The Minority Among the Minorities: Multifaceted Vulnerabilities at the Intersection of Migration and Citizenship

Conference: AAS-in-Asia2020 (AAS-in-Asia2020)
Title: The Minority Among the Minorities: Multifaceted Vulnerabilities at the Intersection of Migration and Citizenship
Stream: Sociology
Presentation Type: Panel Presentation
Panelists:
Sin Chi Lo, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong (organizer, presenter)
Tuen Yi Chiu, Lingnan University, Hong Kong, Hong Kong (chair, presenter)
Lamea Momen, University of Sussex, United Kingdom, United Kingdom (presenter)
Chi Long Javier Pang, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong (presenter)

Abstract:

Using the intersectionality approach, this panel focuses on how some migrants became“the minority among the minorities” due to their intersecting racial/ethnic, legal, marital, and socioeconomic identities. Compared with other migrants, those who have multiple disadvantaged identities experience multi-layered and interlocking social exclusion, marginalization, stigmatization, and uncertainty in citizenship acquisition when they move across borders. Drawing on four case studies in Asia, the largest source of immigrants in the world, this panel illuminates how different statuses intersect to construct the multifaceted vulnerabilities of the “minority among the minorities”. First, Momen analyses the self-identification and belongingness of Bangladeshi businessmen who migrated to South Africa through unauthorized channels. Lo investigates the decision-making process of Pakistanis’ acquisition of citizenship in Hong Kong. Chiu examines how widowed, divorced and separated marriage migrants were compelled to live in the shadow of legal uncertainty, as they lost eligibility to apply for Hong Kong residency upon the dissolution of their marriage with Hong Kong men. Lastly, Pang explores the role of NGOs in transforming the stigmatized status of “Double-not children” in Hong Kong whose parents are not Hong Kong permanent residents when they themselves were born in Hong Kong and have the right of abode. Together, these papers address how some migrants become the “minority among the minorities” and experience double or even triple marginalization, and how they, in turn, exercise their situated agency in maneuvering the multiple oppressive systems that are imposed on them. The roles of states and non-governmental organizations will also be discussed.