Being Privileged Overseas: Taiwanese People in Jakarta (海外優勢移民:雅加達的台灣人)

in Translocal Chinese: East Asian Perspectives
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During the 1980s, many Taiwanese firms moved to the prc or Southeast Asia due to rising production costs in Taiwan. This trend of firm relocation caused many Taiwanese people to move to the prc or Southeast Asia as entrepreneurs, firm managers, or accompanying family members. While many studies have explored the experiences of Taiwanese immigrants in the prc, studies on the lives of Taiwanese people in Southeast Asia are still limited. This pilot study is based on my fieldwork in Jakarta, Indonesia in 2015. Through conducting 24 interviews and participant observation of Taiwanese people affiliated with the Jakarta Taipei School (hereinafter jts), I argue that a certain number of Taiwanese people live their lives as ‘privileged migrants’ in Jakarta as most respondents lead a life that is of significantly higher quality than most locals. Those who marry rich Sino-Indonesians are accorded a status higher than what was available to them in Taiwan. Their life experiences show the intertwining relationship between international migration and social mobility. While some studies have suggested the importance of ethnic affinity in the process of integration, respondents’ complicated perception on the native Indonesians and Sino-Indonesians predicts that more studies on the issue of ethnicity in the field of privileged migration and overseas Chinese are necessary.

由於生產成本上升,台灣很多勞力密集產業自1980年代起便遷往中國大陸或東南亞地區。這樣的產業遷移吸引不少台灣人以企業經營者、高階管理人,或隨行家屬的身分前往相關國家。當不少研究關注移居中國大陸的台灣人時,關於台灣人在東南亞生活現狀的討論卻是非常有限。這份研究是以筆者2015年在雅加達針台北學校進行田野調查的資料為基礎,經過初步分析之後完成。藉由對24位受訪者進行訪談及參與觀察,筆者認為不少台灣人在當地享有相當優渥的生活。與當地華人通婚的受訪者,更擁有在台灣無法獲得的生活條件與發展機會。這些受訪者的遷移經驗顯示,社會階層的向上流動是有可能與地理邊界的跨國流動發生連結。此外,受訪者對印尼華人與印尼原住民的不同反應,更顯示族群因素依然是優勢移民及海外華人研究的重要議題。 (This article is in English.)

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