Identities and decentered transnational linkages: Return migrants in Hong Kong

Lok Sun Lucille NGAN

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

1 Citation (Scopus)


Research in the field of transnationalism has largely focused on the experience of migrants in the host country and only offhand remarks have been documented on those who have returned or moved on to a third place of residence. Underlying reasons are that return migration to a place of origin is understood to convey a sense of closure, finality, and completion of the migration journey and that the experience of migrants who have returned to their homeland is predicated to weaken their linkages with their previous host country. However, for Hong Kong Chinese migrants who emigrated prior to the 1997 handover of Hong Kong to Chinese sovereignty, return migration to Hong Kong is often another stage in a continuing journey with further movements ahead. This chapter evaluates the use of the concept of transnationalism, identifying gaps in the literature that have emerged from the applications of transnational framework in return migration research. In particular, I argue that the ways in which identifications operate for Chinese returned migrants in Hong Kong requires a multi-faceted conceptualization of transnationalisms, which encompasses a focus on the migrants’ ‘inverted’ transnational linkages. Copyright © 2012 Springer Netherlands.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationLiving intersections: Transnational migrant identifications in Asia
EditorsCaroline PLÜSS , Kwok-bun CHAN
Place of PublicationDordrecht
ISBN (Print)9789400729650, 9789400729667
Publication statusPublished - 2012


Hong Kong
migration research
place of residence


Ngan, L. (2012). Identities and decentered transnational linkages: Return migrants in Hong Kong. In C. Plüss, & K.-b. Chan (Eds.), Living intersections: Transnational migrant identifications in Asia (pp. 235-257). Dordrecht: Springer.