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Permanent Outsiders in China

American Migrants’ Otherness in the Chinese Gaze


Yang Liu

This book situates migrating individuals’ sense of Otherness in receiving countries front and center and systematically illustrates the configuration of Western migrants’ Other-identity during their reverse migration from the West to China, which has become a new destination of international migration due to its rise to prominence in the global labor market. Consequently, international migrants from Western countries, especially those with skills desired in China, have become this country’s main target in the global race for talent. In this context, this book attends to American migrants on the Chinese mainland, who are perceived as the prototypical waiguoren in this region, as an illuminating case, and illustrates the configuration of their Other-identity, rising from their intercultural adaptation as the privileged but marginalized Other in an asymmetric power structure. This book also attempts to reveal the condition and process of Chinese Othering of American migrants that exists but is far less openly discussed in China.

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Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data

Names: Liu, Yang, author.Title: Permanent outsiders in China: American migrants’ Otherness in the Chinese gaze /Yang Liu.Description: New York: Peter Lang, 2021.Series: Critical intercultural communication studies; vol. 28 | ISSN 1528-6118Includes bibliographical references and index.Identifiers: LCCN 2020039324 (print) | LCCN 2020039325 (ebook)ISBN 978-1-4331-7995-2 (hardback) | ISBN 978-1-4331-7996-9 (ebook pdf)ISBN 978-1-4331-7997-6 (epub) | ISBN 978-1-4331-7998-3 (mobi)Subjects: LCSH: Americans—China—Social conditions. |Immigrants—China—Social conditions. | Other (Philosophy)—China.Classification: LCC DS731.A54 L58 2021 (print) | LCC DS731.A54 (ebook) |DDC 305.813/051—dc23LC record available at ebook record available at 10.3726/b16826



Bibliographic information published by Die Deutsche Nationalbibliothek.Die Deutsche Nationalbibliothek lists this publication in the “DeutscheNationalbibliografie”; detailed bibliographic data are availableon the Internet at






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