Class, culture, migration and mothering
3 TRANSNATIONALISM: WHAT IS IT REALLY? - 45
45 3 Transnationalism: what is it really? Bourdieu (1989) defines “field” as networks of social and power rela- tions with distinct sets of beliefs and values. The market values of vari- ous forms of capital depend on the field. It follows that China and New Zealand can be conceptualised as two fields where Chinese skilled mi- grant mothers’ lives are emplaced. This chapter describes and discusses how the participants’ personal experiences were situated and ingrained in the fields and the relation between fields. The first section “Big OE, but a different style” describes the participants’ reasons for migration. The second section, “Birds of a different feather?” examines the migrant families’ social circles and the social environment the families provided for children caught between two cultural fields. The third section, “Where do we belong?” investigates what transnationalism – crossing the two cultural fields, meant for these migrant families. Big OE, But a Different Style In New Zealand, the phenomenon of young people seeking overseas ex- perience is normally known as ‘the big OE’. Globally, in the year 2000, 200 million people lived in countries other than their birth countries (OECD, 2008a). Skilled Chinese migrants moving to New Zealand is a part of this global migration movement. The participants in this project exemplify this trend with their diverse personal experiences and reasons that were particularly ingrained with the localised socio-political and economic situation in both China and New Zealand, as well as in rela- tions between the two countries. In Mao’s China (1949-1976)...
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