Webinars on Transnational Migration and Family Processes in Greater China and Beyond

Tony Yau's picture
May 20, 2021 to May 21, 2021
Subject Fields: 
Chinese History / Studies, Humanities, Immigration & Migration History / Studies, Social History / Studies, Social Sciences

Date                       20-21 May 2021

Organiser              Centre for Greater China Studies, The Hang Seng University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong

Website                  https://migration.hsu.edu.hk/

Speakers                Professor Johanna L. Waters

                                Professor of Human Geography, University College London

                                Professor Lorretta Baldassar 

                                Professor in Anthropology and Sociology, University of Western Australia



Transnational families are not new, but they are more numerous, diverse and complex now than ever before in the twenty-first century’s globalising world. Transnational families encompass families with members who live across national borders but sustain close ties and relationship. The transnational arrangements of these families take a multitude of forms including transnational couples (e.g. migrant spouse and non-migrant spouse), migrant parents and their left-behind children who remain at ‘home’, and migrants and their elderly non-migrant parents and siblings. Often these families have to make choices at the cross-roads of micro dimensions that are related to individual and familial aspirations, and macro dimensions that are related to structural opportunities and constraints as well as state policies and regulations. Moreover, transnational families and ties are constantly established, maintained, re-configured and curtailed over time and borders.

Since the 1990s, heightened scholarly attention from different disciplines and studies have engaged the formation, process and effects of transnational living arrangements on family members from different class and migration background.  The most fruitful research effort on transnational families, households and intimate relations has largely been collected at the phase of migration or separation with a focus on the experiences of those who have migrated. The larger vein of work exploring issues related to transnational family migration has centred in the Global North.

While existing studies provide valuable insights, the interplay between time, space and migration in transnational families has received less scholarly attention. How do experiences of transnational migration affect later life family relationships and migratory trajectories? How does transnational migration affect those who have remained in or returned to their homeland? How do experiences of transnational migration affect intergenerational support? How do migration processes change over time, across different generations of transnational families? How do different generations understand their transnational experiences and articulate generational differences? Moreover, studies on transnational family migration processes within the context of the Greater China region have lagged as there has been a focus on the transnational family practices of migrants in the United States and Europe from the Latin America, Caribbean, and Africa. Against the background of rapid demographic, political and socio-economic changes and the diverse and highly mobile populations in this region, the formation of transnational families are increasingly diverse and complex.

This conference aims to facilitate discussion between scholars from sociology, anthropology, geography as well as neighbouring research disciplines who work on various types of transnational migration and family processes in Greater China. Papers focusing on Hong Kong, Taiwan, Macau, mainland China and overseas Chinese societies are particularly welcome. The expected contributions could cover the following research themes with a focus on the interplay between time, space and migration: 


  1. Life transitions and transnational family migration
  2. Intergenerational family relations within transnational families
  3. Comparative cross-generational analysis
  4. Transnational migration, gender and life course
  5. Children in transnational family migration
  6. Transnational migratory trajectories



Dr Lucille Ngan

Associate Professor, Department of Social Science of Social Science, The Hang Seng University of Hong Kong

Dr Anita Chan

Associate Professor, Department of Social Science, The Education University of Hong Kong


Contact Info: 


For administrative enquiries, please contact Mr Tony Yau, Centre for Greater China Studies, The Hang Seng University of Hong Kong  at kyyau@hsu.edu.hk or +852 3963 5611.

For enquiries about the conference, please contact Dr Lucille Ngan, Department of Social Science, The Hang Seng University of Hong Kong  at lucillengan@hsu.edu.hk or +852 3963 5118.

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