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Title: Cultural citizenship practices in transnational social spaces : Chinese migrant academics in Japan since 1978
Authors: Jia, Yonghui
Keywords: DRNTU::Humanities::History::Asia::China::Chinese overseas
Issue Date: 2019
Source: Jia, Y. (2019). Cultural citizenship practices in transnational social spaces : Chinese migrant academics in Japan since 1978. Doctoral thesis, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore.
Abstract: Since 1978, Chinese migrant academics working at Japanese universities have established themselves as a vibrant community. This is an unprecedented phenomenon in the historical trajectory of Chinese migration to Japan. Nevertheless, the implications of transnationalism for these highly skilled academic migrants, and their respective cultural citizenship practices, have not been systematically studied. Drawing on interviews with and participant observation of Chinese migrant academics in Japan, as well as Japanese and Chinese primary and secondary sources, this study examines cultural citizenship practices by academic migrants through the lens of transnational social spaces. Cultural citizenship is defined as the strategies of migrants to position themselves in the multiple social spaces in order to advance their rights, and define their obligations and duties. Ethnic cultural capital is an essential element of their strategies and it is mainly knowledge-based. Migrants develop their practices and negotiate their identities within three main types of transnational spaces pertaining to their economic, socio-cultural and familial life, which are defined in this study as dynamic social relations and ties that spread beyond national boundaries. They are: (1) the university; (2) community organizations; and (3) the family. In the first social space of Japanese universities, Chinese academic migrants take advantage of their in-depth understanding of Chinese culture, economy, and society to facilitate their China related research and teaching at universities. In the second space of community organizations, using their knowledge of and networks with China and Japan, they organize activities to improve Japan-China interactions and to promote mutual understanding between peoples of the two countries. In the third space of the family, academic migrants also invent different strategies to manage the important aspects of their lives, such as career paths, migration decisions, children’s education and the choice of citizenship. Findings of this study shed light on how national and transnational forces have affected migration, and how Chinese migrant academics have attempted to position themselves in and contribute to the host society and beyond.
DOI: 10.32657/10220/48555
Fulltext Permission: open
Fulltext Availability: With Fulltext
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