Transnational Transformations: Theorising Female Professional Lead Migrants in Hong Kong

Saturday, 21 July 2018: 08:30
Oral Presentation
Annie CHAN, Lingnan University, Hong Kong
Research on transnational migration tends to focus on migrants in the lower echelons of the social hierarchy and those migrating from less to more developed countries. The situations of transnational professional workers are under-studied by comparison, particularly that of female non-single (i.e. married, partnered, and/or with dependent children) transnational professionals who are ‘lead migrants’ – i.e. initiators of the migration. In addition, existing studies rarely differentiate between transient and settler transnational migrants in their analyses. In recognising that transnational migration is an important site for personal and social transformation, this paper seek to answer these questions: how do transnational contexts shape professional men and women’s subjectivities and everyday lives? How do family and marital status affect the life choices and strategies of transient transnational professionals? What are the constraints and possibilities for personal and social change arising out of such contexts? To what extent and under what circumstances can transnationalism offer transformatory possibilities for the personal and the social? How do intersections of gender, class, ethnicity and family status affect such possibilities? Based on a qualitative study of female non-single, professional lead migrants who have moved to Hong Kong, we aim to engage with mainstream theories of migration, gender and intersectionality.