Navigating the ethnic boundary: From ‘in-between’ to plural ethnicities among Thai middle-class migrant women in Hong Kong

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Abstract

The article examines the self-ethnic identification of Thai middle-class migrant women in Hong Kong. It looks into how different generations of Thai middle-class migrant women identify themselves differently in the host community. Drawing on a one-year ethnographic study and interviews with 20 participants, we found that the process of self-ethnic identification evolves from in-between ethnicity for the older generation to plural ethnicities for the younger generation. The way they perceive themselves, as we argue, determines how they navigate the ethnic boundaries in the host community. The results suggest that the older generation oscillates between being Thai and Hong Konger whereas the younger generation go beyond the dual ethnic identification and in so doing, they disrupt, transgress, or even subvert the ethnic boundaries set between the Thai and the Hong Kong people in the era of globalization with increasing mobility and the use of information and communication technologies. Copyright © 2021 The Author(s).
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Sociology
Early online date09 Mar 2021
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 09 Mar 2021

Citation

Ng, I., & Zhang, H. (2021). Navigating the ethnic boundary: From ‘in-between’ to plural ethnicities among Thai middle-class migrant women in Hong Kong. Journal of Sociology. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1177/1440783321998756

Keywords

  • Ethnic boundary
  • Hong Kong
  • In-betweenness
  • Middle-class migrant women
  • Plural ethnicities
  • Thailand
  • PG student publication

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