SOAS University of London

Centre of Taiwan Studies

Searching for Home in the Migration Context: Exploring Small and Big Home-Making Experiences Through Belgian Taiwanese Immigrants' Life Story Narratives

Lin Hsien-Ming

Date: 12 October 2020Time: 2:00 PM

Finishes: 12 October 2020Time: 3:30 PM

Venue: Virtual Event

Type of Event: Talk

Attendees can access this session 15 minutes before the listed start time using Blackboard Collaborate.


For this thesis, I chose Taiwanese immigrants in Belgium as my research subject and examined a series of questions regarding the notion of home in the migration context and the immigrant’s daily life while living in a foreign land. The main research questions guiding this study are: What are Taiwanese immigrants’ experiences of homemaking (「家」的製作」) in Belgium? What are their experiences of managing dual home relationships between home and host countries? What does the concept of “home” mean for them in an immigrant context? How can they feel at home in their daily life?

This research also considered other important issues related to the notion of “home” in the migration context, as well as how the immigrants identify themselves culturally and ethnonationally. In this thesis, a new theoretical concept of intersectional home (交織的家) is proposed, which revises the concept of intersectionality (交織性) that originated from gender and black women’s studies. The main argument of “intersectional home” I proposed in this study stresses that the notion and meaning of home for immigrants in the migration context is dynamic, fluid, and multidimensional, rather than static or unchangeable, and there is no single domain or factor that can cover all aspects of the notion and meaning of home for immigrants. It is also important to note that the aim of this study is not to try to provide a generalized conclusion or a scientific model. The life and homemaking experiences presented here are subjective and also inter-subjective, particular, context based, and intersectional affected by each immigrant’s distinct lived circumstances and personal background.

Speaker Biography

Lin Hsien-Ming Profile

Lin Hsien-Ming completed his PhD project and passed public defense on 11th September 2020, receiving his PhD degrees in Social and Cultural Anthropology from KU Leuven (Belgium), and Political Science from National Sun Yat-sen University (Taiwan) respectively. During his five years of PhD study and research journey, he spent three years in Belgium and conducted fieldwork within the Taiwanese immigrant community. His PhD project focuses on Belgian Taiwanese immigrants’ home-making practices and other relevant issues with regard to senses of belonging, ethno-national identity, as well as their social interactions and work experiences in other countries. He received interdisciplinary training in both Political Science and Social and Cultural Anthropology subjects during his PhD journey, leading his research interests to cross discipline boundaries into Political Economy, East Asian Studies, International Mobility and Migration Studies, Overseas Chinese and Taiwanese Immigrant Studies, and Ethnicity and Identity Studies. Hsien-Ming's works have been published in Cosmopolitan Civil Societies: An Interdisciplinary Journal, Journal of Research in Education Science, Journal of Ethnic Foods, Intercultural Communication Studies, The Journal of Information Society, Journal of Population Studies, Review of Social Sciences, Journal of National Development Studies , and the Hong Kong Journal of Social Sciences.

Organiser: SOAS Centre of Taiwan Studies

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