Losing self to discover national citizenship: contestations over parental rights among the post-Soviet foreign wives in China

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Drawing on the life stories of post-Soviet women from Ukraine and Russia who
married Chinese citizens and moved their married lives to China, this article examines how these women engage in intimate geopolitics in the adverse immigration environment for foreign family members. The elaborated argument maintains that the women -- driven by the uncertainty surrounding their legal and socio-economic status and the fear of forced separation from their children -- resort to their home citizenship or informal dual citizenship arrangements as leverage to defend parental rights against the backdrop of China’s strict single citizenship regime. The women develop strategies to ensure their parental rights through citizenship structures available to them, and seek to remedy their emotional uncertainties amid the environment of limited and tenuous immigrant and family statuses in China. This paper develops analytical potential of intimate geopolitics through an analysis of post-Soviet wives’ subjectivities constituted through the interplay of geopolitical structures and their emotional intensities.

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Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 11 Jun 2019

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