Migratory Experiences of Portuguese People in Macao during and after the Portuguese Administration of the Territory

Thursday, July 17, 2014: 4:45 PM
Room: 313+314
Distributed Paper
Ines PESSOA , Sociology, ISCTE - IUL, Lisbon, Portugal
Migratory experiences of Portuguese people in Macao during and after the Portuguese administration of the territory

The transference of Macao’ administrative power from Portugal to China, in December 1999, has represented for Portuguese people who lived there until the 80’s and 90’s of the XXth century the end of a migratory experience in a very specific ‘context’, frequently characterized as being almost ‘colonial’.

Following the hand over, while many Portuguese migrants have returned to Portugal, some choose to stay in that Chinese territory; others have later decided to go back again; and a few others, who have never lived there, elected Macao as their host society. How was the integration process of those Portuguese migrants who settled in Macao in the beginning of the XXIth century? Did they keep the same benefits - concerning leaving conditions and life styles - that Portuguese people used to have during the Administration period? What kind of relationships have they developed with the local people (mainly Macanese and Chinese) in this ‘new’ political, social and cultural living context? Were they more prone to assimilate local references than their counterparts who lived in Macao in the ‘colonial’ period?

Basing our study on a qualitative research supported by interviews to two groups of Portuguese migrants - those who lived in Macao during the Portuguese administration and those who moved to the territory after that period -, is our purpose to analyse and compare their migration experience (in social-economic, cultural-symbolic and identitary terms) highlighting the continuities and changes observed.