1st Edition

Marriage Migration, Family and Citizenship in Asia

Edited By Tuen Yi Chiu, Brenda S.A. Yeoh Copyright 2023

    Amidst the increasing global trend of cross-border marriage migration, this book offers timely theoretical and empirical insights into contemporary debates about migration and citizenship. Extant scholarship on marriage migration and citizenship have concentrated on East-West inter-cultural marriages and tended to approach citizenship as an individual-centred concept linked to the nation-state, thus fading the family into the background.

    Focusing on cross-border marriages within Asia, a region where collectivist and familistic values are still prevalent, this book points to the importance of going beyond the state-individual nexus to conceptualise and foreground the family as a strategic site where citizenship is mediated, negotiated and experienced. Through six critical and in-depth case studies on cross-border marriages between East, Southeast, and South Asia, this book reveals how nation-states mobilize patriarchal notions of the family for its citizenship project; how formal frameworks of citizenship structure the trajectory and circumstances of cross-border families; how the repercussions of marriage migrants' citizenship are experienced and negotiated across generations; and how the tensions between the individual, the family and the state are produced along gender, class, race/ethnic, religious, cultural, geographical and generational boundaries. Collectively, this book calls for a rethinking of citizenship from an individual-centred proposition to a family-level concept.

    Its wealth of case studies and examples make it an essential resource for students, academics and researchers of Sociology, Geography, Anthropology, Politics, International Development Studies and Asian Studies. The chapters in this book were originally published as a special issue of Citizenship Studies.

    Introduction: Marriage migration, family and citizenship in Asia

    Tuen Yi Chiu and Brenda S.A. Yeoh

    1. Transnational marriage migration and the negotiation of precarious pathways beyond partial citizenship in Singapore

    Brenda S.A. Yeoh, Heng Leng Chee, Rohini Anant and Theodora Lam

    2. Penalizing ‘runaway’ migrant wives: commercial cross-border marriages and home space as confinement

    Sohoon Yi

    3. Discretionary maternal citizenship: state hegemony and resistance of single marriage migrant mothers from mainland China to Hong Kong

    Tuen Yi Chiu

    4. From ‘social problems’ to ‘social assets’: geopolitics, discursive shifts in children of Southeast Asian marriage migrants, and mother-child dyadic citizenship in Taiwan

    Hsiao-Chuan Hsia

    5. Motherhood, empowerment and contestation: the act of citizenship of Vietnamese immigrant activists in the realm of the new southbound policy

    Isabelle Cheng

    6. Negotiating citizenship and reforging Muslim identities: the case of young women of Japanese-Pakistani Parentage

    Masako Kudo


    Katharine Charsley


    Tuen Yi Chiu is Assistant Professor at the Department of Sociology and Social Policy, Lingnan University, Hong Kong. She is a sociologist specialising in migration, gender, family, and ageing. Her research focuses on cross-border marriage migration, transnational ageing, intimate partner violence, and intergenerational relations.

    Brenda S.A. Yeoh is Raffles Professor of Social Sciences, National University of Singapore (NUS) and Research Leader, Asian Migration Cluster, at NUS' Asia Research Institute. Her research interests in Asian migrations span themes including social reproduction and care migration; skilled migration and cosmopolitanism; and marriage migrants and cultural politics.