Motherhood, empowerment and contestation: the act of citizenship of Vietnamese immigrant activists in the realm of the New Southbound Policy

Isabelle Cheng*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

This paper focuses on how immigrant activists interact with the host state in socio-political spheres where they exercise their citizenship. Located in Taiwan’s New Southbound Policy (NSP), this paper adopts the concept of ‘act of citizenship’ to analyse Vietnamese activists’ interactions with the NSP. This paper finds that the NSP appropriated immigrant women’s motherhood and family relationships in order to boost tourism and facilitate Southeast Asian language acquisition in the short term and to enhance Taiwan’s relationship with Southeast Asia in the long run. In response, immigrant activists utilised the NSP to build their own capacity and to realise their acts of empowerment, compassion and contestation in the family and public domains. They not only improved individuals’ wellbeing but also made the Taiwanese state accountable for gender bias and inequality. These findings offer a much needed gender perspective into immigrant activists’ dialectical relationship with the migration state of Taiwan.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages18
JournalCitizenship Studies
Early online date25 Aug 2021
DOIs
Publication statusEarly online - 25 Aug 2021

Keywords

  • act of citizenship
  • empowerment
  • marriage immigrant women
  • motherhood
  • New Southbound Policy

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