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Whose culture has capital?

Class, culture, migration and mothering

Bin Wu

In no previous generation have so many educated Chinese women with young children immigrated to western countries. Whereas most of the existing research literature in this field tends to study Chinese immigrants in general, this book focuses on a group of skilled female migrant mothers in New Zealand. It aims at understanding the dilemmas and ambiguities particularly concerning skilled female migration: although they belonged to a privileged group in their native land, these women become members of a visible minority in the new country. Middle-class professionals in their birth country, they experience downward social mobility when taking on unskilled jobs in their adopted land; besides having to shoulder heavier domestic workloads as the traditional support for childcare is no longer available in New Zealand. Centering on their mothering practices, this book provides detailed descriptions of how mothers deploy various strategies to maximise the benefits for their children’s education amidst changes and readjustments after migration.


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A Note on Translation and Spelling - 11


11 A Note on Translation and Spelling All Chinese names or terms in this book, except for well-known names and terms in the Western literature such as “Confucian”, are translated using the pinyin system. In Mandarin, there are four tones to indicate different sounds on the vowel. The tones are not specified. However, for key words, the Chinese characters are added in brackets in addition to the pinyin translations for clarification. All Chinese characters used in this book are simplified Chinese. Pinyin is the Chinese phonetic system. It is the Romanisation system for standard Mandarin, a measure by the Chinese government that aimed to increase the literacy rate. The first edition of pinyin was adopted at the Fifth Session of the First National People’s Congress on 11 February, 1958 (see Xinhua News Agency, 2008a).

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