Women Migrants in Southern China and Taiwan. Mobilities, digital Economies and Emotions . Beatrice Zani, Routledge, 2021.
Hidden inside a suitcase, invisible to border controls, an orange, fluorescent bra made in a textile factory in Southern China crosses the Strait and arrives in Taiwan. There, it wanders and circulates, on transnational physical and digital circuits, and it moves back to its place of fabrication in China. Based on multi-sited ethnographic research in China and Taiwan, including over one hundred and forty interviews, this book follows the social life of a bra and explores the mobilities of its producers: Chinese women who move from the countryside to the city, their marriage-migration to Taiwan and, eventually, re-migration to China post-divorce. With close attention to the link between migration, emotion, and ICT, the author considers the development of digital social networks, solidarity practices, and e-entrepreneurship by women to undo a condition of subalternity along their multiple mobilities. It elucidates the complex morphology of contemporary mobility, which takes place on complicated scales, which are concurrently physical and digital, material and emotional, local and global. Following both women and the objects that they commercialise, as well as the emotions that they construct, this volume examines the making of novel digital, commercial, and emotional geographies of interconnection between China and Taiwan, and the multiple forms that globalisation can take.