The process of migration has long been framed as a unidirectional process comprised of arrival, settlement, citizenship and assimilation motivated by economic necessities. This dissertation moves beyond these limited views and utilizes an interdisciplinary approach to explore the process of return migration of Chinese nationals to Kunming, China.
By utilizing in-depth interviews and observation to explore the motivations of a specific group of returnees to Kunming, a rapidly changing city in China's developing western region, this study has identified three insights that can contribute to a better understating of the return migration process. The first two key findings - jia xiang bao `hometown babies' and the desire to be a `big fish in a little sea' - can motivate future policy decisions that seek to attract returnees. The third, unexpected finding - xiao xiong xin or `little ambition' of younger generations - acknowledges the perceived heterogeneity among returnees. Further research and policy efforts that recognize heterogeneity by age group and other potentially important but, as yet unstudied factors will be able to develop a more nuanced understanding of the ever larger and inevitably more diverse returnee population.
University of Minnesota Ph.D. dissertation. January 2012. Major: Educational Policy and Administration. Advisors: Frances Vavrus and Gerald W. Fry. 1 computer file (PDF); vii, 163 pages, appendices 1-5 pages.
Werner, Seth E..
After work or study abroad: Chinese return migration and Kunming’s ‘Jia Xiang Bao’ - hometown babies..
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