"Transnational ageing and care technologies: Mainland Chinese grandparenting migrants"

Max Planck Research Group “Ageing in a Time of Mobility” Lecture Series 2019

  • Date: Jul 11, 2019
  • Time: 02:15 PM - 04:00 PM (Local Time Germany)
  • Speaker: Elaine Ho (National University of Singapore) and Tuen Yi Chiu
  • Elaine Lynn-Ee Ho is Associate Professor at the Department of Geography and Senior Research Fellow at the Asia Research Institute (ARI), National University of Singapore. She is also Assistant Dean (Research Division) at the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences. Her research addresses how citizenship is changing as a result of multi-directional migration flows in the Asia-Pacific. She is author of Citizens in Motion: Emigration, Immigration and Re-migration Across China’s Borders (2019; Stanford University Press). Her current research focuses on two domains: first, transnational ageing and care in the Asia-Pacific; and second, im/mobilities and diaspora aid at the China-Myanmar border. Elaine is Section Editor of the International Encyclopedia of Human Geography (2nd edition), Editor of the journal, Social and Cultural Geography, and serves on the journal editorial boards of Citizenship Studies; Emotions, Society and Space; and the Singapore Journal of Tropical Geography.
  • Location: MPI-MMG, Hermann-Föge-Weg 12, Göttingen
  • Room: Conference Room
"Transnational ageing and care technologies: Mainland Chinese grandparenting migrants"

For more details please contact menster(at)mmg.mpg.de.

Transnational ageing is an understudied topic compared to the attention that has been given to other aspects of transnational familyhood. This presentation focuses on grandparenting migrants from the People’s Republic of China who move temporarily to Singapore or Sydney to care for grandchildren and/or to receive care. Rather than “ageing in place”, they are charting transnational journeys of ageing by recreating social networks and social spaces abroad. Using WeChat, an ICT tool, they maintain social ties in China while also building new social connections abroad. Our presentation introduces the concept of “care technologies”, referring to two dimensions: first, in the Foucauldian sense of how technologies of subjectification are evinced in and through care relations; and second, the role that ICT tools play in mediating care relations across borders, exhibiting governmentality effects too. The presentation also shares insights on integrating qualitative research methods with Geographic Information Science (GIS) visualisations to extend understanding of the spatial and temporal care routines of the grandparenting migrants, as well as the “throwntogether” spaces which they share with older Singaporeans as they age abroad.

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