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Title: Beyond flexible citizenship: Towards a study of many Chinese transnationalisms
Keywords: Chinese migration
Flexible citizenship
Migration policy
Issue Date: Jan-2012
Source: LIN WEIQIANG (2012-01). Beyond flexible citizenship: Towards a study of many Chinese transnationalisms. Geoforum 43 (1) : 137-146. ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Abstract: Over the last decade, flexible citizenship has contributed much to our understandings of how contemporary Chinese migrate across the world in late capitalism. This corpus has not only called attention to the manifold strategies that these migrants adopt to inhabit multiple spaces, but has also elucidated how transnational migration can be deployed for the purposes of capital accumulation and enhancement of one's lifestyle. This paper argues that the current fixation on the flexible strategies of the Chinese 'shuttling' between the East and West inevitably occludes other logics of mobilities that may be more germane for other (neglected) segments of the 'new Chinese diaspora'. Through its consistent rehearsal, the present preoccupation may have led to an inadvertent reification of flexible citizenship, as the paradigmatic model of modern-day Chinese mobilities. In an effort to move the discussion forward, this paper weaves a deliberately dissonant story with the narratives of 50 Singaporean Chinese migrants who are living in, or who have returned to Singapore from, New York or the Californian-Bay Area. The viewpoints offered by these less 'conventional' Chinese subjects not only diverge from the usual 'strategic' or 'calculative' storylines among the Hong Kongers and Taiwanese, but also uncover distinctive assemblages that span across multi-sited and transcultural contexts. Although this paper has no intentions to discredit flexible citizenship, it hopes to have begun the process of decentring the locus of our knowledge pertaining to the subject, drawing attention to the possibility of alternative realities within many Chinese transnationalisms. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd.
Source Title: Geoforum
ISSN: 00167185
DOI: 10.1016/j.geoforum.2011.07.011
Appears in Collections:Staff Publications

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