Negotiating scale and mobility: Transnational Koreans In shanghai

Ming Yue Michelle GU, Xiaoyan Grace GUO, Yun LIN

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlespeer-review


This qualitative study investigates how skilled migrants from South Korea shuttle between linguistic and cultural resources for socialisation and career development. Drawing on the theoretical notions of cultural capital and scalar politics, this study found they strategically re-configured and transformed inter-scalar relations at the macro-spatial and micro levels of everyday practices to create new meaning and capacity for socialisation and career development. The findings indicate that the presumed hierarchical scalar relations between the Chinese, Korean, and English languages are complicated and recalibrated by participants’ shifting and strategic linguistic and cultural priorities across spaces. Transnational migration, as a site of transformation and negotiation of scalar relations, exposed the participants to cultural and ideological diversity within different spatial borders, thus empowering them to constitute or resist the scales defined by their heritage culture or such larger institutions as gender views and hierarchical relations. Copyright © 2022 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1125-1144
JournalInternational Journal of Multilingualism
Issue number3
Early online dateMar 2022
Publication statusPublished - 2023


Gu, M. M., Guo, X. G., & Lin, Y. (2023). Negotiating scale and mobility: Transnational Koreans In shanghai. International Journal of Multilingualism, 20(3), 1125-1144.


  • Scale
  • Mobility
  • Capital
  • Korean migrants
  • Shanghai
  • Multilingualism


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