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‘Forced’ family separation and inter-generational dynamics: multi-generational new Chinese immigrant families in New Zealand

Ran, Guanyu Jason; Liu, Liangni Sally


Liangni Sally Liu


In New Zealand (NZ), due to the immigration policy change against family reunifications, many ‘forced’ transnational immigrant families emerged between NZ and other immigration sending countries. Closely tied family members across generations now have limited choice but to live across different national, cultural, and linguistic localities. By taking the new Chinese immigrant families from the People’s Republic of China (PRC) as the case in point, and based on 45 in-depth interviews with their multi-generational family members, this paper examines how immigrant families adapt to the NZ immigration regime which does not easily accommodate their cultural preference to live as multi-generational families. It also demonstrates the importance of family reunification for immigrant families in NZ, and the changing inter-generational power relations caused by the evolving process of migration and settlement of these families.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jul 24, 2020
Online Publication Date Jul 30, 2020
Publication Date Jan 2, 2021
Deposit Date Dec 5, 2022
Publicly Available Date Dec 8, 2022
Journal Kōtuitui: New Zealand Journal of Social Sciences Online
Publisher Royal Society of New Zealand
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 16
Issue 1
Pages 148-167
Keywords Immigration policy, family reunification, intergenerational dynamics, Chinese immigrants, multigenerational immigrant families
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