564.5 The inclusion/exclusion-process of the foreign brides in Taiwan

Friday, August 3, 2012: 1:18 PM
Faculty of Economics, TBA
Oral Presentation
Hsiao-Mei JUAN , Center for General Education, Tunghai University, Taichung, Taiwan
This article will look at marriage migrants from Southeast Asia and China coming to Taiwan. Using mostly empirical discourse and interview data from politicians and marriage migrants, it attempts to analyze critically the social constructions of marriage migrants in Taiwan from the perspective of exclusion and inclusion.

The following points will be discussed:

  1. The naming of foreign/continental brides as being a by-product of Taiwanese national identity, which is constituted in the exclusion of disqualified citizens and elements. This exclusion must happen in Taiwanese society and contributes to the formation of Taiwanese society in the full sense, paradoxically a racist identity. In this sense, foreign/continental brides are - in an excluded way - included in society.
  2. That the self-naming of marriage migrants as new migrants is an effort of self-empowerment. It is reasonable that marriage migrants begin to interpret and define themselves. But on closer inspection, this new definition is still made at the collective level, though of course in a positive way. It could not distinguish one new migrant from another and is therefore not sufficient to explain the gradually apparent claim for someone to be “exclusive” as an individual in her own right.
  3. Following the reflection on the categorizing, even if positively made, I will discuss the possibility of exclusive individuality. According to this idea, the focus will be placed on the exclusive individuality as unique, de-categorized.
  4. Finally, this article will suggest that in addition to the idea of humanity and full citizenship “all men are created equal” (inclusive individuality), the idea of otherness ”all men are created different” (lifestyle, habits of eating and so forth) should also be underlined. In so doing, a new idea of integration is proclaimed, that is, otherness is a social resource, but not a barrier that forestalls social integration.