Transnational familyhood and migration strategies among parachute kids-turned-parents from Hong Kong

Lucille L. S. NGAN, Kit Wa Anita CHAN

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlespeer-review

Abstract

The impact of separation on children’s well-being and family relations has attracted growing attention in the study of transnational families, but little is known about its continued effect on life-course transitions and pathways. Focussing on 25 returnee parents who as “parachute kids” had lived away from their families in Hong Kong, this study explores how their prior experiences of family separation affect how these parents plan for the emigration of their own children. Instrumentalism has been a common theme in the study of middle-class East Asian transnational families, but our findings reveal that emotions and cultural values, especially filial piety and family togetherness, are also integral to migration plans. Our discussion complicates the adverse impact of splitting the family transnationally, which is commonly studied at the point of separation. It unsettles the representation of East Asian transnational migration as an instrumental strategy for household accumulation. We argue that research into transnational migration benefits from a life-course perspective and more explicit attention to the emotional dimensions of migration. This is especially so when reverse migration to previous places of settlement is increasingly common among a younger generation of returnees. Copyright © 2021 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.
Original languageEnglish
JournalAsian Studies Review
Early online date28 Jun 2021
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 28 Jun 2021

Citation

Ngan, L. L. S., & Chan, A. K. W. (2021). Transnational familyhood and migration strategies among parachute kids-turned-parents from Hong Kong. Asian Studies Review. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1080/10357823.2021.1937939

Keywords

  • Transnational split family
  • Life-course
  • Emotions
  • Childrearing values
  • Intergenerational bonds
  • Migration trajectories
  • Parachute kids
  • Hong Kong

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