Marriage Migrants in Asia: Mobility and Agency

Editors: Su-lin Yu & Lekun Tan, NCKU

Book synopsis

During the past decades, the intra-Asia flows of cross-border marriage migration have increased rapidly, particularly between Southeast Asia and East Asia. Interdisciplinary and comparative approaches concerning cross-border marriages in Asian region are much needed. This book explores why and how marriage migration may offer routes to empower women. Because of the unequal gender relations in the commodification of transnational marriage, marriage migrants are often confined in the private sphere. However, with expanding communal relations and diverse responsibilities, they gradually move from private to public spaces including community, labour market, and social groups.

When they enter multiple public spaces, marriage migrants cross back and forth between private and public spheres by making good use of economic, cultural and social capitals. They are no longer limited by their identity as marriage migrants, but under limited conditions, they have become family supporters, strategists, or social agents that make agency and mobility possible.

With interdisciplinary perspectives, the contributors will address the following questions: how do marriage migrant women make good use of economic, cultural and social capitals to make their agency and mobility possible? How are their identities re-shaped when they enter multiple private and public spaces in the host societies? How do they represent themselves to challenge public misconceptions about themselves? The collection of essays focuses on marriage migrant women’s agency, mobility, survival strategies, mechanisms of identity construction, and integration into the receiving society.

Contact the research group Marriage Migrants in Asia at