Reproduction Migration

Reproduction Migration

Reproduction migration is the movements of people for the purposes of maintaining, reproducing and enhancing life; reproduction migrants include migrant care givers, care seekers, students, retirees, marriage partners and would-be mothers. Transnational reproduction migration is increasing significantly faster than productive labour migration in many parts of the world. This provides a lens for discerning shifts in the global economy and geopolitics.

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This ethnographic case study of a Romanian female caregiver in Italy aims to shed light on the perception and performance of moral obligations towards her patients in the host context and her family members left behind in the home country.
Tanja Schroot
Published online 20 October 2023
The controversies surrounding the Malaysia My Second Home (MM2H) programme during the COVID-19 pandemic illustrate how stakeholders are rethinking the premise of lifestyle migration programmes. These varied contestations of the MM2H programme reveal the complexity of reproduction migration as a multifaceted phenomenon.
Sin Yee Koh and Nirmala Arath Prabhakar
Published online 18 October 2022
Today, many of China’s urban youth are contemplating ways to leave the country. They call this desire to leave ‘rùn’, an impending mobility that brings with it ambivalent motivations and paradoxical temporalities. Facing intense competition and an on-going chronic lack of security, urban youth find themselves confronted with a stark choice: participate in the rat-race (social involution, or ‘neijuan’) or withdraw from it by ‘lying flat’ (tangping). Many therefore see rùn as a ‘way out’, but just what – or where – that ‘way out’ leads to remains uncertain.
Juan Zhang
Published online 16 September 2022

Japa’, a Yoruba term for ‘to run’ or ‘to flee’, has become part of the everyday vernacular of Nigerian youth since seizing the national imagination in 2020. While migration has always been a part of Nigerian culture, this paper asks, how did it become charged with such urgency? Casting migration as an act of ‘fleeing’ implies its necessity for survival. Why has this imagery, more readily associated with refugees or asylum seekers, been taken up by middle-class youth to express their desires to leave? Drawing on a series of interviews with Nigerian youth who are planning to leave or have left the country as education migrants, this paper traces the political, economic, and social configurations that weave urgency through the social-cultural phenomenon of japa.
Jing Jing Liu
Published online 13 February 2023
China’s urban youth is looking for ways and opportunities to leave the country in search of a different life. They call it ‘rùn’ – an escape mobility triggered by unbearable social pressures to produce and reproduce. For these youth, increasing concerns about the future and freedom at home are compounded by gendered inequalities, swift and sweeping national policy changes, and a growing fear that China’s borders are closing fast.
Juan Zhang
Published online 2 September 2022

Since the turn of the century, increasing numbers of middle- and upper-class Chinese parents have been sending children, including pre-school children, overseas for education that is hoped to offer happy, free, and well-round development, which suits “human nature” as the parents put it. The parents are less concerned with children’s future incomes, as compared to the 1990s. This educational mobility constitutes part of “reproduction migration”: population movements specifically to maintain and improve life directly. Such mobility reinforces existing educational hierarchies and the cultural hegemony of the West.
Biao Xiang
Published online 27 July 2021

During the COVID-19 pandemic, lockdown and social distancing restrictions have produced an increase in the use of dating apps – often as a means of social connection, rather than seeking partnership. New practices of dating, including ‘walking dates’, have also emerged, while lockdown’s impacts on intimate relationships have provoked resistance from some corners.
Vidya Ramachandran
Published online 27 May 2021
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