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Yali Chen

This article argues that Chinese female migrants in Switzerland exert their agency to become the subject responsible for the care practices for their families in both Switzerland and China during their post-migratory lives. Based on fieldwork comprising 52 semi-structured interviews conducted with Chinese female migrants in Switzerland during 2016 and 2017, this article analyses the strategies Chinese female migrants develop to ensure their social role as woman, migrant, wife, mother, and daughter. Their self-development is also realized through the adjustment of their opinions about their roles and lives within household activities in Switzerland, and their strategies for making sense of the transnational parental care practice by overcoming difficulties induced by different social power relations during their post-migratory life from a gendered perspective.

Hsin-lun Yu and Yinghua Bao

This paper investigates the ways in which the concept of “family” was reshaped, during the process of modern capitalization, among Evenki hunters under the state power of China from the seventeenth century onward. By doing so, it attempts to illustrate two things: one is to depict the trajectory how the Evenki traditional family commune system was regulated into the state power of the Qing Dynasty and modern nation-state of China; second, it aims to argue further that, contrary to the general understanding that regards the practice of socialism in 1950s China as an attempt to de-capitalize private property of the family, in Evenki society, it is through the practice of socialism that the concept of private property was established.

The fieldwork was conducted between 2015 and 2016 in Giden village, the only hunting tribe within the Evenki Autonomous Banner/Country, Inner Mongolian Autonomous Region, in north-eastern China. Through articulating historical documents and a field survey of 24 veteran hunters, this paper attempts to develop an understanding of how traditional Evenki culture was engaged with the practice of modernization under state power and then changed the formation of family in family commune society.

Stinky Tofu and Smelly Cheese

Food and Identity in Taiwanese-Foreign Couples’ Conversations

Yvonne Chi

This paper investigates how multilingual couples with different languages and cultural backgrounds construct their identities through their conversations about food from a socio-cultural perspective. It is based on the interviews, observations, and naturally-occurring conversations between three multilingual couples. The participants consist of Taiwanese nationals, and their foreign partners (Irish, Italian, and South-African) living in England. In order to understand such talk in interaction, the study takes an interactional sociolinguistic approach to analyze how their discourse identities are performed. The study attempts to provide a better understanding of multilingual couples’ interaction in food and identity contexts through a microanalysis of the sequential turns. The analysis demonstrates how the three Taiwanese-foreign couples use different discourse strategies to negotiate and share their different attitudes, preferences, cultural values and identities during conversations about food.

The Unspoken Dilemma of Expat Wives

Gender Roles and Relations within Taiwanese Expatriate Families in Singapore

Chia-Yuan Huang

The majority of Taiwanese expatriates in Singapore are working in male-dominated sectors such as high-tech industries. It is common for Taiwanese male expatriates to choose to bring their family members along to the host country. In order to accompany their husbands to Singapore, these expatriate wives must give up their careers in Taiwan. Some of them become stay-at-home wives while others seek to rebuild their careers in Singapore. This study investigates how Taiwanese expatriate wives juggle their work and family commitments and identifies how they negotiate gender-role expectations relating to both family and work. The results show that this group of highly qualified Taiwanese women who have a history of strong professional achievement and have levels of human capital similar to their husbands still have not managed to break the shackles of traditional gender roles. Instead of advancing their own careers, they are expected to put their husbands’ careers first.


John Sexton

In 1920 Lenin called on the Communist International to open a second front against the imperialist powers by fighting alongside nationalist and peasant movements in the colonies. Eighteen months later, leaders of fledgling East Asian communist parties and other revolutionaries gathered in Moscow to plan the way forward. The Congress of the Toilers of the Far East profoundly influenced the strategy of Communist Parties throughout the colonial world. But alliances with other parties were fragile and risky. East Asian Communist Parties suffered serious defeats in the years following the Congress until WWII revived their fortunes. This edited and annotated edition of the Congress minutes will be of interest to scholars and general readers alike.

En-Mei Wang

After the end of the First Sino-Japanese War, the social status of the Chinese in Korea changed dramatically, and so did their image. They were viewed as the nationals of the superior country beforehand, but were considered “unruly,” “uncivilized,” “barbaric,” and “unsanitary and dirty” thereafter. This research aims to explore how and why this reversal of image happened by focusing on the reportages of the Independent from 1896 to 1899. The Independent, or Tongnip Sinmun, was one of the modern newspapers influenced by the Western civilization. Published fully in Korean, the Independent was meant to enlighten the Korean multitudes by reporting the situation of the nation to the general public. From 1896 to 1899, the Chinese were put in a position of “nationals without treaty,” which led to the fall of their status in Korea due to lack of protection of their country. Their image was further damaged because of the rise of Korean nationalism, which was elaborated along with the modernization. By examining the Chinese in Korea at the end of 19th century and the change of their image, this research tries to illustrate an intensive case of “Othering,” (that is, the birth of the Overseas Chinese) for the reason that they were considered to be not only superior, but also “Us” in the Hua-Yi system(華夷體系)before the War, and foreigners because of the Korean nationalism.

Ming-Feng LIU

Based on the three essays in the present issue, this introduction aims to offer a key for the search of breakthrough in the studies of Overseas Chinese by constructing a table with two axes, the unity of analysis and the autonomy of the actor. Therefore, the table not only positions the three essays, and explains their contributions with reference to the field, but also highlights the importance of reflexivity in the studies of Overseas Chinese. This academic enterprise concerns the immigrant, which stands at the core of political debate. Moreover, it concentrates on the Chinese whose identity is particularly delicate because of China’s dramatic fall and remarkable rise in the modern time. As a result, the reflexivity offers a key to face the nationalist sentiment, against and for China, and plays a role for a better communication, both in science and in politics, in a more and more diversified world.

Minghuan Li

This is a factual story of an academic journey of three-decades told by the author about how she thrived in her research on Chinese Overseas in Europe. The author was among few academics from prc who went to study in Amsterdam in the mid-1980s. Ill-prepared and bewildered, she received help from Chinese Overseas. The experience marked the beginning of her life-long academic interest in Chinese Overseas. She was trained as a historian at Xiamen University specializing in Chinese in Indonesia for her ma, and she completed her doctoral degree in sociology at the University of Amsterdam specializing in Chinese migrants in Europe. She spent years conducting field work to study Chinese communities in different European countries. She became a Professor at Xiamen University, China, and published many papers and books on Chinese in Europe.

Bo-Wei Chiang

Tan Kah Kee, an overseas Chinese, was not only a political leader but also an educator in Modern China and Southeast Asia. He devoted his life to Chinese education and social enlightenment, and founded Jimei School and Amoy (Xiamen) University during the 1920s-30s. As an overseas Chinese with strong national and local identity, he advocated a new type of education as a strategy for social improvement. He also created a hybrid architectural style known as yangzhuang wanmao (western dress with a Chinese round hat) which can be described as a British colonial building with Minan (southern Fujian) influence. This paper discusses the tangible and intangible cultural heritage left by Tan Kah Kee, using the examples of Jimei School Village founded by Tan and the space of the Ao Yuan burial site in his hometown. First, I will introduce the background of his growth and the process of his immigration overseas. Then, I will analyze the establishment of Jimei School Village and the construction of the campus. In addition, the “view of museology” exhibited by Tan Kah Kee’s cemetery, Ao Yuan, was used to analyze the educational enlightenment that he pursued throughout his life. Finally, through the discussion of Tan’s cultural heritage, I analyze the contribution of his modernity project and its deficiency.