menu ☰
menu ˟

Values migration: The influence of Christianity and traditional Chinese values on the cross-cultural adaptation of Chinese migrants in Irish society


Zhu, Liwei;

Institution: Dublin City University. School of Applied Language and Intercultural Studies
Subject Keywords: Religions; Chinese migrants; Irish cultural values; interculturalism; migration; religion; values;

This study examines the migration experiences of Chinese migrants in Ireland. In particular, the study explores the changing values and religions during their cross-cultural adaptation, including the interactive influences between their Chinese traditional values, Christianity and their daily life. This study follows a grounded theory approach, where 22 in-depth qualitative interviews were conducted with Chinese migrants recruited by a snowball sampling strategy. Data analysis used the grounded theory process of systematic coding, categorisation and memoing with findings grounded in participants’ lived experience.
Findings suggest that personal values and religion have a fundamental influence on a migrant’s life, such as migration motivation, attitudes towards discrimination experiences and engagement with Irish mainstream society. This study revealed both three patterns of value migration: retaining traditional values, changing and transforming at a deep level to a different value system. Either conflict, compatibility or tolerance during values migration takes place to various extents. In turn, the new values impact on individuals in their reported behaviours, attitudes and interaction with the Irish host society.
Fresh perspectives on Chinese migrants also emerge in the findings, such as non-economic migration motivation and conversion to Christianity, a foreign religion in Chinese culture. Particularly, it sheds light on ‘Bible lens’ takers, who are transformed in their personal religion during cross-cultural adaptation in this study. From a values perspective, findings indicate that the migrants, experiences are multifaceted and their experiences relate to discrimination, homesickness, loneliness, cultural barriers, and language difficulties encountered in the acculturation process. Finally, research participants pursue the meaning of life, and this orientation leads towards two ends: to satisfy personal life needs at a pragmatic level and life goals at a spiritual level. Overall, this study is opportune as it meets the call for in-depth migrant research in Ireland at a time when Ireland is transforming into a more diverse society, as well as contributing to paradigm shifting in acculturation research.



Suggested citation:

Zhu, Liwei; . () Values migration: The influence of Christianity and traditional Chinese values on the cross-cultural adaptation of Chinese migrants in Irish society [Online]. Available from: [Accessed: 16th July 2018].


View your saved citations and reading lists


Click here to view all the resources gathered from this organisation's website.