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 Through articulating historical documents and a field survey of 24 veteran hunters, this paper attempts to develop an understanding of how traditional Evenki culture was engaged with the practice of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.


Volume-editor Paul Manfredi and Christopher Lupke