This insightful volume explores the experiences of ethnic migrants returning to Hong Kong, Singapore, and Israel. Return migrants who were exposed to the western culture and society undergo personal transformations that significantly impact their views on values such as gender, individualism, democracy, tradition, and individual autonomy. To evaluate how well these individuals are able to reintegrate back into their native countries, the authors conducted a thorough comparative study between returnees in the three research sites through in-depth interviews, ethnographic fieldwork, and analyses of government policies.
Among the topics discussed:
Return Migrants in Hong Kong, Singapore, and Israel is a compelling new perspective on the migrant experience drawn from in-depth research on returnees across three countries and a variety of circumstances.
Introduction – Cost-and-Benefit Analysis: Decision-Making in Migration
1.1 Globalization, Public Policy and Assimilation of Return Migration
1.2 Public Policy Implications of International Migration for Global Governance
1.3 Migrant Transnationalism and Family-based Migration
1.4 Globalized Economic Space, Transnationalism and Translocality
1.5 Some Theoretical and Methodological Considerations
1.6 On a National Level and Public Policy
1.7 Migrant’s Coping Strategies as Responses to Policies
1.8 Ritual Process, Community Development and De-alienation in Chinese Diasporic Communities
1.9 Chinese Ritual Performance as De-alienation
1.10 Ethnic Chinese Community Development as De-alienation1.11 Return Migration, Social Action and Public Policy
1.12 Analytic Procedure and Aims of Study
The Hong Kong Study
2.1 Research Methods and Demographic Characteristics of Returnee Respondents in Hong Kong
2.2 Vignettes of Four Returnees
2.3 Factors Associated with Return Migration
2.4 Plight and Blight of the Mobile Migrants: Hidden Injuries of Global Mobility
2.5 Adjustment to Local Environment
2.6 Migrant Coping Strategies as Responses to Immigration Policies: Migrant’s Cost-and-Benefit Analysis
2.7 Suggestions to Other Returnees: Looking Beyond the Horizons of Costs and Benefits2.8 What Will the Future Hold?
2.9 Some Reflections2.10 Policy Recommendations to the Hong Kong Government
The Singapore Study
3.1 Research Methods and Demographic Characteristics of Returnee Respondents in Singapore
3.2 Evolution of Government Policies and Programs: Cost-and-Benefit Calculation in Historical Perspective
3.3 Government Programs and Initiatives Targeted at Overseas Singaporeans: The Long Arm of Global Capital Accumulation
3.4 The Balance Sheet of Migrating
3.5 Reasons for Return —- Weighing the Costs and Benefits of Recouping a Socio-economic-financial Stake
3.6 Preparation for Return
3.7 Returnees’ Problems and Dilemmas
3.8 Returnees’ Personal and Collective Strategies for Coping as Responses to Government Policies
3.9 Will They Stay or Leave? Migration Decision-making within a Cost-and-Benefit Framework
3.10 Some reflections
3.11 Policy Recommendations to the Singaporean Government
The Israel Study
4.1 Human Capital and Economic Growth in Israel: Successes and Dilemmas4.2 Brain Drain and Cost-accounting of Human Capital Accumulation
4.3 What Causes the Israeli Brain Drain and Loss of Human Capital?
4.4 Factors Influencing Israelis’ Decision to Return
4.5 Brain Drain from Non-academic Sector: Two Stories
4.6 Development of Migration Policies—Costs and Benefits of Human Capital Growth
4.7 Dilemmas and Challenges of Current Migration Policies: Costs and Benefits of Global Innovative Knowledge Transfer
4.8 Evaluation of Migration Policies: Legitimatizing the “Unholy” Alliance of Brain Strain, Brain Gain and Brain Drain in the Migration Drama
4.9 Some Reflections
5.1 Comparing Public Policies on Return Migration5.2 Toward a Universal Policy on Return Migrants and their Re-integration
5.3 In Reflection: Thinking Back and Forth, Back and Forth
Kwok-Bun Chan, Ph.D., is Hong Kong Baptist University’s first Chair Professor of Sociology, Founder and Chairman, Chan Institute of Social Studies (CISS); Honorary Professor, China Research Center, University of Technology, Sydney, Australia; Adjunct Professor of Sociology, University of Macao; Senior Fellow, Joint Institute of Research Studies (JIRS), Beijing Normal University-Hong Kong Baptist University United International College; former Head of Department of Sociology, and former Director, David C Lam Institute of East-West Studies, Hong Kong Baptist University; and former Head of Department of Sociology, National University of Singapore.
His current research interests are in leadership, creativity and innovation; youth and adolescence; global peace and democracy; families in Asian societies; business networks and Chinese capitalism; ethnic identities; and migration, transnationalism, cosmopolitanism, and diasporas. His Chan Institute of Social Studies, like a human brain, has two sides. On the intellectual side, social theory, social research, policy formulation and practice are used as tools of science to find the pathways to a good life and a good society. On the aesthetic side, art, emotions and imagination are deployed to sensitize people of all things beautiful as fundamentals of a good life in a good society. Neither side can do without the other.
Wai-wan Vivien Chan, Ph.D., is a sociologist. Currently she is Research Associate Professor at Department of Sociology, Nanjing University, China. She was Junior Fellow (2018-2020) at Society of Fellows in the Liberal Arts, Southern University of Science and Technology, China. She received her PhD from the School of International Studies, University of Technology Sydney. Two of her co-authored Chinese books on Chinese entrepreneurs and immigrant professionals in Hong Kong have been selected as two of selective books for “The Hong Kong Oral History Special Collection” by Hong Kong Central Library. Chan’s forthcoming monograph titled Female Chinese Bankers in the Asia-Pacific: Gender, Mobility and Opportunity (by Routledge, 2020) used an interdisciplinary approach, combining sociology, human geography and international studies perspectives to explore the feminization of mid-level management teams in finance industries in world cities in the Asia-Pacific. Her current research interests are: return scientists in Greater Bay Area, transnational migration, urban studies, gender and entrepreneurship.
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