration of Chinese Hui Muslims from the northwest to the southeast, and the international migration of merchants from Middle Eastern and North African (MENA) countries to Southeast China. She has been conducting field work at two sites: (1) the city Yiwu in Southeast China, which has the world's largest small commodity wholesale market and is one of the most popular destinations for both Chinese internal migrants and immigrants from MENA countries, and (2) Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region and Gansu Province in Northwest China, which have the largest Hui communities in China and are the hometown of most Hui internal migrants in Southeast China. Through in-depth interviews and participant observation, she examines the interactions between the two migrant groups and whether and how these interactions affect the Hui internal migrants’ ethnic identification and conception. She plans to finish data collection and analysis during the award semester.