Post-migration adaptation has been a major theme in migration studies. Yet, extant research typically focuses on immigrants and long-term settlers and tends to overlook temporary migrants, especially those who move in later life. While long-term migrants are expected to assimilate into the host society over time, temporary migrants have limited or intermittent presence in the host society. Normative frameworks of migrant adaptation are, therefore, inadequate for analyzing the experience of older temporary migrants. Drawing on ethnographic data collected from 41 Chinese grandparenting migrants in Singapore, this article delineates an alternative approach to understanding the post-migration adaptation of older temporary migrants. Incorporating temporariness as a central analytic lens, we look into the key aspects of adaption experienced by the grandparenting migrants, the constraints they encountered and the strategies they used to cope with that. Examining both objective and subjective dimensions of temporariness, we illustrate that the grandparenting migrants’ subjectivity of their spatial-temporal presence would affect the ways they would (intention) and could (ability) adapt to the new environment. Conceptualizing temporariness as a continuum, we also show how diverse forms of temporariness, shorter- and longer-term, have differentially shaped the adaptation patterns of short-term stayers (staying 1-3 months each time) and long-term stayers (staying one year or more). Our findings underscore the importance of analyzing the temporal alongside the spatial when we examine temporariness as a condition experienced by temporary migrants and as an instrumental tool used by nation-states to keep out non-desirable migrants.
|Publication status||Published - 26 Aug 2021|
|Event||The 12th International Convention of Asia Scholars - Online, Japan|
Duration: 24 Aug 2021 → 28 Aug 2021
https://site2.convention.co.jp/icas2021/ (Event page)
|Conference||The 12th International Convention of Asia Scholars|
|Abbreviated title||ICAS 12|
|Period||24/08/21 → 28/08/21|