1st Edition

Women Migrants in Southern China and Taiwan Mobilities, Digital Economies and Emotions

By Beatrice Zani Copyright 2022
    242 Pages 28 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    242 Pages 28 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This book, based on extensive original research, explores the lives, the migratory experiences and the social, economic, and emotional practices of Chinese migrant women during their migrations and mobilities in China, from China to Taiwan, from Taiwan to China and in between the two countries. It illustrates how women on the move experience social contempt, misrecognition and economic marginalisation; how women migrants seek autonomy, economic independence, upward social mobility and modernity, but discover the Chinese inegalitarian social order and labour regimes which produce obstacles and impede their ambitions; and how old and new forms of subalternity are reproduced. Overall, the book emphasises what it feels like for the women migrants as they negotiate their way at the crossroad between subalternity and resistance, between subordinated labour and independent, digital entrepreneurship, and between an inegalitarian labour market and new, online opportunities for business and commerce.


    Part 1 On the move
    1 Becoming dagong mei: Modernity and urban imaginaries
    2 Geographies of migrations and globalised labour regimes
    3 Should I stay or should I go?

    Part 2 Connectedness
    4 Trapped in migration
    5 Affections, social ties, and digital worlds
    6 E-entrepreneurship and globalisation

    Part 3 In-betweenness
    7 Re-migration biographies and geographies
    8 Here and there
    9 Cosmopolitanism and cross-border existences

    Concluding remarks



    Beatrice Zani is a postdoctoral researcher at McGill University, Montreal (Canada). She is also research associate at TRIANGLE, Ecole Normale Supérieure of Lyon (France) and at the European Research Centre on Contemporary Taiwan (University of Tübingen).

    'Overall, the book presents an original approach to globalization and migration – the circulation of both goods and people … Women Migrants in Southern China and Taiwan reads like a novel, complete with well-developed characters whose destinies intertwine. Yet it mobilizes an impressively ambitious set of theoretical references and ethnographic literature.'Laura Schuft, Appartenances & Altérités

    'A highly recommendable read for readers who are interested in learning more about women migration in the East and how their contemporary mobilities and emotions are intrinsically the threads that weave the grandeur of globalisation.' Le-Phuong Linh, Newsletter of the European Association of Taiwan Studies

    'A timely contribution to the scholarly understanding of mobility and migration in contemporary East Asia.'Wei-Yun Chung, Asian and Pacific Migration Journal

    'a rich itinerant ethnography as well as a solid analysis of the lives of Chinese women migrating from rural areas (around the city of Chongqing, for example) to the industrial coast (Guangdong province) and then to Taiwan, before returning to China. ... an impressive reflection on the many forms of globalization, the complexities of contemporary migration patterns, and the current conjunctures facing China and Taiwan. The book is an accessible read, and the numerous interview excerpts, as well as the ethnographic vignettes, will capture the attention of readers.' –  Etienne Bourel, the web publication of the Society for the Anthropology of Work