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Digital Visualization of Transnationalism: Mapping Historical Migration of Hong Kong Migrants in Canada During the Handover of Hong Kong Period Open Access


Other title
digital visualization
Hong Kong
historical migration
social identity
sense of place
Type of item
Degree grantor
University of Alberta
Author or creator
Zhang, Sheng
Supervisor and department
Engel, Maureen (Humanities Computing)
Examining committee member and department
Hsu, Jennifer (Political Science)
Quamen, Harvey (Humanities Computing)
Humanities Computing

Date accepted
Graduation date
2016-06:Fall 2016
Master of Arts
Degree level
Human migration is a global phenomenon driven by two factors: individual needs or desires, and changes in the economics and politics in the society from which the migration stems. Human migration usually involves people crossing international borders, but the impact is often felt locally, in the economy, and in social, political, and cultural spheres. During the 1980s and 90s, Hong Kong Chinese went through a mass migration wave to western countries. The migration was strongest during the period of the handover of Hong Kong, and a primary destination was Canada. The purpose of this research is to map a migration wave from Hong Kong to Canada and back to Hong Kong during two crucial periods: 1984, when the handover decision was made; and 1997, the lead-up to when Britain handed political control of Hong Kong to China. The other purpose of this research is to gain insight into the factors that reflect these migration trends. The project involves digital technology, specifically a quantum geographic information system (QGIS), to capture the nodal Hong Kong migrant patterns in Canada by destination, gender, age group, and immigration class. The thesis will address neo-institutionalism; social identity; transnationalism; sense of place; the strong relationship between transnational space, changing institutions, cultural identity values and conflicts; and the transition of the affective sense of place that impacts the motivations and practices of Hong Kong Chinese migrants. This study is part of a body of research on transnational migration that crosses national borders, and uses large-scale data to visualize the relationship networks between the place of origin (Hong Kong) and destination (Canada), and spatial distribution of immigration into Canada.
This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for the purpose of private, scholarly or scientific research. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.
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