Transnational Lives : Expatriates in Indonesia book cover
1st Edition

Transnational Lives
Expatriates in Indonesia

ISBN 9781138262577
Published October 19, 2016 by Routledge
190 Pages

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Book Description

Privileged migrants, such as expatriates living abroad, are typically associated with lives of luxury in exotic locations. This fascinating and in-depth study reveals a more complex reality. By focusing on corporate expatriates the author provides one of the first book length studies on 'transnationalism from above'. The book draws on the author's extended research among the expatriate community in Jakarta, Indonesia. The findings, which relate to expatriate communities worldwide, provide a nuanced analysis of current trends among a globally mobile workforce. While acknowledging the potentially empowering impact of transnationalism, the author challenges current paradigms by arguing that the study of elite migration shows that transnational lives do not always entail fluid identities but the maintenance of boundaries - of body, race and gender. The rich ethnographic data adds a critical dimension to studies of migration and transnationalism, filling a distinct gap in terms of theory and ethnography. Written in an engaging and accessible style the book will be of interest to academics and students, particularly in anthropology, migration studies and human geography.

Table of Contents

Contents: Preface; Expatriates: who are they?; Transnational lives and their boundaries; Expatriate wives; Space, embodiment and the gaze; Boundaries of the body; Performing expatriate identities; Young expatriates, alternative lifestyles?; A peculiar tribe; References; Index.

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Anne-Meike Fechter is Lecturer in Anthropology at the University of Sussex, UK.


’This beautifully evocative text, based on rich ethnographic material, relocates the privileged, white, migrant within the mainstream of global migration studies. With an emphasis on the embodied and gendered experiences of everyday life, it makes an important, sensitive and timely contribution to contemporary debates around the intersection of the global and the local, mobility and boundaries, and the stratification of migration.’ Karen O'Reilly, University of Loughborough, UK 'Fechter's ethnographic study of expatriates as "a peculiar tribe" (p. 147) represents an important contribution to the development of this area.' Anthropological Forum 'Transnational Lives: Expatriates in Indonesia by Anne-Meike Fechter is an ethnography of expatriate life based predominatly in Jakarta. Arguing for the persuasive importance of boundaries for expatriates, it explores the construction and transgressions of boundaries of race, gender, class, ehtnicity and nationality,' The Asia Pacific Journal of Anthropology '...the book presents an important challenge to contemporary conceptualizations of the globally mobile professional moving seamlessly between and within cultures. The book also highlights the "points of correspondence" between themes in colonial studies and the lives of contemporary expatriates as a broader group...this book is likely to appeal to an...audience of scholars and practitioners. I would most certainly recommend it to colleagues in my own field' International Review of Modern Sociology 'With Transnational lives, Anne-Meike Fechter has made an important contribution to an emerging body of research on expatriate identities. Studies of migration within the social sciences and humanities have largely been preoccupied with the analysis of immigration into the urban centres of the 'North' or 'West', neglecting the huge numbers of migrants who emigrate from these regions. Indeed, Fechter is the first to produce an in-depth ethnographic study of the white 'Wes