Click the star to add/remove an item to/from your individual schedule.
You need to be logged in to avail of this functionality.

Accepted Paper:

Permanence pending: how Chinese temporary migrants hope to stay in the UK through relationships with permanent residents  
Candice Hiu-Yan Yu (University of Edinburgh)

Paper short abstract:

The paper looks into why the formation of a relationship with a British or EU partner is considered as the most promising way for young, highly educated, lower-middle class Chinese temporary migrants to lengthen their stay and obtain higher flexibility in their choices of place of residence.

Paper long abstract:

The paper aims to investigate the ways in which Chinese "would-be-permanent migrants" from a relatively high socioeconomic background hope to stay in the UK for as long as they like. They are mostly students, temporary workers and working-holiday makers. They seek to explore the possibilities and constraints of achieving the goal on a daily basis by taking such steps as looking for sponsored-visa employment, or forming a relationship with a permanent resident.

The study examines how migrants' lives are affected during the limited time remaining on their temporary visa by the need to conduct careful planning and calculation. It also analyses how everyday forms of sexual exchange through romantic and more instrumental relationships with British permanent residents, and the complex emotions associated with this, greatly shape and constitute their experiences.

In addition, this paper aims to provide a counter-narrative to previous studies of sexual exploitation discourse under the framework of transnational migration, which focuses on the victimhood of migrants. In contrast, I hope to address the sexual agency of Chinese migrants, and to study how sex and "love" are used as strategic tool to achieve the means to an end. I argue that the "manipulation" of sexual relationships is very often situational without being limited to sex workers or those from a lower socio-economic background, and should be understood within the webs of gender-and-ethnic based inequality; power imbalance; and social class difference in the context of Chinese migrants and their partners in the UK.

Panel P111
Mobilities, inequalities, power
  Session 1