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Finding a Way out : Visiting the Chinese Female Student Migrants in Japan

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Title: Finding a Way out : Visiting the Chinese Female Student Migrants in Japan
Author(s): Wu, Jingsi
Contributor: University of Helsinki, Faculty of Arts
Degree program: Master's Programme in Intercultural Encounters
Specialisation: Humanities Track
Language: English
Acceptance year: 2023
The past decades witness a dramatic increase in Chinese student migrants, particularly women. This study focuses on Chinese female student migrants in Japan who are from intermediate and lower middle class urban families and examines how they renegotiate and challenge the gendered expectations of their family and society and achieve mobility through educational migration. On one hand, because of the one-child policy and reform and opening up, sons and daughters have relatively equal access to educational resources. They are encouraged to be self-reliant, cosmopolitan, and independent individuals. On the other hand, they still face a normatively gendered life circle, such as marriage. Three lenses are used to understand the life experience: positionality, transnationalism, and mobility. Education is the key to migration and mobility. The mobility in their transnational journey is gendered, both in terms of its causes and consequences. This study tells a story of “finding a way out”. From the geographical aspect, it is a way out of their hometown, and from a gendered viewpoint, it is a way out of the gendered maze of modernity and tradition which breaks the gender norms and creates their own lives. However, migration does not solve the gender problem, and the maze of modernity and tradition transcends national borders. As a woman, a new employee, and a foreigner, they face a new set of challenge abroad. Even though there is no answer to liberation, they depict their lives with autonomies and agencies.
Keyword(s): Chinese women educational migration student migrants gender

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