New Book: Hong Kong Movers and Stayers: Narratives of Family Migration

Hong Kong Movers and Stayers: Narratives of Family Migration

Book Talk
Speaker: Professor Janet W. Salaff (University of Toronto)
Moderator: Professor Lui Tai-lok

Date: 13 May 2010 (Thursday)
Time: 7:15-9:00 pm
Venue: Special Collections, 1/F Main Library, University of Hong Kong

Language: English


About the Book
An intimate account of what migration means to Hong Kong families
Half a million Hong Kong residents fled their homeland during the thirteen years before Hong Kong was returned to China in 1997–and nearly half of those returned within several years of leaving. Filled with detailed, first-hand stories of nine Hong Kong families over nearly two decades, Hong Kong Movers and Stayers is an exhaustive and intimate look at the forces behind Hong Kong families’ successful and failed efforts at migration and settlement.
This multi-faceted study was begun in 1991, when migration was attributed primarily to the political anxieties of the time and the notion that Hong Kong residents were seeking a better life in the West. Defining migration as a process, not a single act of leaving, Hong Kong Movers and Stayers provides an antidote to ethnocentric and simplistic theories by uncovering migration stories as they relate to social structures and social capital.
With an approach that melds survey analysis, personal biography, and sociology, Hong Kong Movers and Stayers provides a depth of understanding by comparing multiple families and gives voice to the interplay of diverse family roles, gender, and age as motivating factors in migration.

“There is no other study like this in the China migration literature, nor in the literature on emigration from Hong Kong. The thoroughness of this longitudinal research provides a highly nuanced account of how changes in family life over a period of fifteen years have affected motivations and outcomes for migration.”–Nicole Newendorp, author of Uneasy Reunions: Immigration, Citizenship, and Family Life in Post-1997 Hong Kong

About the Authors

Janet W. Salaff is Professor at emerita, the Department of
Sociology, University of Toronto. She received her Ph.D. in 1972 from
the University of California ( Berkeley). She is a visiting scholar,
Centre of Asian studies , University of Hong Kong. She is on the
international editorial board of a number of scholarly journals. Salaff
has studied Chinese family formation and especially the Chinese family
economy throughout her career She started studying Chinese families
while perched in Hong Kong, which got her interested in Hong Kong
itself, especially family life and position of women and men. Her best
known book is WORKING DAUGHTERS OF HONG KONG, which applies
the life study method to this previously overlooked population. This
manuscript was published as a winner of the Arnold and Carolyn Rose
American award to the American Sociological Association. She turned
to international migration research in Hong Kong in 1992 in a project
with SL Wong. The resulting manuscript, which is co-authored along
with A. Greve, is titled, HONG KONG MOVERS AND STAYERS:
NARRATIVES OF FAMILY MIGRATION, University of Illinois press, 2010.
She is currently studying return migration to China.

Siu-lun Wong is a professor of sociology and director of the Centre for Asian Studies at the University of Hong Kong.

Arent Greve is a professor of organization theory at the Norwegian School of Economics and Business Administration in Bergen, Norway.

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