Asian & Asian American Studies

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Southeast Asian Migration

People on the Move in Search of Work, Refuge, and Belonging

In the Series
Asian & Asian American Studies

Khatharya Um is Associate Professor of Ethnic Studies and Chair of Peace and Conflict Studies at the University of California, Berkeley. She has published extensively on Southeast Asia and on refugee communities.

Sofia Gaspar is Research Fellow at CIES-IUL, Lisbon, Portugal. She has published numerous articles on migration, bi-national marriages and transnational families.

Southeast Asia has long been a crossroad of cultural influence and transnational movement, but the massive migration of Southeast Asians throughout the world in recent decades is historically unprecedented. Dispersal, compelled by economic circumstance, political turmoil, and war, engenders personal, familial, and spiritual dislocation, and provokes a questioning of identity and belonging. This volume features original works by scholars from Asia, America, and Europe that highlight these trends and perspectives on Southeast Asian migration within and beyond the Asia-Pacific region. Adopting an interdisciplinary approach – with contributions from sociology, political science, anthropology, and history – and anchored in empirical case studies from various Southeast Asian countries, it extends the scope of inquiry beyond the economic concerns of migration, and beyond a single country source or destination, and disciplinary focus. Analytic focus is placed on the forces and factors that shape migration trajectories and migrant incorporation experiences in Asia and Europe; the impact of migration and immigration status on individuals, families, and institutions, on questions of equity, inclusion, and identity; and the triangulated relationships between diasporic communities, the sending and receiving countries. Of particular importance is the scholarly attention to lesser known populations and issues such as Vietnamese in Poland, children and the 1.5 generation immigrants, health and mental consequences of state sponsored violence and protracted encampment, ethnic media, and the challenges of both transnational parenting and family reunification. In examining the complex and creative negotiations that immigrants engage locally and transnationally in their daily lives, it foregrounds immigrant resilience in the strategies they adopt not only to survive but thrive in displacement.

Hardback ISBN: 978-1-84519-665-3
Hardback Price: £60.00 / $74.95
Release Date: June 2015
Paperback ISBN: 978-1-78976-004-0
Paperback Price: £25.00 / $34.95
Release Date: April/May 2019
Page Extent / Format: 256 pp. / 229 x 152 mm
Illustrated: No


Series Editor’s Preface, by Mina Roces


Southeast Asian Migration: An introduction, by Sofia Gaspar and Khatharya Um

Chapter 1 - Growing up in a transnational family: Experiences of family separation and reunification of Filipino migrants' children in Italy, by Itaru Nagasaka

Chapter 2 - Single or Chimeric Ethnic Identity? Self-identifications of 1.5 generation Filipinos in France, by Asuncion Fresnoza-Flot

Chapter 3 - Intergenerational Conflicts in Vietnamese Families in Poland, by Grażyna Szymańska-Matusiewicz

Chapter 4 – Children of Hmong Refugees from Laos: Transnational Lives and the Politics of Negotiating Place, by Chia Youyee Vang

Chapter 5 – Transforming Intimate Spheres and Incorporating New Power Relationships: Religious Conversions of Filipino Workers in the United Arab Emirates, by Akiko Watanabe and Naomi Hosoda

Chapter 6 – Negotiating Transnational Belonging: The Filipino Channel, “Global Filipinos,” and Filipino American Audiences, by Ethel Regis Lu

Chapter 7 – Unseen: Undocumented Cambodian Migrant Workers in Thailand, by Sary Seng

Chapter 8 – The Marginalization and Mental Health of the Politically Displaced: A Review from the Thai-Myanmar Border, by Andrew George Lim

Chapter 9 – Crossing Borders: Citizenship, Identity and Transnational Activism in the Cambodian Diaspora, by Khatharya Um

Notes on Contributors

Compelled by economic necessity and political turmoil, the recent decades have seen a dispersal of Southeast Asians unprecedented in its scale. Many of these migrants have thrived in their new surroundings. However, this diaspora has left many others questioning their spiritual identity and sense of belonging. In this collection of scholarly essays, the authors, multi-discipline researchers from around the world, examine how migration of Southeast Asians has affected the individual, families, and generational cohesion. Focusing on the forces that shape transnational movement, the authors use empirical case studies from various Southeast Asian countries to show the effect these migrations have on the societies involved. Specific topics include physical and mental health problems migrants’ experience as a result of state sponsored violence and protracted encampments, family relationships that extend trans-nationally, media catering to specific displaced ethnic groups, and the challenges faced by families reunited after many years.

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