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Webinar: The Impact of Multiculturalism and the New South-Bound Policy on New Immigrants in Taiwan



Dear Friends,

We are excited to inform you that a webinar on the topic The Impact of Multiculturalism and the New South-Bound Policy on New Immigrants in Taiwan, jointly presented by CUHK Taiwan Research Centre, Institute of Future Cities and Home Multiculturalism in Action Project, is going to be held on 23 June, 2021.

Date: 23 June 2021 (Wednesday)

Time: 10:30 am - 12:00 pm (Hong Kong Time) Language: English Venue: Zoom

Abstract: Taiwan as a migrant society has upheld multiculturalism as the principle governing cultural and language diversities in society. Yet the language of multiculturalism was not widely used in official documents nor civil events up until the last decade when Taiwan actively sought to establish closer relationships with Southeast Asian countries. Against this political-economic backdrop, marriage migrants from Southeast Asia (referred to as “new immigrants”) who were previously perceived as “social problems” are suddenly considered Taiwan’s “social capital” as the state government regards them as “civil diplomats”. This change in perception and concomitant policymaking regarding new immigrants and their children has provoked controversies in civil society. Critics for example argue that the government falsely assumes a natural bond between the “new second generation” and their mothers’ country of origin as if identity is simply based on biological kinship. Funding and policy specifically for new immigrants and their children are also criticized for depriving native Taiwanese of an equal opportunity to participate in South-Bound businesses sponsored by the government. In this talk, I will discuss, firstly, how government advocacy of multiculturalism and the New South-Bound Policy have helped to reconstruct the image of new immigrants and their children, and secondly, how college students of the new second generation and their peers respond to this new policy trend. Through an analysis of online commentaries, the new second generation’s stories, and interviews with new second generation college students, I show how marriage migrants and their children born in Taiwan negotiate and/or resist official discourse and social imagination, to shed light on the complexity of identity formation/reformation of new immigrants and the new second generation in Taiwan today.

Speaker: Prof. Hsunhui Tseng

(Assistant Professor, Department of Taiwanese Literature, National Cheng Kung University, Taiwan)

Moderator: Prof. Siumi Maria Tam

(Associate Director, Taiwan Research Centre, CUHK)

Discussant: Mr. Chang Cheng

(CEO of RTI (Radio Taiwan International); Founder of “Bring Back to Taiwan a Book You Can’t Read” movement; Advisor on Southeast Asian Affairs, Ministry of Culture)

The poster of the webinar is attached to this email. Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions.

Registration: (deadline: 21 June, 2021)

Best Regards,

Taiwan Research Centre

The Chinese University of Hong Kong


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