Taiwan Studies Programme

Book Launch: Women Migrants in Southern China and in Taiwan. Mobilities, Digital Economies and Emotions

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Thursday 24th February 2022 (14:30-15:50)

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The University of Nottingham's Taiwan Studies Programme presents an online book Launch Women Migrants in Southern China and in Taiwan. Mobilities, Digital Economies and Emotions by Beatrice Zani , Postdoctoral Research Fellow at McGill University.

Women Migrants in Southern China and in Taiwan. Mobilities, Digital Economies and Emotions 

Hidden inside a suitcase, invisible to border controls, an orange, fluorescent bra made in a textile factory in Southern China crosses the Strait and arrives to Taiwan. There, it wanders and circulates, on transnational physical and digital circuits, and it moves back to its place of fabrication in China.

Based on multi-sited ethnographic research in China and Taiwan, including over one hundred and forty interviews, this book follows the social life of a bra and explores the mobilities of its producers: Chinese women who move from the countryside to the city, their marriage-migration to Taiwan and, eventually, re-migration to China post-divorce.

With close attention to the link between migration, emotion, and ICT, the author considers the development of digital social networks, solidarity practices, and e-entrepreneurship by women to undo a condition of subalternity along their multiple mobilities. It elucidates the complex morphology of contemporary mobility, which takes place on complicated scales, which are concurrently physical and digital, material and emotional, local and global.

Following both women and the objects that they commercialise, as well as the emotions that they construct, this volume examines the making of novel digital, commercial, and emotional geographies of interconnection between China and Taiwan, and the multiple forms that globalisation can take.

Speaker biography

Beatrice is a sociologist, postdoctoral research fellow at McGill University, Department of East-Asian studies. She is research associate at the European Research Centre on Contemporary Taiwan (ERCCT, Tuebingen University), and at TRIANGLE (ENS Lyon, France). She is also Board member of the European Association of Taiwan Studies (EATS) and of the network ‘Migration’ of the French Sociological Association (AFS).

Her ongoing research focuses migrant e-entrepreneurs’ the digitalised and transnational trade which connects Taiwan to China and South-East to elucidate the link between migration, emotion and ICT in the making of capitalism and globalisation.

Her work has been recently awarded: the Mobility Prize by the Forum Mobile Lives; the Lyon 2 University Dissertation Award, and the Young Author Award by the journal Sociologie du travail (Sociology of Work). Her most recent publications include: ‘Shall WeChat? Switching between online and offline ethnography’ (Bulletin of Sociological Methodology, 2021)’; ‘Digital Entrepreneurship. E-commerce among Chinese Marriage-Migrant Women in Taiwan’ (Journal of Chinese Overseas, 2021); ‘Pattes de poulet, colis cachés, entrepreneuses connectées. Migration et entrepreneuriat digital entre Chine et Taiwan’ (Sociologie du travail, 2021) ; ‘Can the Subaltern Feel ? An ethnography of migration, subalternity and emotion’ (with L. Momesso, Emotion, Space and Society, 2021); ‘WeChat, We sell, we feel: Chinese migrant women’s emotional petit capitalism’ (International Journal of Cultural Studies, 2020).

Taiwan Studies Programme

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