Abstract: Transnationalism needs to be understood as a set of practices fashioned through the life course as well as in relation to contextual factors that include state policy and experiences of discrimination that affect entry to the labour force. The paradox of transnationalism is that families make strategic decisions to separate in order to maintain family unity and to advance the welfare of children. Emigrants from Hong Kong to Canada in the latter decades of the twentieth century were motivated by concern for family welfare and the quality of education in Canada. Yet economic livelihood prospects remained greater in Hong Kong than in Canada, prompting many families to become transnational ‘astronaut’ families with one or more members working in Hong Kong. Migration decisions tend to occur around key points of life‐course transition involving entry to and graduation from education, and entry to and exit from the labour force. Transnational practices are complex and multigenerational, involving different patterns for young adults, those in their middle years and the elderly.
Asia Pacific Viewpoint – Wiley
Published: Aug 1, 2007
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