Adaptation of Mainland Chinese Labour Migrants in Macao

Bei Ju, Todd L. Sandel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study explored adaptation as perceived by mainland Chinese labour migrants in Macao. Twenty-eight mainland Chinese migrant workers shared their lived experiences of crossing the Zhuhai-Macao border. Even though Macao and the mainland share cultural similarities, migrant workers did not perceive they were acculturating to the new environment. However, their personal and behavioural changes indicated other processes at work, as explained via co-cultural, differential adaption, and cultural fusion theories. Impacted by structural constraints, most migrants lived a border-crossing existence, marginalized in Macao, and freer in an enclave in Zhuhai. Furthermore, participants perceived discrimination, linked to occupation, language, and mainlander identity.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)257-273
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Intercultural Communication Research
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 30 Apr 2019


  • Adaptation
  • Chinese labour
  • migrants
  • discrimination
  • cultural fusion
  • differential adaptation theory


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