Place of desire: skilled migration from mainland China to post-colonial Hong Kong

Wang, C (2013) Place of desire: skilled migration from mainland China to post-colonial Hong Kong. Asia Pacific Viewpoint, 54 (3). pp. 388-397. ISSN 1360-7456

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Until very recently the motivation of skilled migration has been largely explained from neo-classically oriented world views coupled with an institutional focus that pays major attention to how skilled migration is driven by (economic) globalisation and sustained by inter- or intra-company economic and social connections. Little is said about how dream and aspiration have shaped migration plans and choices of destination. Although the recent development of academic literature witnesses a shift away from a narrow focus on economic logics to the human face of transnational skills, the issue of desire only accidentally emerges in most discussions. Based on in-depth interviews with mainland Chinese professional migrants in post-colonial Hong Kong, this paper foregrounds the notion of ‘desire’ as a conceptual vehicle to interweave economic, political and cultural dimensions within the same frame to understand the intentions and dynamics of skilled migration, and to link decision-making at the individual level to a broader geo-politics and geo-economies in which migration takes place. In-depth interviews reveal that apart from economic and career considerations, decisions to migrate were marked by aspiration and fantasy associated with cultural imagination of post-colonial Hong Kong embedded in discourses of place, border and nationhood that go beyond the specific issue of China–Hong Kong migration.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: desire, Hong Kong, mainland Chinese professionals, place, PRC, skilled migration
Subjects: University of Westminster > Social Sciences and Humanities
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Date Deposited: 09 Jan 2014 11:16
Last Modified: 05 Apr 2016 13:41

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