Chinese Migrant Brides in Taiwan: The Role of Gender and Class in Imagined, Attainable, and Undesired Citizenship

CGS Brown Bag Series
Sep 30, 2015
12:15 PM to 01:15 PM
101 Old Botany

Shan-Jan Sarah Liu, Penn State

The Chinese women who have migrated to Taiwan during the last two decades are generally believed to be a product of blooming commercial marriage businesses. While the benefits of citizenship have been negotiated through the migration of body and the exchanges of love, commitment, labor, and money, there has also been a recent decrease in the desire to obtain Taiwanese citizenship. This paper examines addresses how the cross-strait relationship, transformed with the rise of the Chinese economy, has resulted in Chinese marriage migrants' imagination as well as the reality of becoming official Taiwanese citizens. This paper also addresses the role of class in how Chinese marriage migrants differ in their own understanding and desire to be accepted as official members of society. My in-depth interviews with Chinese marriage migrants in Taiwan allow me to comprehend that while bodies are often used to mark the boundaries between citizens and non-citizens, such boundaries are found to be perhaps not so significant as wealth may dictate one's membership in society more than citizenship may in a neoliberal context. 

Shan-Jan Sarah Liu is currently a sixth year dual Ph.D. candidate and instructor in Political Science and Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at Penn State. Her research centers on cross-national comparison of gender and politics, particularly how contexts, namely women's political representation and exposure to women's movements, shape the gender gap in political attitudes and activities. Her research extends to how women facing intersectional oppression negotiate belonging in the realm of politics, specifically how the media gender their discourse surrounding immigration and immigrants and how the varying media frames impact citizens’ attitudes toward immigrants. Prior to joining the dual degree program at Penn State, she conducted research for NARAL Pro-Choice New York and received an M.A. from the World Learning SIT Graduate Institute and a B.A. from the University of Notre Dame.

This lecture is a part of the Center for Global Studies Brown Bag Graduate Lecture Series which focuses on interdisciplinary graduate research.

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