Southeast Asian Migration People on the Move in Search of Work, Refuge, and Belonging

Edited by Khatharya Um (UCB Ethnic Studies) and Sofia Gaspar | Sussex Academic Press, 2015

Southeast Asia has long been a crossroad of cultural influence and transnational movement, but the massive migration of Southeast Asians throughout the world in recent decades is historically unprecedented. Dispersal, compelled by economic circumstance, political turmoil, and war, engenders personal, familial, and spiritual dislocation, and provokes a questioning of identity and belonging. This volume features original works by scholars from Asia, America, and Europe that highlight these trends and perspectives on Southeast Asian migration within and beyond the Asia-Pacific region. Adopting an interdisciplinary approach – with contributions from sociology, political science, anthropology, and history – and anchored in empirical case studies from various Southeast Asian countries, it extends the scope of inquiry beyond the economic concerns of migration, and beyond a single country source or destination, and disciplinary focus. Analytic focus is placed on the forces and factors that shape migration trajectories and migrant incorporation experiences in Asia and Europe; the impact of migration and immigration status on individuals, families, and institutions, on questions of equity, inclusion, and identity; and the triangulated relationships between diasporic communities, the sending and receiving countries. Of particular importance is the scholarly attention to lesser known populations and issues such as Vietnamese in Poland, children and the 1.5 generation immigrants, health and mental consequences of state sponsored violence and protracted encampment, ethnic media, and the challenges of both transnational parenting and family reunification. In examining the complex and creative negotiations that immigrants engage locally and transnationally in their daily lives, it foregrounds immigrant resilience in the strategies they adopt not only to survive but thrive in displacement.

Read the CRG FaultLines interview with Khatharya Um discussing this volume.