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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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
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