Cosmopolitanism Questioned: Mid- and High-Skilled Chinese-Singaporeans Migrants in Global Cities

Saturday, 21 July 2018: 09:30
Oral Presentation
Caroline PLUSS, University of Liverpool in Singapore, Singapore
The transnational lives of privileged migrants, who live in different global or metropolitan cities, are often viewed as cosmopolitan (e.g., Ley 2004). This paper researched the present transnational lives of middle-class, and mid- or high-skilled, Chinese-Singaporean migrants in multi-sited research: In: Hong Kong, London, New York, and Singapore (researching Chinese Singaporeans who have ‘returned’ to live again in Singapore). Several transnational contexts of the Chinese Singaporeans are considered Those of education, work, family, and/or friendships/lifestyle (as they apply). This paper shows that rather than experiencing these different transnational contexts as cosmopolitan, the Chinese Singaporeans foremost often experienced these contests, and intersections among them, as incongruous, characterized by multiple displacements, Furthermore, this paper shows that place-specific characteristics of the four global cities of research, despite being global cities (Beaverstock et al. 2002), significantly impinged upon ruptures and disjunctures in the Chinese Singaporeans transnational lives. The implications of these findings for the scholarship on privileged transnational migrants (Bauman 1998) – whose (multiple) displacements are foremost driven by neoliberalism – are given in terms of that minority-majority relations, in different global or metropolitan cities in which the Chinese Singaporeans lived, often led the Chinese Singaporeans to develop ambiguous, if not incongruous, views of self, others, places, and societies. This paper will conclude that the cosmopolitanism of high-skilled migrants, who lived in different global or metropolitan cities, might be much more elusive than previously thought.