Lisong LiuJan 29, 2016
Chinese Student Migration and Selective Citizenship
Mobility, Community and Identity Between China and the United States
Lisong Liu's thoughtful new book is an important and insightful read for any of us who are currently engaged in conversations about supporting the increasing numbers of international students in the North American academy. Since the inception of open-door and reform policies in 1978, more than three million Chinese students have been sent abroad, most frequently to the United States. Chinese Student Migration and Selective Citizenship: Mobility, Community and Identity Between China and the United States (Routledge, 2015) looks carefully at the historical contexts in which this happened. To help readers understand the translational histories of student migration between China and the US, Liu analyzes the impact of China's economic, political, and educational reforms; changing relations between the US & China; and the transformations in Chinese American communities, American immigration law, and race relations that accompanied the transformation of students into migrants with a relatively high professional and socioeconomic status. Liu also looks carefully at "migrants' transnational networks, cultural hybridity, and interpretations of citizenship," arguing that student migration "embodies the persistent but transformed 'American Dream' in China." While carefully grounded in a very specific historical context, this book offers insights that speak well beyond the particular case study that Liu examines.