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Exceptional StatesChinese Immigrants and Taiwanese Sovereignty$
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Sara L. Friedman

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780520286221

Published to California Scholarship Online: September 2016

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520286221.001.0001

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Home and Belonging

Home and Belonging

(p.170) Six Home and Belonging
Exceptional States

Sara L. Friedman

University of California Press

Chapter 6 probes the costs of cross-Strait mobility by analyzing how Chinese spouses’ formal status as legal immigrants and Taiwanese citizens produces new anxieties, an even greater sense of insecurity, and powerful feelings of “not belonging” anywhere. It argues that creating a sense of belonging as an immigrant requires coming to terms with new configurations of place and time. Examining the commitments of three Chinese spouses at different stages in the immigration process, the chapter assesses the kinds of value that immigrants attach to material resources, access to welfare and retirement benefits, housing, political status, and ties to family members across the Strait. Despite immigration and marital trajectories that are circuitous rather than linear, Chinese spouses desire belonging in ways both temporary and permanent. The chapter shows how the struggles of marital immigrants to forge belonging on the edges of family and nation offer an uncanny mirror of Taiwanese state actors’ efforts to carve out a recognized status for the country as a whole.

Keywords:   home, belonging, place, time, immigration trajectories

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