Tropical Geography


Staggered Time: Social Adaptation Strategies of Africans in Guangzhou

Yazhi Li(), Lixin Liu()   

  1. School of Geography and Planning, Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou 510000, China
  • Received:2020-12-23 Revised:2021-04-20 Online:2021-07-28
  • Contact: Lixin Liu;


With the emergence of new economic centers around the world, the practice of immigration has gradually moved beyond the traditional dualistic model of "Destination to departure" and been replaced by temporary, short-term settlement. In order to explore the social adaptation strategies of "migratory migrants," this paper expounds the influencing factors of migrants' social integration in a micro-social context. This paper focuses on the phenomenon of "staggered time" among African Americans in Dengfeng village, which was found in the process of investigation. From February to April in 2019, the authors conducted a questionnaire survey and in-depth interviews regarding the phenomenon. Using the measurement sentence system, this study measured and analyzed the phenomenon from the three aspects of cognition, emotion, and behavior, focusing on identity and social integration. After the preliminary conclusion that "staggered time is actually a kind of social division," the score of the measurement sentence system was taken to measure the "degree of division" of African individuals and as the independent variable; the social characteristics of population, social status, duration in Guangzhou, and attitude toward the community were taken as dependent variables. The results of correlation regression analysis show that this kind of social adaptation strategy is closely related to a group's social status, duration in Guangzhou, and attitude toward the community. The essence of this strategy is the specific means of the "shallow integration, deep differentiation" social adaptation strategy, as well as the interactive result of the response of other community groups. Through the strategy of "staggered time," Africans selectively yield part of the demand to occupy, use, and transform the community and realize active separation; in this regard, other groups in Dengfeng Village adjust their own behavior patterns according to the needs of interactions with Africans so as to achieve two-way adaptation among different groups. This paper tentatively puts forth a partition strategy of Africans based on the time dimension, which has a certain reference significance for the future development of urban management and resource allocation in time-related policies.

Key words: staggered time, social adaptation, time and social theory, African, Dengfeng village, Guangzhou

CLC Number: 

  • C912.3