Investigating the differential mobility experiences of Chinese cross-border students

Kit Wa Anita CHAN, Lok Sun Lucille NGAN

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlespeer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)


Recent migration studies have adopted the lens of mobility to examine the stratifying effects of border policies, but few investigate the differential mobility of migrant families and children. This paper aims to contribute to the migration literature by considering the interplay between border policies, family configurations, and differential mobility. We apply the lens of differential mobility to the experiences of Chinese cross-border pupils – young child migrants with Hong Kong permanent residency who reside in Shenzhen, China, and cross the border to attend school. We begin by describing shifts in Hong Kong’s border and immigration policies since 1997, which have created a typology of families differentiated by mixed status, citizenship rights, and mobility. We then turn to four case studies of students with unequal border-crossing experiences to elucidate how border control constrains or promotes family mobility and perpetuates inequalities. 
近年的移民研究多採用“流動”視角分析邊境政策的分層效應,但關於移民家庭和兒童的流動差異的討論仍然不多。本研究採用“流動差異”視角探討跨境學童的上學經歷;分析其中的邊境政策、家庭結構和流動差異之間的關係,以填補移民研究的欠缺。跨境學童是指擁有香港永久居民身份、居住在深圳,並每天到香港上學的兒童。研究首先描述一九九七年後香港特區政府的移民和邊境政策的轉變,使不同居民身份的跨境家庭享有不同的公民權利,同時衍生出多樣化的跨境流動性。研究以四個學童的跨境上學經驗為例,分析邊境控制如何促進或削弱家庭的流動性,從而強化了他們之間的不平等。 Copyright © 2017 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)142-156
Issue number1
Early online dateApr 2017
Publication statusPublished - 2018


Chan, A. K. W., & Ngan, L. L. S. (2018). Investigating the differential mobility experiences of Chinese cross-border students. Mobilities, 13(1), 142-156. doi: 10.1080/17450101.2017.1300452


  • Differential mobility
  • Border policy
  • Immigration control
  • Mixed status
  • Citizenship
  • Migrant families
  • Migrant children


Dive into the research topics of 'Investigating the differential mobility experiences of Chinese cross-border students'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.