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Title: Examining employment relations in the ethnic Chinese restaurant sector within the UK context
Author: Li, Xisi
ISNI:       0000 0004 7230 7976
Awarding Body: University of Sheffield
Current Institution: University of Sheffield
Date of Award: 2017
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Studies of employment relations in ethnic minority small firms have long been focused on the South Asian and Black communities. While the richness of these accounts has contributed much to our understanding of employment relations in small firms both relating to members of minority communities and more widely, there remains scope for engaging with a greater diversity of minority ethnic communities in the UK context. Specifically, there has not been any extensive research focusing on the ethnic Chinese community. The PhD thesis aims to examine employment relations in the ethnic Chinese restaurant sector within the UK context to address the current research gap. The research is located within a rich ethnographic tradition. The fieldwork for the current study consisted of participant observation of restaurant work over a period of seven months spent in two ethnic Chinese restaurants in Sheffield. The researcher worked as a full-time front area waiter and a full-time kitchen assistant. The field work enabled the researcher to develop a nuanced understanding of workplace behaviours. By focusing on four different aspects – the product market, the labour market, multi-cultural workforces and the informality-ethnicity interaction, this research thoroughly demonstrates how shop-floor behaviours and employment relations in the two case study firms are influenced by a variety of factors. This research contributes to existing knowledge in three respects. Empirically, it reveals the nature of workplace relations in the ethnic Chinese restaurant sector within the UK context, a hitherto under-explored area. This adds new knowledge to the study of employment relations in ethnic minority small firms. Theoretically, it draws out the concept of 'ethnic twist', which denotes the conflict and resistance between different group members from the same ethnicity, revealing the heterogeneity of people from the same ethnic origins. Methodologically, the research demonstrates the continued importance of the ethnographic approach in studying workplace relations.
Supervisor: Wapshott, Robert ; Heyes, Jason Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available