Non-family transnational emotional bonds and belonging

Authors: Yukimi Shimoda*, Waseda University
Topics: Migration
Keywords: mobility, emotion, non-family ties, multi-locality, temporary professional migration
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/4/2019
Start / End Time: 5:00 PM / 6:40 PM
Room: Council Room, Omni, West
Presentation File: No File Uploaded

Non-family connections, as well as family ties, constitute part of our globalising world. This paper expands our understanding of transnational emotional connections brought about by temporary professional migration, which the existing literature tends to focus on ties between migrants and their family members who stay behind. With a particular focus on non-family connections among expatriate and host national employees, this paper attempts to reveal the ways in which non-family members construct ties among themselves by fostering emotional attachments.

This paper is based upon the one-year ethnographic study conducted in a Japanese transnational organisation in Indonesia, with supplemental data that have been collected through follow-up interviews and observation. It explores multi-local movement and interactions among Japanese expatriate and Indonesian host national employees, including their every interaction and practices of each other's cultures and customs in the workplace and reunions on various occasions in both Japan and Indonesia after the completion of the assignment of Japanese expatriate employees. Considering a sense of belonging towards host/home societies, which is cultivated among non-family members, this paper argues the possibility of obtaining second and more homes among professional migrants, who live and work in multiple locations throughout their careers. Finally, it concludes by addressing the necessity of continual research on non-family transnational emotional connections, which are seemingly growing with the progress of mobile work and life styles across physical and virtual national boundaries.

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