Migration, Emotion, and Digital Economies Book Launch

March 02, 2022

In this talk Dr. Zani will draw on her multi-sited ethnographic work in China and Taiwan, where she explores the mobilities of women who have moved from the countryside to the city in China and who re-migrate to Taiwan through marriage. This research looks at the ways Chinese migrant women in Taiwan cope with social, economic and familial vulnerability, by developing online gendered social networks and practices of digital entrepreneurship through the social media platform WeChat. Dr. Zani analyzes the practice of digital entrepreneurship, the ways it is performed, the commodities commercialized, and the commercial circuits identified by women across the Taiwan Strait. She will discuss how borders and trading restrictions are contested and transgressed though e-commerce; and how the markets explored are not only socially, but also emotionally constructed.

Broadly, this talk will illuminate how, in the digital age of migration, Chinese women’s migratory paths are growing more complex and are increasingly characterized by the use of digital platforms. Looking at the e-entrepreneurship produced by Chinese women in Taiwan, we will delve into the new digital, emotional, and commercial geographies of interconnection between China and Taiwan.


Beatrice Zani

Dr. Beatrice Zani is a sociologist, and postdoctoral research fellow at McGill University in the Department of East-Asian studies. She is research associate at the European Research Centre on Contemporary Taiwan (ERCCT, Tuebingen University), and at TRIANGLE (ENS Lyon, France). She is also executive board member of the European Association of Taiwan Studies (EATS) and of the network ‘Migration’ of the French Sociological Association. Her research explores Chinese women’s multiple mobilities between China and Taiwan, and the link between migration, emotion and ICT in the making of globalization. Her work has been recently awarded: the Mobility Prize by the Forum Mobile Lives; the Lyon 2 University Dissertation Award, and the Young Author Award by the journal Sociology of Work. She has recently published: ‘Shall WeChat? Switching between online and offline ethnography’ (Bulletin of Sociological Methodology, 2021)’; ‘Digital Entrepreneurship. E-commerce among Chinese Marriage-Migrant Women in Taiwan’ (Journal of Chinese Overseas, 2021); ‘Pattes de poulet, colis cachés, entrepreneuses connectées. Migration et entrepreneuriat digital entre Chine et Taiwan’ (Sociologie du travail, 2021) ; ‘Can the Subaltern Feel ? An ethnography of migration, subalternity and emotion’ (with L. Momesso, Emotion, Space and Society, 2021); ‘WeChat, We sell, we feel: Chinese migrant women’s emotional petit capitalism’ (International Journal of Cultural Studies, 2020), and Women Migrants in Southern China and in Taiwan. Mobilities, digital economies and emotions (Routledge, 2021).

This event is made possible thanks to the support of the SFU's Office of Francophone and Francophile Affairs and SFU's David Lam Centre.

March 2, 2022