More than 35 million Chinese people live outside China, but this population is far from homogenous, and its multifaceted national affiliations require careful theorization. This book unravels the multiple, shifting paths of global migration in Chinese society today, challenging a unilinear view of migration by presenting emigration, immigration, and re-migration trajectories that are occurring continually and simultaneously. Drawing on interviews and ethnographic observations conducted in China, Canada, Singapore, and the China–Myanmar border, Elaine Lynn-Ee Ho takes the geographical space of China as the starting point from which to consider complex patterns of migration that shape nation-building and citizenship, both in origin and destination countries. She uniquely brings together various migration experiences and national contexts under the same analytical framework to create a rich portrait of the diversity of contemporary Chinese migration processes. By examining the convergence of multiple migration pathways across one geographical region over time, Ho offers alternative approaches to studying migration, migrant experience, and citizenship, thus setting the stage for future scholarship.
About the author
Elaine Lynn-Ee Ho is Associate Professor in the Department of Geography at the National University of Singapore.
"Migration practices in the globalized world are changing the ways we understand resettlement, citizenship, identity, and the sense of home. Elaine Ho's multi-sited ethnographic study offers a sophisticated analysis of the challenges and opportunities for belonging and states' management of cultural diversity in China, Canada, and Singapore today."
—Min Zhou, University of California, Los Angeles, and editor, Contemporary Chinese Diasporas
"Citizens in Motion is a pathbreaking study on contemporary migrations to and from China. It provides an instructive model on capturing the multiplicity of contemporaneous migrations that link nation-states while expanding our breadth of knowledge on questions of citizenship for transnational subjects and troubling assumptions of co-ethnic allegiance. This book is a must-read for specialists of China, migration, and racial ethnic studies across disciplines."
—Rhacel Salazar Parreñas, author of Servants of Globalization: Migration and Domestic Work
"Citizens in Motion is an invaluable contribution to literature on Chinese migration and diaspora, and wider migration studies more broadly, for several reasons: its expansive, multi-sited methodology; the varied Chinese diasporic histories woven into the present; and the conceptual frameworks she deploys, like those of 'citizenship constellations' and 'Tianxia', which complicate our understandings of mobility, belonging, difference and the state."––Caroline Faria & Devon Hsiao, Space and Polity