A Tale of a Global Family: Shifts and Connections among Different Streams of Marriage Migrations in Asia

Hongfang Hao, Kyoto University
Taiwan National Language textbook used by prospective Vietnamese wives. Photo by the author.
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Abstract


Transnational marriage migration is an important global phenomenon, yet each marriage remains an intimate, personal, and life-shaping event. This article traces the life of a family in rural northeast China that has developed global connections through marriage. In particular, it focuses on the story of a Chinese husband and his Vietnamese wife, which provides insight into the expansion of marriage migrations to and from China over the last decade. The article analyzes how different streams of marriage migrations are linked, specifically the flow of wives from China to Japan and South Korea, and from Vietnam to Taiwan, South Korea, and China. These flows are interconnected in many ways, including through personal networks, brokerage, remittances, and flows of information. Such interconnections in turn exemplify how apparently independent and unrelated migration flows may present multilayered connections of migration factors, diversification, and increasing complexity of migration experiences.

Keywords: transnational family, commercially arranged marriage, marriage strategy, globalization of householding, chain migration