Rethinking network capital: hospitality work and parallel trading among Chinese students in Melbourne
MOBILITIES | ROUTLEDGE JOURNALS, TAYLOR & FRANCIS LTD | Published : 2017
Drawing on an ethnographic study of Chinese female tertiary students’ work practices in Melbourne, Australia, this article engages critically with John Urry’s concept of network capital. I show how these students’ work practices link them both into relatively fixed, localized, diasporic employment networks in Melbourne’s Chinese restaurant sector; and into relatively mobile, transnational, digitally mediated trading networks in the micro-entrepreneurial activity of daigou or parallel trading: buying local goods on behalf of customers in China. Based on this case study, I develop three main inter-related claims. First, I argue that geographic and social mooring in place, as well as mobility, ..View full abstract
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This article is based on research supported by the Australian Research Council's Future Fellowship scheme. Sincere thanks to Can Qin for her invaluable research assistance, to Chris Healy for his helpful comments on an earlier draft, to the two anonymous reviewers, and to all of my research participants.