“As long as the clients like it”: In pursuit of “Authenticity” in Chinese-Owned Coffee Bars in Bologna, Italy
Other conference paper

CUHK Authors
Author(s) no longer affiliated with CUHK

Full Text

Other information
AbstractSince the economic recession in 2008, Northern-Central Italy has experienced the swift expansion of Chinese migrant entrepreneurship in the coffee bar business, which traditionally has been strongly associated with Italian urban cultures and identity in everyday life. Based on an ethnographic study of Chinese-owned coffee bars in Bologna, a northern city of Italy, this paper seeks to explore how Chinese migrants pursue the “authentic” in this new business niche for their economic ends. They have to acquire local knowledge and maintain the relevant environment, products and service as the “same” as that which their clients have experienced before, because it is the local clients who control the cultural legitimacy of an “authentic” coffee bar. I argue that Chinese migrants are in fact practicing their subjectivities of entrepreneurship in this business environment, where they apparently have very limited agency. I have observed that they are not interested in what an “authentic” coffee or an “authentic” coffee bar is, they are more interested in “authentic” representation “as long as the clients like it”. In this sense, they do not passively imitate a local business, but strategize the cultural management for economic achievements in the process of pursuing the “authenticity” of coffees and coffee bars.
All Author(s) ListTING DENG
Name of ConferenceRegional Conference of the International Society for the Study of Chinese Overseas (ISSCO) 2017
Start Date of Conference17/11/2017
End Date of Conference19/11/2017
Place of ConferenceNAGASAKI
Country/Region of ConferenceJapan
LanguagesEnglish-United States

Last updated on 2018-09-10 at 17:12