Home Institution

University of Texas at Austin

Publication Date

Spring 2011

Program Name

Serbia, Bosnia, and Kosovo: Peace and Conflict Studies in the Balkans


The Chinese community is an unknown population to the general Serbian society. Since most of the Chinese function within their own established spaces, it is difficult for outsiders to fully understand the dynamics of Chinese identity. This study aims to explore the layers of identity formation in the Chinese transmigrant community in Belgrade, Serbia. By taken into account different daily-life factors that impact identity formation, this study examines the extent to which Chinese identities are influenced by living and working in Serbia.

The methods used in this study are four semi-structured interviews and thirty-two informal conversations with the Chinese in Belgrade. These verbal interactions were aimed at Chinese individuals with contrasting backgrounds such as those who work in Chinese-dominated areas and those who work in Serbian-dominated areas. Observations and conversations were held in varying Chinese venues such as the Confucius Institute, Blok 70, China Trade Center, Chinese restaurants, and other locations.

The conclusion of this study magnifies the multi-dimensional nature of Chinese transmigrant identities in Belgrade. With the changing of transnational networks, the national identity of each individual changes as he/she operates differently in new social ties that transcend traditional ethnic ties. The expansion of networks in the Chinese community successfully shifts the national identity of individuals as their social networks continue to be enlarged. The Chinese in Belgrade cannot be lumped into one large group, as they each have changing national identities.


Civic and Community Engagement | Eastern European Studies | Family, Life Course, and Society | Race and Ethnicity | Social and Cultural Anthropology


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